Raiders: Which 3 defensive players need big performances in Week 12?

The freefall has begun for the Las Vegas Raiders. With the season on the line on Turkey Day, the team needs to wake up and try to save themselves.

The defense has not been the issue for the most part, but has sprung some leaks at times during games. With the Dallas Cowboys awaiting them and possibly coming in short-handed, there are three defensive players who need to show up for them to pull off a Thanksgiving Day victory.

Denzel Perryman

The pick-up of Perryman has been a big reward for the Raiders this season. The veteran has been all over the field, delivering big hits and making big stops. He currently leads the Raiders in total tackles with 114, per ESPN. Perryman has been a consistent player this season, but more importantly, he’s provided the defense with a presence at linebacker that has been lacking for a while. The Cowboys may come up short in their receiving corps, which may force them to rely on the running game. Perryman will have the ability to make key stops and help the defense get off the field.

Johnathan Hankins

With the possibility of the Cowboys coming in shorthanded in the passing game, the defensive tackles can stuff the run game. Hankins has been a well-liked player and always puts in effort for the team. Hankins currently has 26 tackles but has the presence in the middle to cause double teams and wreak havoc up front. The Raiders have the season on this game, and a big showing from Hankins could do wonders. The Cowboys have an imposing 1-2 punch in the running game, so the Raiders will need a big game from Hankins to help secure the victory.

Casey Hayward

The big-time play from Hayward this season has been impressive, to say the least. With all eyes on the team this week, a big game from him would do wonders for the Raiders. The Cowboys have an elite quarterback in Dak Prescott, who has shown he can make his receivers shine even if they aren’t household names.

Hayward has to be ready for what may come his way as Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb could be out, and that would mean the backups need to step up, and with Prescott, that is more than likely a possibility. Hayward has come close to getting an interception this season but has yet to register one. In the matchup here, it could be the moment to help a turnaround that is largely needed. Hayward has been more than the Raiders could’ve imagined, but on Thanksgiving, they will need him to be even more and help spark the change.

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