Raiders CB Casey Hayward
Now we know how great Hayward has been this season. When he was signed, many figured he’d be the nickel or the third corner. Instead, Hayward took over as a starter and has been exceptional. He has yet to surrender a touchdown pass, per Pro Football Focus. Additionally, the veteran has been a leader for the young secondary. With all that being said, against the Cowboys, Hayward was beaten on a few passes that could lead to him being targeted more today.
With a receiver like Terry McLaurin (who has speed and has shown the ability to make tough catches), Hayward will need to be at his best. The Washington offense doesn’t scream high-scoring, but they have skilled players, and Hayward will need to play better to secure a victory.
Speaking of offseason additions, Solomon Thomas has been crucial this season. After an uneventful time with the San Francisco 49ers, Thomas signed with Vegas. Many thought he would only fill out the roster. That hasn’t been the case, as Thomas has, per ESPN, contributed 24 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and two pass deflections. He has also caused two fumbles.
This season, Thomas has revived his career, elevating his play, contributing to the defensive line being one of the best in the league. In this matchup with Washington, they bring a good rushing attack, so tackles or disruptions by Thomas could go a long way. It does not look like Thomas is slowing down anytime soon, so if he can bring it again, he can help place the Raiders in victory formation today.
The rookie safety has been one of the best picks for the Raiders in recent years. Historically, you could argue that does not speak too well about the Silver and Black. Nevertheless, Moehrig has been what the secondary has been lacking for years.
He has consistently been in the right place at the right time and has rarely been out of position. As mentioned earlier, the offense is not a potent one but has some skilled players, and Moehrig will be key in shutting down the offense. If Moehrig can pick up his second interception of the year or make Taylor Heinicke second guess where he’s going with the ball, it would help neutralize what Washington wants to do.