Coming off of a heartbreaker in Los Angeles, Derek Carr and the Raiders should be out for blood. The Silver and Black will be hosting a Cardinals team who looked deflated in Week 1. As Kyler Murray and Co. come to Sin City, here are three matchups to keep an eye on.
Raiders DE Chandler Jones vs Cardinals LT D.J. Humphries
The Raiders’ new acquisition, Chandler Jones, will be playing his old team today. The Cardinals allowed three sacks in their Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, Jones looked invisible in his underwhelming Raiders debut in Los Angeles. The good news is that Jones won’t be facing off against all-pro Rashawn Slater this week. Jones should be able to put up better numbers against Cardinals left tackle DJ Humphries. Although Humphries posted a serviceable 69.7 Week 1 Pro Football Focus grade, Kyler Murray was flushed out of the pocket early and often. Pressure will be a key if the Raiders hope to get back into the win category.
Raiders Pass-Catchers vs Cardinals Secondary
While the Raiders lacked average quarterback play in Week 1, their receiving weapons were still dominant. Davante Adams and Co. will be a problem in Arizona as the Cardinals lack secondary star power and depth. Budda Baker will be a player to keep an eye on as he anchors the Cardinals’ defense. However, between Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow, the Arizona defense will be overwhelmed. If Derek Carr bounces back and makes better decisions in Week 2, the numbers could be absurd. Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson will look to rebound after a 360-yard, five-touchdown effort from Patrick Mahomes.
Kyler Murray’s Legs vs the Las Vegas Defense
The Raiders will have to be stout against the versatile Kyler Murray. Keeping Murray contained will be difficult after injuries to some of the most reliable tacklers on the team. The Raiders lost Denzel Perryman and Trevon Moehrig to injuries in Week 1, but both appear to be less serious than originally anticipated. While Murray is a creative QB, it is worth noting that pressure was not an issue for the Raiders’ defensive line in LA. Maxx Crosby and the defense will get Murray to scramble, but they will have to limit his improvisation with their legs. If the Raiders can force errant throws, winning the turnover battle becomes that much more feasible.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal