Well, the first two games of this season have been a letdown, to say the least. In Week 1, it was the underwhelming performance against the Los Angeles Chargers, and that was followed up by the monster choke job against the Arizona Cardinals. The Week 2 loss was especially bad because the first half showed what this team could be, and it all crashed down in a few moments. Many need to step up, but three in particular need to show up this week to ensure a victory against the Tennessee Titans. Let’s take a closer look at the trio with Raiders vs. Titans upon us.
Raiders vs. Titans: Who needs to step up and bounce back on Sunday?
Paging Chandler Jones, has anyone seen him? He looks menacing in the Silver and Black, but the big offseason acquisition has provided nothing other than being a stout name on paper. The former Pro Bowler has accumulated five total tackles and while the effort is there, Jones hasn’t been able to finish. Silver and Black Pride’s Matt Holder recently broke it down with regard to No. 55, “He doesn’t hit home with a sack, but Jones does show some solid bend to get a hit on the quarterback and make sure [Kyler] Murray checks it down. With how dangerous Murray is when scrambling â€” as we all saw last week â€” you’ll take that defensively. These are the types of reps you want to see from Jones, as eventually they’ll start turning into production. Plays like these just need to start happening more frequently.”
In other words, Jones showed he still has moves against the Cardinals, but couldn’t finish. Sooner or later, that effort has to translate into actual sacks, or Raider Nation will quickly turn on him. Luckily for Jones, he had a monster five-sack game last season, and who knows if Ryan Tannehill has recovered from it, but if the Raiders want a desperately needed win, Jones needs to recapture what he did a season ago.
The polarizing signal-caller has been through his share of ups and downs in his time with the franchise. However, it seems that some of his most staunch supporters have patience that is wafer thin. In Week 1, there was no other way to put it; the loss was on Carr, and in Week 2, he got off to a hot start, but in the second half, he seemed to just go through the motions. The season had high expectations and lots of hype, in particular because Carr now had weapons and he had no excuse for failure. The sand in the hourglass is running low and he better bounce back, or his jersey may be on the sales rack at Ross.
The veteran defensive tackle seems to have fallen behind in the depth chart, but when he has been on the field it has not been noticeable. Hankins has been an integral piece the last few seasons, but 2022 is off to a rough start for him. With some injuries on the line, he may get some more playing time, but going up against Derrick Henry may not be ideal. His Pro Football Focus run-defense grade of 53.3 is concerning heading into the Week 3 matchup.
Johnathan Hankins said he ainâ€™t chasing s*** ðŸ˜‚ https://t.co/d5yj2Bc4gV
— Maherboy (@MacMaher) September 19, 2022
The fact is, the Raiders need Hankins to step up in a big way. Whether it’s slowing down the run game up the middle or getting into the Titans’ offensive backfield, Hankins needs a big performance, simply put.
*Top Photo: Michael Ainsworth/AP