Andre James, Raiders, C #68

Raiders/Chiefs: Game Within the Game – James vs. Jones

The Las Vegas Raiders have a large order of business to handle in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Silver and Black are entering their first 2022 primetime matchup against the current AFC West division leaders. For Josh McDaniels’ squad, a victory at Arrowhead could boost confidence as the team enters the bye in Week 6. However, the team must overcome plenty to obtain their second victory of the season. In last week’s ‘Game within the Game’ against the Denver Broncos, many saw a world-class matchup between Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams and Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II. This week’s marquee matchup is equally as intriguing, just with larger individuals.

Andre James has been a stalwart for the Raiders front.

Last season, many pundits and fans alike had doubts about whether or not Andre James was the answer at center for the Raiders. While he struggled early in the 2021 campaign, he finished strong and was pivotal in the team’s playoff berth. More importantly, he provided essential availability and stability at one of the NFL’s most demanding positions. This season, he has missed two games due to a concussion, but in Week 4, he returned with a vengeance.

James held his own against Denver’s D.J. Jones, who has been one of the NFL’s better interior defensive linemen this season. However, he will have his hands full on Monday night with another Jones.

Matchup to watch: Chris Jones vs. Andre James

The Kansas City Chiefs have been a thorn in the Raiders’ side for over a decade. One of the main factors behind that is Chiefs defensive tackle, Chris Jones. Jones has amassed five sacks, six tackles for loss, and 13 quarterback hits against the Raiders in his 12 career rivalry matchups. However, as he enters the primetime clash, he may be playing the best football of his career.

He is playing so well this season that he is even outpacing L.A. Rams’ future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald at the position in terms of the pass rush win rate metric. So this contest will be a good measurement of Andre James’ progress. Frankly, if James doesn’t have a quality outing – Jones is more capable of taking over a contest moreso than Patrick Mahomes.

Should the game turn into a shootout, the pass protection of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will be critical. However, if the Raiders’ center plays as he has been, the offense has a chance to compete with their division opponent for sixty minutes.

3 Raiders That Need To Bounce Back vs. Chiefs

*Top Photo: Raiders.com

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