Raiders vs. Saints

3 Key Matchups Worth Watching vs. Saints

Don’t let the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints’ lackluster records fool you; there are some great matchups brewing for their 15th all-time game. Three matchups will determine a lot for the Raiders. Let’s dive into them.

Raiders vs. Saints, Matchup No. 1: Josh Jacobs vs. Demario Davis 

It is safe to conclude that the Raiders have discovered their offensive identity, in the form of the run game, after three impressive performances led by Jacobs. Davis, in my opinion, will be Jacobs’ matchup despite Pete Warner being the Saints’ top tackler. The Raiders’ digital reporter, Levi Edwards, asked Jacobs about Davis, “I played against him once in my career and I definitely remember who he is.”

Davis is one of the premier defensive players in the NFL. So, it is no surprise that this year he has continued to play at this level. Davis has been asked to play everywhere on the Saints defense. As a result, he is first in sacks, second in tackles for loss, second in total tackles, first in quarterback hits, and second in passes defended on the team. He’s certainly a jack of all trades. However, all of those stats don’t matter, as he is facing an elite running back in Jacobs this week.

Jacobs’ best trait as a runner is his vision. At the same time, with Davis as his likely matchup, he will have to pull out some tricks to get himself going. In the last three games, Jacobs has run for more than 400 yards, and no defense has been able to stop him. He is a man on a mission. Davis has to force the Raiders to become pass heavy by stopping Jacobs, but that is no easy task. This matchup will be key for both teams.

Raiders vs. Saints, Matchup No. 2: Rock Ya-Sin vs. Chris Olave

Since Nate Hobbs is out, Ya-Sin will be the one asked to cover the rookie, Olave. Given the Saints’ injuries, Olave will likely see a lot of targets. Olave’s career has gotten off to a terrific start; he leads the Saints in receiving yards, receiving yards per game, receptions, and 100-yard games. But he faces a challenge in his likely matchup since Ya-Sin, according to Next Gen Stats, has been the fifth best lockdown corner.

Both Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry are out today. That means Olave has a lot of responsibility to keep this passing game afloat. If Ya-Sin can continue to be a shutdown corner and limit Olave, then the Saints’ passing game will be in trouble. And Olave won’t have it easy facing Ya-Sin and likely will see extra coverage because of injuries.

Raiders vs. Saints, Matchup No. 3: Raiders right tackle vs Cameron Jordan

Thayer Munford Jr. played 77 percent of the snaps against the Houston Texans, which could be a sign of him being the Raiders’ starting right tackle. However, Tashan Reed of The Athletic reported that Jermaine Eluemunor was with the starters during this week’s practice. Whoever ends up starting should be prepared because Jordan will be lining up opposite them.

Jordan is the only defensive lineman on the Saints with more than one sack. He also has the second-most sacks among all Saints players. He is first in tackles for loss, first in quarterback hits, and fourth in tackles, so he doesn’t rush the passer. Jordan is everywhere, so the Raiders must constantly keep an eye out for him.

Whether it’s Munford Jr. or Eluemunor, the right tackle for the Raiders faces a tall task at hand. With his bull rush or speed rush, Jordan can defeat you and play the run just as well. The Raiders would be smart to send extra help towards their right tackle to not allow Jordan to wreak havoc in the Raiders’ backfield.

Las Vegas Raiders Draft: 2023 Big Board Top 50

*Top Photo: Matt Aguirre/Las Vegas Raiders

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