After a disappointing loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the entire Las Vegas Raiders squad must bounce back. However, there are three players and coaches who must bounce back quickly and prove to Raider Nation that they are still viable. To help the Raiders maintain and prolong their five-game winning streak against the Denver Broncos, let’s take a closer look at those three Raiders.
Raiders vs. Broncos: Who needs to bounce back for Las Vegas?
Let’s be clear: nothing Jones does for the remainder of the season will make up for the subpar play he has shown while playing for the Raiders. But against the Colts, he once more went into full ghost mode and only made two tackles. This was just another lackluster performance for Jones, especially in light of the Colts’ offensive line’s recent struggles.
He will have another chance to play against another poor offensive line, this time against the Broncos. The Broncos offensive line has allowed 30 sacks this season, which ranks sixth most in the league, according to Lineups. On paper, this signals that Jones should play well, but we can’t be certain of that. Jones will have his chances to finally impress us, but he’ll have to take ownership and start making plays. Jones needs to step in and help Maxx Crosby because he has been leaving Crosby hanging for too long.
Carr recorded over 200 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Colts. On paper, it appears that he had a good game, but in reality, he struggled to deliver a win. Carr’s failure to extend plays and move around the pocket cost the Raiders once more. Then, when it mattered most, Carr, who was said to have the “clutch gene,” was nowhere to be found, and the Raiders couldn’t finish their comeback in the fourth quarter.
Carr must rebound in order for the offense to perform better, but the Broncos have the top-ranked scoring defense in the NFL, so it won’t be easy for him. Against the Broncos defense, big plays will be difficult to come by, but Carr can use his rushing abilities to his advantage. Carr ran for a season-high 40 yards against the Broncos in the last meeting. Carr must be accurate with his passes and use his legs to prolong plays for the Raiders; otherwise, the Broncos’ defense will feast on him.
The Colts offense generates 325 yards per game, according to ESPN. However, they exceeded 400 yards of total offense against the Raiders. The Colts scored 25 points against the Raiders, outscoring their per-game average of 15.7 points. The Graham-led defense should be ashamed of giving up those numbers to the Colts. Graham needs to present a superior game plan against the Broncos despite the fact that the team’s talent is lacking and many important Raiders defenders are injured. Fortunately for him, ESPN reports that the Broncos offense ranks last in the league for scoring.
Graham’s best bet is to make the Broncos one-dimensional. If he is able to take away the pass, then the Broncos would have to count on Mike Boone and Melvin Gordon to win the game. But if he takes away the run, Russell Wilson, who is having the worst season of his career, will have to win the game. Stop playing soft coverage and start using your creativity. Graham cannot allow the dreadful Broncos offense to exploit his defense.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images