Week 6 has the Patriots travelling to Las Vegas for a tilt on Sunday versus the 2-3 Raiders. The Raiders have played a much easier schedule than the Patriots.
The Patriots have played 3 Top 10 defenses, and the other two games were against division foes Miami and New York. Warren Sharp is very down on Josh McDaniels as a head coach and offensive coordinator.
He cites McDaniels work in Denver is 2009 and 2010 where his offenses were bad despite having the easiest schedule of defenses to play. McDaniels then became the O-Coordinator in St. Louis, and they were dead last. During that period the Patriots offense was ranked #1, #1 and #3 for that same time without McDaniels.
|QB||Jimmy Garoppolo||Brian Hoyer||Aidan O’Connell||–|
|RB||Josh Jacobs||Ameer Abdullah||Zamir White||Brandon Bolden|
|WR||Davante Adams||Tre Tucker Q||–||–|
|WR||Jakobi Meyers||DeAndre Carter||–||–|
|WR||Hunter Renfrow||Kristian Wilkerson||–||–|
|TE||Michael Mayer||Austin Hooper||Jesper Horsted||–|
|LT||Kolton Miller||Justin Herron||–||–|
|LG||Dylan Parham||Jordan Meredith|
|C||Andre James||Jordan Meredith||–||–|
|RG||Greg Van Roten||Jordan Meredith|
|RT||Jermaine Eluemunor||Thayer Munford Jr.||Dalton Wagner IR||–|
The Raiders offense has faced some of the easiest Defenses to play against in the league. Las Vegas has played no defense better than the Patriots (#10) and have played the three worst defenses in the league (PIT, LAC & DEN 1-2, 0-1 @ home).
Jimmy Garoppolo is slightly worse than Mac Jones, despite the immense amount of pressure that Jones has faced. In the last two games Jones has faced 46 and 55% pressure rates. Garoppolo has completed 86 of 125 passes for 917 yards and a 68.8% completion percentage. In addition, he has thrown 7 INTs (league leader) to 6 TDs and been sacked 7 times. Brian Hoyer is his back up and rookie Aiden O’Connell had an impressive Pre-season. O’Connell was drafted in the 4th round (#135) out of Purdue. He is an older rookie (age 25) having not played his 1st two years at Purdue as a preferred walk-on.
Runningback Josh Jacobs led the league in rushing last season. He signed just before the pre-season ended so he was a little late at the start of the season. Zamir White is a capable backup and gives the Raiders some ability to rest Jacobs without a significant drop off. Ameer Abdullah is listed ahead of White on the depth chart, but he is just the 3rd down receiving back. Jacobs has 23 receptions on 30 targets. Old friends Brandon Bolden and Jacob Johnson are backups for Josh McDaniels team.
The Raiders have a much better set of receivers in Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Renfrow. I still don’t understand why the Patriots didn’t re-sign Meyers. He was a the most reliable receiver on the team, and they had developed him from an UDFA to a starter that caught 67 passes. Meyers is on pace to have a 100+ reception season and 1,000 yards. Adams catches everything thrown at him and is often open. He has had some injury problems this season with a concussion and now a shoulder injury. Adams was listed as DNP Wednesday, and Limited on the update for Thursday. Hunter Renfrow is the slot receiver in three wide sets. He only has 6 catches for the season and has lost a step of quickness as the injuries have taken their toll on him. Kristian Wilkerson made the team, and the former Patriot has not had any catches yet. DeAndre Carter has only 2 catches.
Rookie TE Michael Mayer had 2 catches in the last game as did veteran Austin Hooper.
The O-line blocked well last year and took Josh Jacobs to the rushing title. Despite returning all the starters they are ranked 18th in the league through 5 games. The Patriots have faced three OL groups that are in the top 8. The best Defense the Raiders have faced is Buffalo at #12. The Patriots are #14. The Patriots have faced 4 top 10 defenses, and the other team was NYJ with their outstanding D-line. Jermaine Eluemanor, a onetime Patriot, is their starting RT. He is ranked #56 by PFF. Kolton Miller was a high draft pick from UCLA. The 2018 1st round pick (#18) has started 74 games for the Raiders since being drafted. Dylan Parham is a converted TE to OG and was a 2022 draft choice in the 3rd Round (# 90) out of Memphis. Despite weighing more than 310 lbs, he ran a 4.93 40-yard dash at the combine. Andre James is an undersized Center at just 300 lbs. The 2019 UDFA was signed from UCLA and has started 33 of the 66 games he has appeared in. Greg Van Roten (what a good name for an Offensive Lineman) is the old man of the line as a 33-year-old. He was signed as an UDFA in 2012. Van Roten has 50 starts in 77 games he has participated in. Van Roten is also undersized for the position at 6’ 3”, 305 lbs. Former Patriot (can you sense a theme here) Justin Herron is backup LT. The journeyman lineman has played for 6 teams on their active rosters and two others Practice Squad.
|Defense||Base 4-3 D|
|LDE||Maxx Crosby||Tyree Wilson||–|
|LDT||Jerry Tillery||John Jenkins||Nesta Jade Silvera|
|RDT||Bilal Nichols||Adam Butler||Byron Young|
|WLB||Divine Deablo||Amari Burney||–|
|MLB||Robert Spillane||Kana’i Mauga||Curtis Bolton IR|
|SLB||Isaac Rochell||Luke Masterson||Darien Butler IR|
|LCB||Nate Hobbs Q||Jakorian Bennett Q||Brandon Facyson IR|
|SS||Marcus Epps||Roderic Teamer||–|
|FS||Tre’von Moehrig||Isaiah Pola-Mao||Chris Smith|
|RCB||Marcus Peters||David Long Jr.||Amik Robertson|
Maxx Crosby is a dominating figure on the Raiders defense. Crosby leads the line in tackles (28) and sacks (5). He is someone you must account for on every play. He has been listed as Limited in the past two practices. Jerry Tillery is another player that plays tough. The 2019 1st round pick (#28) out of Notre Dame is tall (6’6”) DT but plays at under 300lbs. A little light for the position. Tillery was drafted by the Los Angelas Chargers, but they failed to exercise his 5th year option and was waived. The Raiders claimed him, and he is now their starter. Bilal Nichols has 15 tackles on the year. He was a 5th round pick (#145) by the Bears in 2018. Nichols was signed by the Raiders in 2022 to a 2-year contract. He is stout at 6”4” 313 lbs. Malcolm Koonce mans the RDE position. He was drafted in 2021 in the 3rd Round (# 79) out of Buffalo. Koonce is 6’ 2”, 245 lbs. and is more like a LB than a DE. He has 7 tackles and no sacks. As a group the only threat from the line is Crosby and they can be run on. Former Patriot UDFA find Adam Butler is a backup with the Raiders.
The Linebackers are the strength of the Raiders Defense. Patrick Graham the former Patriots coach is the Defensive coordinator. He started with the Pats in 2009 and left in 2018. Graham started as a Defensive assistant holding many titles in those ten years with steadily improving responsibilities. He has been with 4 teams (Giants twice) since leaving the Pats. Robert Spillane leads the team with 42 tackles and one sack. The pride of Western Michigan, Spillane was signed as a UDFA by Tennessee in 2018. The next season he was signed by Pittsburgh and played 4 years there. Earlier this year he was signed as a Free Agent by the Raiders and is now their starter at MLB. Devine Deablo was a 3rd round (#80) pick by the Raiders in 2021. He is listed as a linebacker, but played Safety at Virginia Tech. He is more like a Kyle Dugger or Marte Mapu at 6’3” 223 lbs. and runs a 4.45 40-yard dash. For the season he has 41 tackles good for 2nd on the team. Issac Rochell is the Strong Side Linebacker. The Notre Dame product was a slow DE in college and was a 7th round (#225) pick of the Chargers in 2017. In his career he played for the Colts before signing with Las Vegas in 2022. Rochell has just 5 tackles this season.
The secondary is led by Marcus Peters. However, according to PFF he has a 66 rating, which is equivalent to a backup player. Nate Hobbs has the highest rating at 27, but he is listed as questionable. His backup Jakorian Bennett (PFF Rank #98) is also listed as Questionable. Strong Safety is Marcus Epps is #39 and has 20 tackles. Leading the secondary in tackles is Free Safety Tre’von Moehrig with 26. Moehrig has a sack and interception.
|PR||DeAndre Carter||Hunter Renfrow|
|KR||DeAndre Carter||Ameer Abdullah|
The Special Teams of the Raiders is strong. Daniel Carlson is one of the top kickers in the league. He is ranked #30 in the league but is 8 of 8 on PATs and 4 of 4 on FG. He just hasn’t many opportunities. Chad Ryland is the next to last at #31. Punter AJ Cole is #5 but #2 in Net Yards. Kick returner DeAndre Carter is # 11 but has a 30.7 yards per return on 3 KO returns.
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