The Bills will be making their first trip to Las Vegas to face the Raiders. with so many uncertainties in world now a days, plus the Bills’ opponent playing in a new home, we’ll want to get up-to-date on all things Raiders before Buffalo heads there on Sunday.
So let’s go straight to the source and get our facts straight. Here’s this week’s look behind enemy lines with Raiders Wire managing editor Marcus Mosher:
Considering injuries, could Zay Jones be decently high on the pecking order this week?
MM: Yes. Zay Jones is expected to start opposite of Nelson Agholor. Jones has been one of the team’s most improved players as he was written off early this offseason. He’s developed into a reliable backup and his combination of height-weight-speed makes him an intriguing option as the X-receiver in this offense. Don’t expect him to get a ton of work in Week 4, but to see a few targets, especially on third down.
Should we expect plenty of Josh Jacobs? From a Bills prospective, they can’t stop the ground attack.
MM: As long as the game is close, the Raiders are going to feed Josh Jacobs. They are among the league’s most run-heavy teams in positive or neutral game-scripts and with all their injuries at receiver and the offensive line, they will lean on their star running back to shorten the game. Don’t be surprised if Jacobs sees close to 25 touches in this contest.
Is Derek Carr going to be the long-term QB there?
MM: That is the most important question right now surrounding the Raiders. Carr has played well to start the season, but does he elevate the talent around him? Can he win big games by himself? Week 4 is a big game for Carr as a strong performance could help solidify his starting quarterback job for the foreseeable future. But if he continues to struggle to beat playoff-caliber teams, the Raiders could move on from him in the offseason.
The Patriots used the rushing attack against the Raiders last week… is that the blue print against this defense?
MM: The Raiders don’t have the defensive line or linebackers to consistently stop the run. However, they may be getting back starting LB Nick Kwiatoski from his pectoral injury. But they may not matter too much as their interior defensive line was pushed off all the ball all day against the Patriots. Look for Buffalo to run right at Las Vegas and challenge their second-level players. If they can run the ball effectively, the Raiders will struggle to get off the field.
Who wins and why?
MM: If the Raiders were fully healthy and had their rookie receivers available, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see them pull off this upset. However, this is a beat-up team that is missing several Pro Bowl players on their offensive line. Expect Las Vegas to hang around in this game, but for the Raiders to struggle to create pressure around QB Josh Allen. Buffalo is the better team and shouldn’t have much a problem in this one. Bills 31-20/