Round 1: D.J. Hayden
What really has McKenzie off the hook at this point is the play of cornerback and 2013 1st-round pick D.J. Hayden. McKenzie was unfairly attacked over Hayden, calling him damaged goods because of his near-fatal accident in practice in Houston. And while other injuries that caused him to miss chunks of last year and this year made Raider Nation anxious, they had nothing to do with the accident.
Hayden has been back the last few weeks and he’s looking like the shut-down corner he was pick to be back in 2013. He should have four interceptions this year but has only one because he dropped three of them early in his comeback this year. Rust is what caused him to miss those plays and now, opposing quarterbacks aren’t challenging Hayden that much and don’t have much success when they do.
I really want to see how he does against Peyton Manning and the Broncos receivers to close the year.