Oakland Raiders: Week 1 Stat Predictions

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October 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals nose tackle Dan Williams (92) in the team tunnel before the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Williams

One of the more overlooked moves Oakland made this offseason is the addition of former Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams, but his preseason play seems to have brought him more into the light.

Williams has been most impressive against the run, as he consistently creates enough separation between him and the linemen in front of him to get his eyes in the backfield and make a play on the ball carrier, but he also successfully pushes the pocket from the interior when the quarterback drops back to pass.

Alongside Williams on the defensive line is sophomore Justin “Jelly” Ellis, a 6’2″, 331 pound defensive tackle out of Louisiana Tech. With Ellis’ ability to hold his ground against double teams, it allows Williams to have the advantage in a lot of one-on-one matchups. The two defensive tackles pair nicely, as each of them benefit from the other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The two have been already titled as “Meat and Potatoes” due to their large, NFL frames.

With the tall order of having to contain both Hill and Bernard, Williams will have to rely on Ellis to eat up blockers and stuff run lanes in order for him to successfully make a play on either of the ball carriers near the line of scrimmage. With Mack and Justin Tuck holding down the edge, Williams must take on a leadership role and control the middle of the field with his play if Oakland wants to stop Cincinnati’s rushing attack.

Stat Prediction:

5 combined tackles (4 solo) including three tackles for loss

Next: Week 1 Predictions: Amari Cooper