Latavius Murray vs. Stephone Anthony
Saints linebacker Stephone Anthony showed the coaching staff some skills in his rookie season that they hope to expand on. He is athletic and moves well, displaying impressive lateral agility.
Unfortunately for Anthony, the coaching staff has decided that they would prefer veteran LB James Laurinaitis manning the MLB position, so Anthony must now play on the strong side. He may see less snaps playing “SAM” but in many ways it is a good fit, and Anthony has the talent to carve out a nice niche for himself.
Raiders running back Latavius Murray also had a “rookie year” of sorts last season. Although it was his second active season in the league, he only started seeing significant carries last season.
Although it may have been considered a successful campaign by some (over 1,000 yards and a Pro Bowl appearance) it left a lot to be desired from Raider fans and coaches. Most RB’s in the NFL do not get the same opportunities as Murray in terms of volume of carries. Latavius is one of only a few lead backs in the NFL but he hasn’t produced like one.
Murray needs to separate himself this season to show he can lead a team on his own. With a phenomenal offensive line and a talented overall offense, there is no excuse for Murray not to produce this season.
Anthony and Murray will no doubt face off a couple of times on Sunday, and they both need to start fast. Murray should be feeling pressure from rookie RB DeAndre Washington who has shown an impressive and intriguing skill-set.
Anthony needs to show that he deserves more snaps, notably on nickel packages in place of Laurinaitis. The success of each will be crucial to the outcome of Sunday’s contest.
Next: Raiders Matchup to Watch #3