Tom Brady is going to get what is his in this game, but it might be in the Raiders’ best interest to take away his new safety blanket in the passing game. With Julian Edelman being out for the season, it is increasingly important for the Raiders to limit slot receiver Danny Amendola’s effectiveness.
Yes, the Patriots have two great tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, but Amendola in the slot is an easy way for Brady to rack up first downs. Of course, Brady can still exploit the Raiders outside the numbers and at safety. However, slot cornerback T.J. Carrie is having a great year for the Raiders.
Most weeks, Carrie can keep his guy in front of him. He has really taken off under assistant head coach John Pagano’s tutelage in the back-end. Though the Raiders have struggled mightily on defense this year, we cannot overlook the fine job that Carrie has done in a contract year for him.
Oakland may struggle to contain the tight ends or the receivers on the outside. However if the Raiders can slow down the run game and limit what Amendola can do in the slot, then the Raiders have a shot at winning this game in a high-stakes shootout.