Darren Waller vs. Donald Payne
It’s no secret Darren Waller has been something incredible for this team since the start of the season. The tight end has been the Raiders No.1 target and Derek Carr has a 108.3 QB rating when targeting him.
Waller is a very fast player who’s hard to cover for a linebacker. The Jags notoriously have played man-to-man coverage with A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, however, since his exit and with A.J. Boyue listed as out, they’ll be playing zone defense. Donald Payne will be over Waller and will more than likely be the coverage linebacker going against the tight end.
When being targeted, opposing quarterbacks have a 158.3 rating and have completed 92% of passes against him. He’s allowed 12 catches on 13 targets and 172 yards after the catch (it should be noted 84 came on a single play. Adjusted, he’s allowed 11 catches for 88 yards for a 8.0 average) with total yardage allowed at 209.
Payne has allowed two touchdowns while in coverage and a 17.4 yards per reception on the season. Where Payne is weakest, Waller can take advantage of it. Waller has 98 targets with 72 receptions (78%) for 880 yards. His 12.2 yards per catch is the highest on the team among players with 40 or more receptions.
Even more impressive is his 434 yards after the catch with 6.0 average after he has caught the ball. Finding ways to get Waller in single coverage against Payne could be a gamechanger for the Raiders this week.