The Las Vegas Raiders open their divisional slate on the road Monday night in a game that could be decided by the right tackle position.
In Week 4, the Las Vegas Raiders will take on the Los Angeles Chargers to close out the slate, as they head to SoFi for Monday Night FOotball. Already 1-0 in primetime this season, the Raiders will be looking to move to 4-0 on the young season, as they are one of the few remaining undefeated teams left.
Playing a divisional game is certain to bring out a ton of storylines, as both of these teams look to finally surpass the Kansas City Chiefs for supremacy in the AFC West. Justin Herbert and Derek Carr are two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, they both boast Pro Bowl talent on both sides of the ball, and the Raiders’ current defensive coordinator was the Chargers DC last season.
Outside of that, there are the key matchups to look at, including upfront, where both teams have question marks at right tackle. Raiders rookie Alex Leatherwood has played well but has had his fair share of issues, while the Chargers’ right tackle is Storm Norton, who is only starting because Bryan Bulaga is on injured reserve, and has been downright bad at times.
Which of these players steps up will be crucial, as both the Raiders and Chargers can certainly get after the quarterback.
Raiders finally have an elite pass rush
It has been some time now, but the Raiders finally have a pass rush, and it has nothing to do with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Clelin Ferrell. Expected to come in and be a key contributor after the Khalil Mack trade, Ferrell is more of a run-stopper, so the team had to pivot, and go after some talent in free agency.
That led to the team bringing in Yannick Ngakoue in free agency this offseason, and he has teamed with 2019 fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby to give the Silver and Black one of the dominant duos in the league. Carl Nassib has been outstanding as a depth edge rusher, and the interior, led by the likes of Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas, and holdover Johnathan Hankins has been great at getting a push as well.
The Las Vegas Raiders travel to Los Angeles and take on the Los Angeles Chargers led by Justin Herbert and new Head Coach Brandon Staley.
The bottom line is, both of these teams have elite left tackles and both have elite pass rushers coming off both ends. On Monday, will it be Leatherwood or Norton who holds their ground, because based on the play of these two quarterbacks, whichever has the time they need will likely lead their team to the win.