Las Vegas Raiders X-Factors against Cincinnati in 2021 Week 11
Going into the season the talk of the team was superstar tight end, Darren Waller. After finding himself in the conversation with the top TE in the NFL leading up to Week 1, Waller started out red hot against the Ravens going 10 for 19, 105 yards and a TD.
Since then, throughout 7 games, he has only averaged 4.8 receptions, 1 total touchdown, and only hauled in more than 65 yards once, which was in their week 9 loss to the NY Giants.
Going into this matchup, Waller faces a middle-of-the-pack defense when it comes to defending tight ends. Though they currently sit second-fewest in total overall targets and receptions to opposing tight ends, they are giving up a staggering 83% completion percentage and 11 yards per reception.
Waller is the closest thing to an identity they have on offense and needs to again be the focal point of the team’s passing game. Unfortunately, the Bengals have plenty of tape on how teams have managed to lock down Waller in recent games.
If the Raiders are going to have any success in the passing game, they need to be able to dial up plays to get the ball in his hands and routes from the speedier guys to open up throwing lanes for him underneath.