The Las Vegas Raiders take on Jacksonville in Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season, and here are some things to keep an eye on in the matchup.
With only two wins through the first eight weeks of the 2022 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders seem like a franchise headed for last place in the AFC West. They have some bad losses on their resume already, but being shut out last weekend in New Orleans has to be No. 1 on the list.
In that game, the Raiders looked lifeless, and if they play that way again this Sunday, you could be looking at a team that will pick in the top 5 next April. They have been downright bad outside of the win against Houston, and at 2-5, their season is certainly on the brink.
Here, we look at some things to keep an eye on in their Week 9 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Raiders at Jaguars 2022 Week 9: 3 things to watch
How the Raiders start
From the start against the Saints, it was clear that Las Vegas was not ready to play, and things only got worse from there. They dug themselves a 17-0 halftime hole that they could not get out of, and in reality, the 24-0 score was not indicative of just how bad the Silver and Black were in Week 9.
Against the Jaguars, the Raiders cannot afford to start slow again, as Jacksonville is a young team that has played well despite their record at times this season. If Las Vegas can get a stop on defense, or sustain a long drive if they get the ball first, it will go a long way in building confidence after such a bad loss.
The play of Trevor Lawrence
Year 2 for Trevor Lawrence was supposed to be the year where he took his game to the next level, but he has been mostly disappointing in 2022. He is the key to this offense, and while he has struggled in recent weeks, the Raiders’ defense has been lit up in back-to-back weeks by the likes of Davis Mills and Andy Dalton, so the stage is set for him.
His play on Sunday could be the difference, as he has all the talent to be a top-10 quarterback in the league, but has yet to figure things out. Hopefully for Las Vegas, this won’t be the week he does.
Pederson vs McDaniels
Based on how the Raiders have looked this season in terms of preparation, you have to give a very low grade to head coach Josh McDaniels. Las Vegas has struggled to beat bad teams, and have blown big leads, something that Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson could take advantage of this weekend.
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Remember, Pederson won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, so he has the kind of winning DNA that could do Las Vegas on Sunday. If McDaniels does not get better in terms of his playcalling, and game plans, his tenure in the desert could be short.