On Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders will look to win their second game in a row, this time against a familiar foe in the New England Patriots. The history between these two franchises is long, and last year, it was another incredible finish between two AFC teams fighting for their playoff lives right now.
In Week 5, the Patriots stayed home to play Derek Carr and the New Orleans Saints, a game Bill Belichick would love to forget. The Patriots were atrocious in that game, losing 34-0 to Carr and company, and at this point, look like one of the worst teams in all of football.
Despite the terrible effort from the Pats offense, and quarterback Mac Jones, who was benched in the game, the Pats will continue to trot out Jones as their starting quarterback. That could be a huge boost for this Raiders defense, a unit that has been outstanding through the last six quarters, and are coming off a strong victory against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.
To get this win, they have to make Jones as uncomfortable as possible.
Raiders must continue strong defensive effort vs Pats
In the matchup last year, a game that Chandler Jones iced with a pick-six from current Raiders wideout Jakobi Meyers, Jones was terrible. The veteran quarterback was 13-of-31 passing for less than 120 yards, but even that was a better showing than he had last week against the New Orleans Saints.
In the 34-0 Week 5 loss, Jones was 12-of-22 passing for only 71 yards, and completed two passes to the other team. He was eventually benched in favor of Bailey Zappe, but it is clear that Belichick and the Patriots are losing patience in him.
On the other side of the coin, the Raiders defense harassed Jordan Love all night on Monday, forcing three interceptions, two by Robert Spillane alone. Maxx Crosby was a one-man wrecking crew up front, and I look for him to have the same kind of effort against the Patriots, especially if he has one-on-one matchups with Trent Brown.
Overall, this is a very winnable game against a very bad quarterback in Week 6.