The Las Vegas Raiders were lucky in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers, as their division rival was without their star running back for the game. Austin Ekeler has been hurt for nearly the entire 2023 NFL season, and without him, the Chargers are very one-dimensional on that side of the ball.
In Week 5, the Raiders won't be able to avoid the Packers No. 1 rushing option, as Aaron Jones called himself 100 percent ready to go for this matchup. In Week 4, Jones returned from a hamstring injury against divisional rival Detroit, but he was definitely on a 'pitch count,' rushing only five times.
After playing that game on Thursday night, Jones has had a lot of time to recover and get ready for the Raiders, which could be a big problem for the Silver and Black Monday night.
Raiders have to find a way to stop Jones
While Jordan Love is not a rookie, he is making his first NFL starts this season, this after backing up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay to start his career. He has flashed some signs that he could be the long-term solution in Green Bay, but he is still prone to mistakes taking on NFL defenses in the regular season for the first time this year.
That means that with a healthy Jones behind him, Love will lean on the run game in this one, hoping to extend drives and limit the turnovers. Head coach Matt LaFleur is considered by many to be an offensive genius, and now that he has Jones back, a player who rushed for over 1,000 yards in three of the last four seasons, you can expect a steady dose of the run game.
The Raiders defense has struggled in a big way this season at times, but this is a matchup that they cannot afford to lose. If Jones gets it going, complemented by AJ Dillon in the run game, it will take all of the pressure off of Jordan Love in his Monday Night Football debut, and that could spell serious trouble for the Silver and Black.