New England Patriots: Five Players To Watch Against Oakland Raiders

5 of 6

Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) returns an interception during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Vikings 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

4. Alfonzo Dennard/Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan played an awesome game against Minnesota last week, dominating Cordarrelle Patterson all game long. Ryan is at his best when he is allowed to play tight press coverage, which is exactly what he did against the speedy Patterson.

The only reason Ryan got the start last week was because Alfonzo Dennard was out with a shoulder injury. Now the question is, what will the Pats do at the second corner position against an Oakland team that is awful in pass offense? They could deploy both Dennard and Ryan, putting Ryan in the slot, or they could give Dennard another game of rest, so he will be ready for the tougher games, where the Patriots need him.

If they do decide to keep Dennard active, I would expect Bill Beliehick to keep him limited, to keep his shoulder fresh. Ryan is perfectly capable of handling the starting duties on his own, so there is no reason to push Dennard too hard right now.