No. 5 – Raiders (Week 3)
The Raiders are the first of three consecutive games against AFC West teams that the New England Patriots will participate in this season.
First off, anytime we can see the Patriots play against a Jon Gruden-led football team is always going to be a great time. Gruden is still not over the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Pats and Raiders — also known as the Tuck Rule Game.
Derek Carr has been relatively quiet over the last few years, but he hasn’t really had the best of talent up until last season. Now that Carr has more than enough weapons at his disposal, the Raiders present a tough matchup early on in the season for the Patriots.
The Raiders also have a running back in Josh Jacobs that arguably could have won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season after rushing for 1,150 yards and scoring seven touchdowns.
The receiving options are all versatile and talented, starring rookie Henry Ruggs III, Tyrell Williams, and a versatile tight end in Darren Waller — who caught 90 passes for 1,145 yards just last season.
For New England — who has one of the best secondaries in the league — this should be a very great matchup and something fans are going to want to see.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, will have the responsibilities of covering the first-round talent of Ruggs III, which is going to be a great battle to look forward to.