Whenever the 2020 season rolls around, the Las Vegas Raiders look towards a manageable schedule. However, with expectations, possible roadblocks could occur. More importantly, the rebuilt defense will see a plethora of quality/elite wide receivers. Below, the five toughest matchups for the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2020 NFL season.
5. Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay)
If you watch his film, realize who the quarterback was, and you will see one of the underrated talents in the NFL. First, the first thing you observe is speed. If you allow Godwin a free release, he will make you pay. However, don’t expect a simplistic, one-note wideout. Godwin can function in the slot breaking away on easy three-step routes. More importantly, Godwin possesses some of the surest hands in the league. In the last two seasons, he dropped only four passes. In 2019, he dropped just a single pass. With Mike Evans on one side, Godwin could see a favorable matchup.
4. Odell Beckham, Jr. (Cleveland)
Originally, I thought Stefon Divgs would supplant OBJ on this list. Yet, with Josh Allen trying to find his way with accuracy, Diggs could struggle. As a result, still-youngish Beckham enters the picture. Even with Mayfield under center, OBJ enjoyed a quality season. While the fingertip grab remains the stuff of legend, Beckham crafted a workmanlike 2019. On film, Beckham, still wins with the slant that just immobilizes corners. On top of that, the long speed still exists.
3. Julio Jones (Falcons)
When you line up against Julio Jones, expect a high volume of passes. The Raiders know, the fans know, and analysts do. Jones will see volume targets from Matt Ryan. Meanwhile, this will be a sound test for Trayvon Mullen. Of all of the matchups, this one matters most. Jones still brings the size/speed aspect. In Mullen, the Raiders will rely on him to shadow Jones and use his length to disrupt.
2. Tyreek Hill (Chiefs)
The perennial problem. Hill remains a thorn in the side of the Raiders. 455 of Hill’s career yards in the air came at the Raiders expense. From the snap, he explodes off the line. On top of that, he does use a subtle cut to elongate his cushion. Hill, within the Chiefs offense, requires safety help. However, muscling him off the line could delay that release. If the Raiders hope to break the Arrowhead Curse, Hill needs silencing.
1. Michael Thomas (Saints)
High-volume target. Look for Brees to throw at least a dozen passes towards him. Outside of targets, Thomas excels in chunk routes. Whether it’s the out or post, Thomas’ frame and body control set him apart. His only drawback is a lack of long speed. Under those circumstances, the Raiders could trust Mullen singled and hope the pass rush gets home.