Although the Las Vegas Raiders kept their true passing strategy under wraps in Week 1, Josh Jacobs boldly showed the rest of the NFL, that he holds the keys to the Raiders offense. New Orleans Saints’ defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will be ready.
From the Past
Allen, a former Raiders head coach, stirred up a nice recipe to slow down the unheralded Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushing attack, limiting the team to 85 rush yards. Tom Brady looked incredibly uncomfortable in the pocket as well, but the Bucs allowed 47 sacks last season, so this may not be all that impressive.
On Monday night, Allen and the Saints will see what a rushing attack looks like. Jacobs and his offensive line have proven day in and day out that they are the real deal. Running in the NFL can, at times, come down to a battle of the team’s linemen. This is an advantage held by the Raiders. However, there are not too many ways to stop the run without being beat by the pass. Now, Allen faces a conundrum. Should he shift the strategy to allow Jacobs to run but rely on Carr to make mistakes? Or does the team sell out to stop Jacobs and hope the Raiders shift back into their conservative playstyle?
However, the Saints allowed Tom Brady to slice them up for 239 yards and two touchdowns, compared to Drew Brees’ 160 pass yards, in a game the Saints would win 34-23.Defensive coordinators are able to look at their team and know what the team’s strengths will be. Allen will have no desire to implement a heavier focus on Carr because of what Brady did, and after all, the Saints did emerge from that game victorious.
Expect the Saints to bring the pressure. The pressure is the one thing that can impact both the passing and rushing of an offense. With Carr’s occasional timidity, this becomes a problem. Also, expect Josh Jacobs to run unfazed behind one of the league’s best offensive lines, with or without Trent Brown. When healthy, Jacobs has been incredibly reliable. In fact, when receiving 15 or more touches, Jacobs has been held to less than 70 yards once in his career.
Ground and Pound
Jacobs has proven himself to be consistent. The wide receivers have proven themselves to be fairly consistent. The Saints will be consistent in providing pressure. Carr had a decent first game and has a chance to prove his consistency. In the preseason, Carr said he grew sick of the doubters and haters, now he has a chance to silence them. Dennis Carr gets a chance to shut his team down.