The Patriots are set to face the Raiders on Sunday, adding another chapter to this long storied history. Las Vegas is undefeated through two weeks after stunning the New Orleans Saints. The Patriots have a big challenge defensively this week, and will have to play better to avoid a 1-3 start. So here’s what you should be watching for during this game.
The Patriots are back home after coming up one yard short last week against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. Cam Newton has been great through two weeks, he’s shown he can get it done through the air and on the ground.
This week Newton is looking to build momentum following one of the best pass performances of his career. The Patriots will look to sustain long scoring drives throughout the game, keeping the Raiders offense on the bench.
The Raiders defense has given up the fourth most passing yards, and are the worst third down defense in the league. So look for a big day from Cam Newton against this young, and inexperienced defense.
Tight End Darren Waller has been the Raiders biggest weapon in their passing attack. He has hauled in 18 receptions on 24 targets with 148 receiving yards this year.
The Patriots have to find a way to slow Waller down, and it’s going to take a team effort. Belichick will try to confuse Derek Carr by mixing up the matchups and double teaming his favorite target.
It’s worth noting that Waller has missed practice all week with a knee injury, but he did return today along with Josh Jacobs.
New England will be without their captain and Center David Andrews, who has a broken thumb. Andrews returned to practice on Thursday sporting a concerning thumb wrap. He did try snapping the ball with his left hand but it didn’t go very well.
So keep your eye on the ball this Sunday, with Andrews out, it could be Joe Thuney sliding over to replace him, or Hijalte Froholdt.
• James White, David Andrews and Josh Uche are all OUT, while the Raiders will be missing Henry Ruggs lll.
–Michael Quilty is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @boston_sp0rts20