Out of the bye week, the Oakland Raiders head to Mexico City to take on the New England Patriots.
Through ten weeks of the NFL season, the Oakland Raiders currently stand at 4-5. It is not hard pressed to say that most of, if not all of Raider Nation expected to see a much better record heading into their matchup with the New England Patriots — who are standing at 7-2 and look to be a Super Bowl contender yet again.
The Raiders offense has been a huge anomaly for the majority of this season, currently ranked 22nd in the league in total offense, averaging 324.6 yards per game. Although this is highly troublesome, there are some potential positive things to look forward on the offensive side of the ball for this Sunday.
For one, Jared Cook is on pace to having his best season as a pro, and was one of the major contributors to the Raiders victory in Week 9. I would expect Cook to have another effective game this Sunday, as the Patriots are ranked dead last in passing defense. Another player who you can expect to have an effective game would be Marshawn Lynch. After coming off of his best game as a Raider two weeks ago, Lynch is going to face a defense that ranks 26th in the league in rushing yards given up. If I were a betting man, I would bet the Raiders have their best offensive output this season against the New England Patriots.
Sadly, the same cannot be said about the Raiders defense. Already ranked low on the totem pole in nearly every defensive category, they have to play Tom Brady this Sunday. Let me tell you right now, it will not be pretty on that side of the ball, ladies and gentleman.
Brady comes into this week as the league’s leading passer at 2,807 yards, to go along with 19 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Despite having no Julian Edelman, no Malcolm Mitchell and a half-healthy Rob Gronkowski, Brady is having another All-Pro type of year.
Unfortunately, I do not see how the Raiders are going to hold this offense under 30 points. On top of having their top two cornerbacks hurt, the front four cannot seem to generate any kind of pressure. The only hope the Raiders have on the defensive side of the ball would be to get on their knees, and pray Khalil Mack has a 5-sack performance like he did back in 2015. If we all know one thing, its that if you make the pocket uncomfortable for TB12, he often folds like a lawn chair.
Looking at this game from top to bottom, this will in fact be a high-scoring affair. Expect a ton of yardage and a lot of touchdowns to be scored. I’m expecting the Raiders to be competitive, but in the end, I do not see the defense having an answer for Brady. Expect the Raiders to fall to 4-6 and their playoff hopes getting dimmer by the week.
Prediction: Patriots win, 42-28