Can the Las Vegas Raiders move to 3-0 on the season with a big win over the New England Patriots? Here are our staff predictions for the Raiders’ Week 3 matchup.
Confidence is running high for a 2-0 Raiders team after pulling off an upset over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
The Las Vegas offense has averaged 34 points per game over the first two weeks. However, their defense still remains looking for answers on how to slow down their opponents.
Through two weeks, the Raiders have recorded just one sack and one interception. They invested the majority of their cap space this offseason towards the defensive side of the ball, but with a limited training camp this summer due to COVID-19 guidelines, it’s fair to say the Raiders are being carried by their offense at this point.
With the Patriots’ high-strung offense presenting a new test this week, the Raiders will face their first dual-threat quarterback of the 2020 season.
Here are our staff predictions ahead of the Raiders-Patriots Week 3 matchup:
Scott Gulbransen, Founder/Editor
This Las Vegas Raiders team has shown resilience and the ability to win games and make big plays when they need them. With only two wins in New England since 1969, they face a daunting task as they run into a hot Cam Newton. Not only is he running the ball as he did five years ago, but he’s also throwing the ball better than ever. I expect this matchup to be a fight to the very end but see a Silver and Black loss in a close, hard-fought game on the road. And while there are no moral victories, a close loss like this early in the season, could be good for this Raiders team as they make a push for the playoffs come December. Patriots 34, Raiders 30.
Maurice Moton, Sr. Columnist
Coming off an exhilarating victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Las Vegas Raiders go across the country for a tough matchup against the New England Patriots. The Raiders have the second-fewest quarterback pressures (10), and they have to figure out a way to bring down Newton, who leads the Patriots in rushing yards (122) and scores (four). That’s going to pose a problem. The Raiders’ passing offense must expose the middle of the Patriots’ defense. They don’t have favorable matchups on the boundaries with two rookies against the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson. However, Josh Jacobs should have a big game as a ball-carrier and pass-catcher. He’ll keep the score close, but in the end, Newton wins the game on the final drive, which puts a critical spotlight on the Raiders’ inept pass rush going forward. Patriots 27, Raiders 24
Nick Cothrel, Staff Writer
The Raiders have put together an offense that can attack opposing teams in a multitude of ways. Whether they need to pound the rock on the ground with Josh Jacobs, throw over the middle to Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, or use their newly-acquired weapons on the outside with Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards, they have several ways to go about their offense. I don’t expect scoring points to be an issue for the Raiders against the Patriots, but what does cause concern is how their defense will stop the dual-threat ability of Cam Newton. The Raiders’ defensive front has recorded just one sack over the first two weeks, and I don’t expect things to change much against the Patriots’ quality front-five. With Bill Belichick getting the Raiders off an emotional win and a short week to follow, I give New England the edge in a close contest. Patriots 31, Raiders 28
Noah Strang, Staff Writer
The Raiders have jumped out to a 2-0 start but now face a tough test in the Patriots at Foxborough. Cam Newton has gotten off to a hot start but so has the Raiders’ offense and they’ll give the Patriots’ defense everything they can handle. I expect a big game from Josh Jacobs which will help the Raiders pull out a close one. I’m expecting the Raiders’ defense to have a tough time containing Newton but will come up with a few game-changing plays. Raiders 28, Patriots 27
Q Myers, Co-Host
The Raiders have a puncher’s chance in any game they play because of the offense. With that being said, the Patriots will do everything possible to take away what the Raiders do best. I believe the Raiders’ bread is buttered on the ground, meaning you may see the Raiders turn to a game plan similar to what you saw Monday Night against the Saints. If the Patriots take away the short passing game to Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and Henry Ruggs, I’m expecting the Raiders to burn them on the ground, while also implementing end-arounds and wide receiver screens so they can get Ruggs involved any way possible. Raiders 34, Patriots 21
Angria Trask, Staff Writer
A Monday night performance for the ages proved one thing: this is a new dawn for the Raiders. The confidence and resilience shown in a game they were picked to lose by almost everyone boosted the team to a level they haven’t seen in years. This will be their toughest contest to date and if the Raiders want to win, all cylinders will need to be clicking. If the defense, who has done a halfway decent job in containing two of the better rushers in the NFL, can keep Cam Newton in check and force him to throw, more turnovers could be on the way. Newton doesn’t have the long ball accuracy that most of the elite level quarterbacks possess, which gives the Raiders a strong chance. On offense, Derek Carr is proving that this is his team and no one can tell him otherwise. The Raiders’ offense will be a problem for the Patriots’ defense, who have no answer on their roster for the speed of Henry Ruggs III or the devastation of Darren Waller. Raiders 34, Patriots 27
Evan Groat, Staff Writer
I have had two very different feelings after each of the Raiders two wins, therefore I still am not sure what this team is. Week three in New England will be a good barometer to show us exactly where this team stands. That being said, Derek Carr is commanding the offense to a tee, but I don’t expect scoring points to be an issue on Sunday. The big question mark is on defense. Can they contain Cam Newton? He presents a unique challenge with his ability as a runner and threat in the red zone. The Patriots’ defense is good but can be had, based on what I saw in Week 2 when they were defeated in Seattle. I expect another high scoring game and in the end, the Raiders find a way to win. Raiders 31, Patriots 28
By the Numbers: Raiders & Patriots in Week 2
Las Vegas Raiders
Passing Yards: 284
Rushing Yards: 116
Total Penalties: 3
Penalty Yards: 13
Time of Possession: 36:18
New England Patriots
Passing yards: 397
Rushing yards: 67
Total Penalties: 5
Penalty Yards: 59
Time of Possession: 31:45