All indications have been the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots would be in a shootout Sunday, with Derek Carr having to outduel Tom Brady. There are signs the Raiders are waking up on offense, but, of course, the Raiders defense is the Raiders defense. And it won’t get better with No. 1 cornerback David Amerson unlikely to play.
Also on that final injury report, the Patriots have some key injuries on their offense. Right tackle Marcus Cannon and starting receiver Chris Hogan are out with injuries. Center David Andrews came down with and illness and will also be out. That at least gives the Raiders a chance to slow the Patriots down in Mexico.
The Patriots are the king of the “next man up”. But injuries to their C and RT will make it easier for the Raiders to get to Brady.
As great as Brady is, he’s one of those guys that you can beat if you can hit him. The Patriots’ starting offensive line isn’t great as it is, and with two starters out, it has to be shaky.
As a rookie in 2014, Khalil Mack almost single-handedly held the Patriots to only 16 points in a 16-9 loss in New England, finishing second on the team with 8 tackles with a tackle for loss and getting a hit on Brady.
This is Mack’s second crack at the Brady and the Patriots. He’s going in with a better supporting cast than 2014 and due for a big game. He’ll be lined up on the RT a good portion of the time, facing a backup.
The loss of Andrews at center could open things up for the likes of Mario Edwards Jr., Eddie Vanderdoes, and Justin Ellis.
Add to that the fact that the Patriots statistically have the worst defense in the NFL so the Raiders offense should have a big game too. Not many give the Raiders a chance in this one but those injuries to the Patriots’ offensive line could big for the Raiders.