Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs might be the hottest player in the NFL right now. Over the last four weeks, he leads all running backs with 440 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, and he’s only played in three games during that timeframe!
Jacobs’ emergence has propelled the Raiders to win two out of their last three contests and is a big reason why they’re heading to New Orleans as slight favorites this Sunday, according to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Containing the Raiders’ rusher will certainly be a point of emphasis for the Saints’ defense, so I made sure to ask Tina Howell of Canal St. Chronicles if their crew is up to snuff in this week’s edition of five questions, along with a few other prevalent topics.
Question: New Orleans’ quarterback situation seems pretty unstable where it sounds like Andy Dalton had a chance to win the job and has now played his way out of it, and Jameis Winston could be back under center. Taysom Hill has even been taking some snaps at QB. So, what should Raider fans expect to see from the Saints' offense?
Answer: Honestly, I do not know. Andy has been named the starter moving forward although Jameis has been cleared to play. I am ok with this decision for today because there is no way Jameis is 100% yet. My biggest fear is that they would have tried to put him out there sooner than they should have. That is what set us back earlier this season.
Andy needs to try to stop forcing the ball downfield and throwing into poor situations. We all saw what happened last week. Giving up 14 points on picks is just not acceptable. They need to work Hill in on their game plan more. He makes magic on the field, no matter where he is lined up.
Q: It seems like rookie wide receiver Chris Olave is “ahead of schedule” in his development. What has Olave brought to the Saints’ offense and is he taking over as their no. 1 wide receiver?
A: He is definitely WR1 right now due to all the injuries at the position. But even if that were not the case, his performance in just 7 games has been incredible. He is fast, has exceptional route-running abilities and can read a defense well. What is crazy is that he will only continue to learn and get better as time goes on, so I expect big things from Olave in his future. He definitely has been one of the few bright spots in a dark season so far.
Q: I know fantasy football owners have been frustrated with Alvin Kamara’s lack of touchdowns, but he is averaging over 100 total yards per game. What’s been holding him back from putting points on the board this season?
A: Play-calling. I have been saying this all season. More often than not, I am confused with what Dennis Allen and Pete Carmichael are doing. Kamara is getting the carries and yardage just not in the red zone. Hopefully, that changes this week. You can tell that he is frustrated, for many reasons.
Q: Josh Jacobs has been on a tear and DraftKings Sportsbook is currently offering a weekly special where Jacobs rushing for over 100 yards and three touchdowns is a +1600 bet. So, what’s New Orleans’ run defense like? There’s a lot of value in that bet, would you advise taking the risk and putting some cash on the line?
A: If you asked me this last season, I would have said a definite no, but this year’s defense has been sluggish from the start. Although they have improved, I am cautiously optimistic about the run defense being able to contain Jacobs even with how he has performed the last 3 games. But never say never, some time off could have gotten this defense back on track so a safe bet would be not taking that one.
Q: Davante Adams and Marshon Lattimore have gone against each other a few times in the past. How have those matchups gone? And if Lattimore can’t play on Sunday, who fills in for him?
A: We are so beaten up at that position. Paulson Adebo was out last week along with Lattimore. They both were DNPs on Wednesday and Bradley Roby was just placed on IR. If neither Adebo nor Lattimore can play, that leaves us with just one healthy corner on the active roster, Alonte Taylor.
So, they will have to move someone from the practice squad. That will most likely be Chris Harris Jr., who played in the CB2 spot last week. (He had 6 tackles- 5 solo, 1 assist and 1 forced fumble) But he cannot be elevated from the PS again so he will have to be signed to the active roster.