PFF Preview: Raiders @ Patriots, Week 3
Fresh off a drubbing at the hands of the Texans, the 0-2 Oakland Raiders have a Week 3 layover in New England on their way to a date in London for the following week. Surely to be hospitable hosts, the Patriots open their 2014 home schedule after splitting two games on the road to start the season.
Oakland’s preference to establish a run game as their offense’s foundation turned more into a must-have when the team opted to go with rookie quarterback Derek Carr from the outset. That ground game, through two weeks, has produced a total of 76 yards on 27 carries (2.8 YPC) and Raider runners have contributed less than 1.5 yards per carry after contact. Maurice Jones-Drew missed Week 2 and could remain out, once again leaving the load for Darren McFadden unless the team opts to get Latavius Murray more involved this time around. Fullback Marcel Reece has one carry on the year.
New England’s Chandler Jones posted a huge swing in overall grade points from Week 1 to Week 2 after moving back to an outside linebacker role in Jamie Collins’ absence. Jones’ off-the-charts +9.0 against the Vikings last week was built on not only an outstanding day rushing the passer (+5.2, two sacks, five hurries), but also a +3.6 grade and three stops as a run defender. With inside linebacker Jerod Mayo also enjoying a fine day (17.6 Run Stop Percentage), the Patriot run D returns home on a high and if they’re able to shunt the Oakland offense toward an aerial attack, it’ll be a Revis-and-McCourty-led secondary waiting for the rookie passer.
New England Patriots
Devin McCourty – Has seen just two passes thrown his way this season, allowing neither to be completed. He has hauled in an interception and his +2.9 overall grade ranks him sixth on the safety list after two weeks.
Tom Brady – Sitting in the 35th spot among 35 qualifying quarterbacks (min. 25 drop-backs), Brady’s Accuracy Percentage (accounting for drops, throwaways, batted passes, etc.) is just 60.8%. He finished 2013 18th at 72.4%.
Brandon LaFell – Leading the receiving corps, four of LaFell’s six targets have come on deep passes (at least 20 yards in the air) though he’s yet to connect on one and none of the four were deemed catchable balls.
Tyvon Branch and Charles Woodson – The pair of Oakland safeties are one-two at the top of the tackles list for safeties in run defense (Woodson 13, Branch 11) while inside linebackers Sio Moore and Miles Burris have combined for 12.
Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley – Combined for six total pressures (all hurries) on 83 pass-rushing snaps. Will be facing a Patriot O-line ranked last with 72.6 Pass Blocking Efficiency and 29 total pressures allowed.
James Jones – On passes his way, Carr’s passer rating is 138.0, fourth out of the 75 WRs who have seen at least eight targets. Jones’ receiving grade, though, comes in 22nd at +0.6.
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