The New England Patriots are coming off back-to-back brutal losses after being shut out by the New Orleans Saints at home on Sunday. Now, they travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders. With multiple familiar faces on the opposing side in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leading the way in Vegas, can New England find a way to bounce back?
Following Friday’s practice, New England has ruled out multiple players. Of this bunch, wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Demario Douglas, along with offensive linemen Riley Reiff are the headliners. With four of their five offensive linemen on the injury report and being limited throughout the week, multiple defensive starters remaining on the report like Jonathan Jones, Christian Barmore, Josh Uche, and Kyle Dugger, the Patriots are on thin ice with an already poor roster.
Superstar wide receiver Davante Adams finds himself on the injury report with a shoulder injury again. Defensive end Maxx Crosby has been limited all week as he battles a knee injury, and cornerback Nate Hobbs has yet to practice this week due to an ankle injury. The rest of the injury report players have been full participants in practice on Thursday, for the most part. Overall the Raiders are significantly healthier and even at full health I’ll give them the nod for roster talent.
Can the Patriots stop Davante Adams? Their secondary is in pieces and banged up. Jakobi Meyers might even find a way to be problematic if all the attention is on stopping Adams, and Josh Jacobs up the middle in the run game is nothing to sneeze at. Las Vegas’ offensive line has been alright this season, and is significantly healthier than New England’s defensive line. I just don’t see how New England can reasonably stop the Las Vegas offense, especially with multiple key players either already being out or injured.
Maxx Crosby against anyone else on New England’s offensive line not named Trent Brown is a nightmare matchup for the Patriots. While the rest of their defensive line is meh, New England’s offensive line is not any better. Linebacker Robert Spillane is coming off the best game of his career where he came away with two interceptions and no missed tackles. Although the Raiders do not have a great secondary, they should not have any problem locking down a depleted New England wide receiver group. This game might be one of the more boring games of the weekend, but the Raiders have the edge everywhere. Even at quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo is significantly better than Mac Jones right now.
Prediction: 24-17 Raiders
Give me the Raiders winning this game. With the better team, and better coaching at this point the Las Vegas Raiders should be able to beat New England convincingly. I love Belichick, but he is not providing the coaching edge he used to. New England does not have the roster capabilities to overcome the Raiders, which is something I never thought I would say.
2023 Prediction Record: 4-1