Generally, there aren’t quite a lot of “must-win” video games in Week 3 for each groups. However with two 0-2 groups who have been within the postseason remaining yr and feature aspirations of having again there this season, Sunday would possibly as neatly be a playoff recreation between the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans.
The Raiders will stroll into the matchup as 2.5-point favorites at the highway, by the use of DraftKings Sportsbook, in spite of struggling an embarrassing letdown loss to the Cardinals remaining week. Granted, the Titans were given humiliated on Monday Evening Soccer too, simply in a rather other model because the Expenses ran them out of the city. In different phrases, each groups are in determined want of a bounce-back efficiency.
The chances are in Las Vegas’ choose, but when they’ll salvage and switch their season round, they’re going to want giant performances from the blokes beneath.
Whilst he hasn’t been filling up the field ranking with a number of eye-popping stats — six overall tackles, no TFL or sacks — Billings has quietly put in combination a cast begin to the marketing campaign, particularly towards the run.
He ranks 6th amongst defensive tackles with an 82.7 PFF run protection grade and has registered 3 defensive stops towards the run. For point of view, his grade is over 9 issues upper than Aaron Donald’s, and he’s logged another forestall than Leonard Williams, two premier gamers on the place.
That’s precisely what Billings used to be introduced in to do in this protection — consume up house within the center and be and rock towards the run — and video games like this Sunday’s are the place he will also be probably the most impactful.
In the event you haven’t picked up on it by way of now, the Titans’ offense runs via (actually) Derrick Henry. I don’t suppose you want me to waste your time with a number of stats that display how nice he’s and the way necessary it’ll be for the Raiders to prevent the run, which Billings will play a large think about.
Carving the way in which for Henry is middle Ben Jones who’s slightly of an “beneath the radar” run blocker. Jones ranked 7th at his place with a 79.9 run-blocking grade remaining season, and he’s graded out within the 70s in 9 of his ten profession seasons. The lone outlier used to be 2014 when he earned a 67.6 mark, and he’s been within the mid-70s for roughly part of his profession.
That units up for a dogfight within the trenches and one that may be the largest key towards the Raiders’ defensive good fortune.
Denzel Perryman/Divine Deablo
I do know I simply stated I gained’t percentage any Henry stats, however I do need to move one alongside to spotlight simply how necessary it’s that Las Vegas will get him at the floor this weekend. Ultimate season, 728 of his 937 overall speeding yards got here after touch, and he ranked tied for 6th in yards upon getting hit in spite of simplest taking part in in 8 video games. The 5 working backs forward of him performed in no less than 11 regular-season contests, and Antonio Gibson, who he used to be tied with, had about 40 extra carries and about 100 extra overall speeding yards.
In different phrases, Henry can smash a protection’s again after first touch so the Raiders’ tackling shape should be on level, particularly from the linebacker corps.
With Denzel Perryman lacking the Cardinals recreation and his standing for this Sunday in query, I’ll pass with the cop-out of list him and Deablo as one X-factor this week. And although each play, they’ll each wish to convey their “A-games”.
Deablo used to be without a doubt energetic towards the run remaining week with 5 solo tackles and 3 assists on such performs, however a large number of the ones got here well beyond the road of scrimmage. He ended with a 4.8 common intensity of take on that ranked thirty eighth amongst linebackers in Week two, and he simplest logged one defensive forestall for a run protection grade of 58.2. Granted, the second-year professional earned a 74.9 grade within the season opener and used to be a standout as a run defender remaining yr, so this Sunday is extra about him shaking off a sub-par efficiency.
As for Perryman, he’s simplest performed in 9 snaps towards the run this season however used to be a take on system in 2021 who simplest ignored on 3.8 p.c of his makes an attempt, tied for the eighth-lowest charge on the place. That can be put to the check in Nashville with Henry at the different facet of the road of scrimmage.
Inner Offensive line
Every other place the place I want I may unmarried one man out, but it surely’s going to take a full-fledged effort as defensive take on Jeffery Simmons has change into a celebrity for the Titans.
Ultimate season, he racked up 8.5 sacks and had the fifth-most pressures amongst inner defenders with 62. Obviously, he is aware of the way to get to the quarterback, and even if he doesn’t get there, he can nonetheless affect the passing recreation with 5 batted passes a yr in the past — second-most amongst DTs — and 4 in 2020. It’s been extra of the similar this season with two sacks, 8 pressures and one BP via two video games.
Towards the run, Simmons ranked tied for 7th with 32 run stops and had a median intensity of take on of one.4 yards a yr in the past, and he’s sitting at two and -1.5 yards for the present marketing campaign. A part of the issue is he by no means remains in a single spot, registering 40 snaps at proper defensive take on and 38 at the left this season. So, all 3 of the Raiders’ inner offensive linemen will wish to be at their absolute best, and the group’s intensity can be examined once more if Andre James is out.
Dylan Parham has been Las Vegas’ stalwart at the inside of to this point, surrendering simply two pressures and incomes a rather above-average 62.7 run-blocking grade. Granted, the latter is held down by way of an unsightly 51.2 efficiency towards the Cardinals.
Lester Cotton has additionally been crushed simply two times in move coverage truly struggled within the floor recreation with a 43.8 mark. In the meantime, John Simpon has been “Secure Eddy” with simply 3 pressures yielded and the absolute best run-blocking grade on Las Vegas’ line at 65.1.
The ones 3 haven’t confronted a defensive take on of Simmons’ caliber but, so Sunday can be their first giant check of the season. Expectantly, they’re all up for the duty as a result of if there’s one vulnerable hyperlink, I’ll mean you can wager the place Tennessee traces up their absolute best defensive participant.
Waller is in any case getting paid just like the premier tight finish that he’s and has regarded sharp within the group’s first two video games. He’s stuck 10 of 14 objectives for 129 yards and a landing whilst managing to keep away from any drops, which was a subject matter remaining season as he had six with decreased taking part in time because of accidents. His potency is again to standard too, as his common yards in keeping with path run is up from 1.70 in 2021 to two.15 in 2022, and the latter ranks 5th amongst tight ends.
However Waller will face a difficult check this week because the Titans have two safeties who mixed make $24 million in keeping with yr and feature without a doubt earned their stay.
Kevin Byard is coming off a yr the place he used to be very good in protection, forcing 8 incompletions and intercepting 5 passes, each have been tied for the second-most amongst safeties. He ended up main the location workforce with an elite 90.9 protection grade and has advanced a name as one of the most absolute best within the league, and Amani Hooker wasn’t too some distance at the back of him with an 86.9 mark in protection in 2021. That ranked 5th on the place and Hooker had six mixed move breakups and interceptions.
The excellent news for the Silver and Black is Byard has struggled to this point this season. He’s allowed 8 completions on 8 objectives for 82 yards and a ranking whilst his protection grade has dropped to 48.1. Then again, it’s been extra of the similar from Hooker, who has surrendered a 42.9 finishing touch share and only a 26.8 passer score when focused, posting a 79.8 grade.
The purpose is that Tennessee could have choices on the subject of overlaying Waller, so it’s going to be as much as him to determine the way to become independent from from a couple of other top-tier protection defenders.
Renfrow did undergo a concussion on the finish of remaining week’s recreation so his standing is one thing to watch over the week, but when he does play, this Sunday can be all about redemption after a pricey fumble sealed the Raiders’ destiny towards the Cardinals.
Ball safety will no doubt be peak of thoughts for him transferring ahead, however the slot system’s potency has additionally been down this season. He’s these days recording the bottom common yards in keeping with path run of his profession — 1.14 in comparison to 1.87, 1.75 and a couple of.09 in years one via 3 respectively. And his common yards in keeping with goal is down by way of 3.1 issues from 2021.
A part of this is having Davante Adams and a wholesome Waller within the lineup, however this will have to be Renfrow’s week to dance again.
The Titans have a large number of younger skill with their outdoor corners, Roger McCreary and Caleb Farley, however they don’t have an excellent approach to duvet the slot. If Kristian Fulton is out for every other week, that’ll push Ugo Amadi to the highest of the intensity chart at nickel.
Midway via coaching camp, Amadi used to be traded from the Seahawks to the Eagles as he used to be most probably going to get reduce from Seattle. Lower than two weeks later, Philadelphia despatched him to Tennessee since he almost certainly wasn’t going to make their roster both. So, Renfrow may well be going towards somebody who used to be at the bubble for 2 different groups within the league.
Fulton essentially traces up at the outdoor so although he does play, Renfrow can be guarded by way of both a rookie taking part in in his 3rd NFL recreation or a second-year participant suiting up for the 6th time. Both manner, he will have to be capable of get again on target.