7 Raiders players to watch in Sunday’s game against the Patriots


The Raiders have some familiar faces on their roster in addition to having one of the league’s top receivers and defensive players.

Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers have enjoyed their first season together. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

As the Patriots are in desperate need of a win, they’ll go up against a Raiders team with a mixed bag of talent and plenty of familiar faces.

Former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is still the head coach of the Raiders following a disappointing first season with the team. Their quarterback and one of their leading receivers are both former Patriots, too.

They also have one of the game’s top receivers and defensive players on the roster, helping the team stay afloat with a 2-3 record to this point.

Here are seven Raiders players to watch when the Patriots take them on in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Jimmy Garoppolo

The former Patriots quarterback isn’t off to the greatest start to his Raiders career.

Las Vegas has gone 2-2 in the four games Garoppolo’s started. However, he’s also thrown a league-high seven interceptions this season despite missing the Raiders’ game against the Chargers in Week 4. He’s also completed 68.8 percent of his passes this season for 917 yards on 7.3 yards per attempt and six touchdowns. 

Garoppolo could be able to fix his turnover luck on Sunday, though. He goes up against a Patriots secondary that has recorded one interception so far this season, tied for last in the league. New England’s defense is also tied for last in turnovers, forcing just two so far this season as it hasn’t recorded a turnover in its last three games. 

Josh Jacobs

Last season’s leading rusher has looked anything but that through the first five games of the season.

Jacobs has rushed for 235 yards on a measly 2.9 yards per carry so far this season, a big reason why the Raiders rank 30th in yards per carry (3.1) so far this season. Of course, it should be noted that Jacobs missed the entirety of training camp and the preseason as he held out to get a new contract, which he eventually got.

But so far, Jacobs is a far cry from last year’s version of himself. That’s obviously a good thing for the Patriots, who allowed Jacobs to rush for 93 yards on 4.2 yards per carry in last season’s matchup between the two teams. 

While New England’s rush defense ranks in the middle of the pack so far this season (108 rushing yards per game, 16th in the NFL), it’s done well in terms of efficiency. The Patriots are eighth in yards per carry allowed, letting opposing rushers go for 3.3 yards per carry this season. 

Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers

The Raiders’ top two receivers have arguably been one of the best receiving tandems in the NFL so far this season.

Adams having this strong of a season is nothing new. He’s been one of the league’s best receivers over the last few seasons, making first-team All-Pro in each of the last three years. He has 100 receptions for 1,516 yards and a league-best 14 touchdowns in his first season with the Raiders last year. 

But Adams didn’t have too strong of a performance against the Patriots last season in the midst of his dominant 2022. He only had four receptions on nine targets for 28 yards in the Week 15 matchup between the two teams. However, Marcus Jones was the primary defender on Adams in last season’s matchup and the second-year corner is on injured reserve still due to a shoulder injury.

Adams has 37 receptions for 442 yards and three touchdowns in his first season catching passes from Garoppolo.

Meyers, meanwhile, has performed in a similar role that Patriots fans were used to seeing him playing during his four seasons in New England. Reunited with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the slot receiver is on pace to have the best season of his career. He has 25 receptions for 274 yards and three touchdowns in four games, missing Week 2 due to a concussion. He’s currently on pace for 85 receptions, 932 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns, something the Patriots certainly could use.

Adams and Meyers will have another good opportunity to do damage in Week 6. They go up against a depleted Patriots’ secondary. In addition to Marcus Jones’s injury, Jack Jones and Christian Gonzalez are also on injured reserve, meaning New England is without three of its top four corners entering the season. Jonathan Jones is still dealing with an ankle injury, which kept him out for three games before returning last week. Kyle Dugger was also limited in practice this week due to a foot injury.

Maxx Crosby

The 26-year-old defensive end has been a do-it-all force for the Raiders again this season.

Crosby has followed up his career-best 12.5-sack season in 2022 with five sacks in the first five games of 2023, recording a sack in all but one game so far. 

What might be a more impressive stat though is his number of pressures. Crosby has 34 pressures, posting nearly seven per game, which is the second-best mark in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Crosby rounds out his game by also being one of the league’s best run stoppers along the defensive line. He has 28 combined tackles this season and is credited with a team-best 15 run stops, via PFF. He also has a 40 percent run-stop win rate, which is the second-best mark among all edge rushers in the league.

That’s obviously a major problem for the Patriots to go up against as their offense has done nothing well the last couple of weeks. Their offensive line has ranked among the worst in the NFL in several metrics so far this season. They’re 30th in pass-block win rate (44 percent) and have had issues at right tackle all season long, where Crosby typically lines up opposite of.

Marcus Peters

Like the Patriots, the Raiders are also dealing with injuries in their secondary.

Fourth-round rookie Jakorian Bennett, who has started four games at corner this season, is questionable after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury. Starting slot corner Nate Hobbs is out due to an ankle injury.

That leaves Peters as the only regular Raiders starting corner that’s certain to play on Sunday. The veteran corner made a name for himself early in his nine-year career by being one of the league’s best interception-getters.

Peters isn’t that same corner. He only had one interception in 13 games with the Ravens last season and has yet to record an interception so far in 2023. But he’s mostly kept opposing receivers in check this season, allowing just one reception for longer than 25 yards (a 72-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Pickett to Calvin Austin III). 

Tre’Von Moehrig

The third-year safety has been active for the Raiders so far this season. 

Moehrig has 26 combined tackles (21 solo) with a sack and an interception.

After allowing a touchdown in each of the first two games, Moehrig’s solid in pass coverage over the last few weeks. He wasn’t targeted at all in coverage in Week 3 against the Steelers and has given up just two receptions on four targets for nine yards over the last two weeks against the Chargers and Packers. 

Moehrig’s lone interception so far this season came during that stretch, getting a pass that Justin Herbert sailed over his intended target. He’s doubled as a both a strong and free safety this season, showing his versatility. 

Moehrig recorded four total tackles and gave up a reception for five yards on two targets in last season’s game against the Patriots.