Matchups – K.J. Hamler vs. the Raiders secondary
The Raiders secondary is underwhelming, to say the least. Though they made a big play at the end of last week’s game against the Chargers, this group is extremely vulnerable.
From starting cornerback Trevon Mullen to safety Erik Harris, the majority of the Raiders defense gets picked on to the tune of an opposing quarterback passer rating over 100.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden saw what Jerry Jeudy did last week, and should game plan his defense accordingly. Thus, K.J. Hamler must eat.
Hamler provides the Broncos offense with a significant advantage in speed. None of the players in the Raiders secondary can match him step for step, especially in the slot.
If offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur wants to keep the chains moving early, he will dial up quick routes to Hamler in the middle of the field to get him the ball in space.
Don’t forget, Hamler can beat you in a variety of ways. From outside, the slot or the backfield.
If Hamler gets going early, the Raiders have no matchup on their roster that can handle him. Then, the defense has to adjust which opens the field up for Jeudy, Noah Fant, and Tim Patrick.
Hamler’s ability to get open early also provides Drew Lock with some easy throws that will get the young quarterback in rhythm, hopefully leading to quality scoring drives sooner rather than later.
If the Broncos and Johnson can stop Jacobs and get the passing game going with Hamler early and often, look for a win over the hated Raiders this Sunday.