The Oakland Raiders are flying high at 2-0 after making mincemeat out of the New York Jets in Week 2, and next will travel across the country to take on the Washington Redskins in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football during NFL Week 3.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have not looked like a serious playoff contender early this season. However, they did manage to secure a 27-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams in their own building in Week 2 and will look to take whatever momentum they gained into what projects to be an incredibly tough matchup against one of the NFL’s premier teams.
So, can Jay Gruden cook up a game plan potent enough to slow down the Raiders seemingly unstoppable offense, or will Jack Del Rio’s squad continue to dominate and leave our nation’s capital with another impressive road win?
Find out from the bold predictions below.
Michael Crabtree Scores Multiple Touchdowns For Second Consecutive Game
In Week 2, Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree torched the Jets for three TDs. Thus, the Redskins are really in a no-win situation against the Raiders, as both Amari Cooper and Crabtree can go off in any game and covering both of them adequately is next to impossible.
Expect Redskins CB Josh Norman to cover both players at times, but Cooper for the majority of the game. As a result, Carr will look to Crabtree in the red zone and link up for two TDs at a minimum.
Marshawn Lynch Electrifies
In Week 2 against the Jets, Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch tallied 45 rushing yards and scored his first TD of the season. Lynch could have done much more against the Jets, but there was no reason to push him in a blowout.
Plus, we probably wouldn’t have been treated to the epic dance party Lynch threw on the sideline had he been fed a plenitude of carries.
Washington’s run defense has been suspect at best thus far in 2017 and just gave up 5.5 yards per carry, 88 yards, and one TD to Todd Gurley, who also added 48 receiving yards and one TD through the air.
Sure, Lynch is no Todd Gurley at this point of his career, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of similarly carving the Redskins to shreds in this one behind Oakland’s stout offensive line.
Expect 100 total yards and at least one TD from Lynch.
Kirk Cousins Throws Two Interceptions
Kirk Cousins hasn’t played at an elite level thus far in 2017. However, last week against the Rams, Cousins tallied 179 passing yards and one TD, and wisely stayed away from boneheaded turnovers.
But Cousins was able to do so thanks to his running game which, for a change, carried the Redskins offense and finished with 229 yards and two TDs.
In Week 1 against the Titans, the Raiders shut down one of the NFL’s top run attacks, holding DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry to a total of 69 rushing yards at home.
Don’t let the 126 rushing yards the Raiders gave up against the Jets in Week 2 trick you into thinking that performance is indicative of what Oakland’s run defense is capable of.
The Raiders will hold Rob Kelley (assuming he plays) Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine in check, making life especially difficult for Cousins in the pass attack.
Expect Cousins to throw a minimum of two interceptions as Khalil Mack and Mario Edwards Jr. overwhelm him with pocket pressure throughout all four quarters.
Raiders Win By No Less Than 14 Points
According to Football Locks, the powers that be in Las Vegas have the Raiders favored by three points over the Redskins as we speak.
While Redskins fans are a rowdy bunch and the FedExField faithful will undoubtedly make plenty of noise on Sunday night, it’s not going to matter as the Raiders are simply too talented to struggle against a team like the Redskins that has several glaring holes on both sides of the ball.
Expect the Raiders to win by at least 14 points as the Redskins offense clearly isn’t built to keep up with the juggernaut Oakland employs this season.
[Featured Image by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images]