The New York Giants (2-6) and Las Vegas Raiders (3-5) will square off on Sunday afternoon in a Week 9 matchup at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Giants opened the week as 3-point road underdogs but that spread has dipped to +1.5 points as of this writing.
With this matchup on tap, Giants Wire took the opportunity to hold a Q&A with Raiders Wire managing editor Marcus Mosher.
Mosher: I think it was the fact that the Raiders only scored seven points on offense in Week 8. In the first eight games of the season, the offense never scored more than 19 points in any single game. And Jimmy Garoppolo has continued to look worse by the week. There was just no rhythm at all on offense and I think a few older Raiders players got into the ear of Mark Davis and told him it was time for a change.
I expect the Raiders to play much more relaxed. The change in the locker room from Josh McDaniels to Antonio Pierce has been dramatic. Players are having fun again and are much more loose. I think that will play out on the field as they are now playing for a coach they actually like.
Aidan O’Connell is a traditional drop-back quarterback who is accurate and gets the ball out on time. He’s got a good, but not great arm and he isn’t afraid to stand tall in the pocket and make throws. However, he can’t move. He is a statue in the pocket and he took seven sacks in his first start. I think the offense will look better with him under center, but he is still pretty green.
It helps that the Raiders can’t really run the ball. After Josh Jacobs led the NFL in rushing yards last season, he’s averaged 3.2 yards per carry this season. The key to stopping Jacobs is to rally to the football. He is one of the NFL’s best running backs at creating yards after contact, so getting more defenders around him will help. He doesn’t have elite speed, so forcing him to bounce stuff outside is usually a pretty good recipe when it comes to slowing down Jacobs.
I think this game is going to be downright ugly. The Raiders have a new offensive coordinator who has never called plays before at any level. They are ushering in a new quarterback. And they have a new head coach. All on a short week. This is going to be a sloppy, ugly game for the Raiders. I’ll take the Giants, 16-13, in what might be the worst game of the week.