The Raiders go into their second primetime game of the year ready to face off against the Green Bay Packers on the Monday night stage.
Before the game gets underway, we caught up with Packers senior writer Wes Hodkiewicz to get an insider's look at the opposing team.
Q: How has Jordan Love been settling in as the starter?
WH: It's gone well. It was a long wait for Love to move into the captain's chair, but the 24-year-old quarterback put his three seasons of learning from Aaron Rodgers to good use. You can see Rodgers' influence on Love's playstyle a bit, too, whether it's play-action fakes or reading the line of scrimmage pre-snap. As a pure prospect, Love has a strong arm and ironclad resolve in the pocket. I think working with Tom Clements, who returned to Green Bay last year, has also benefited Love. He faced more pressure last week against Detroit but still kept his eyes downfield in search of an open receiver. Love also has been exceptional in the red zone thus far. Off the field, Love went above and beyond this offseason to lead this young football team. For a young QB following in the footsteps of a future Hall of Famer, Love has shown promise in his first month as QB1.
Q: Green Bay has been marred by injuries to multiple starters since the season began, where does the current health of the team stand?
WH: Healthier, though left tackle David Bakhtiari won't be back anytime soon. The five-time All-Pro was placed on injured reserve last week due to his recurring knee issue. Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee) and starting tight end Luke Musgrave (concussion) both are practicing this week, while running back Aaron Jones and receiver Christian Watson seem to have moved past their respective hamstring injuries. As far as the current 53, only guard Jon Runyan (ankle), linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (ankle) and safety Rudy Ford (oblique) didn't practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Q: How will the Packers prepare for a receiver they know well in Davante Adams?
WH: All hands on deck. I talked about this in our website Q&A this week ... Adams is Thanos. He's inevitable. It doesn't matter how much attention defensive coordinators pay to him – Tae will find a way to create separation. So, the Packers have a decision to make there while also respecting the threat Josh Jacobs presents out of the backfield. All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander has missed the past two games with a back issue but is practicing again and told reporters on Thursday he "can't miss" this matchup with Adams. If Alexander can go, he's a true shutdown corner who can travel with any receiver in the NFL. Selfishly, I'm hoping both can go in this one. Ja spent his first four summers defending Adams in training camp and those battles helped elevate both players.
Q: Who is an under-the-radar player (or players) you expect to make an impact on Monday night?
WH: Nose tackle T.J. Slaton (and really any Packers defensive lineman not named Kenny Clark). Green Bay has had some issues against the run during the first month of the season, allowing 200 yards on two occasions. I get Jacobs is off to a slow start, but he's still the type of back who can wear down a defense over four quarters. Establishing good run defense is bigger than just your front, but those linemen help set the tone. The Packers need a good showing from Slaton and their young D-line to contain Jacobs and allow the secondary to keep tabs on Adams, Jakobi Meyers and the rest of the Raiders' perimeter weapons.
Q: What Raiders-Packers matchup are you most looking forward to this week?
WH: It's gotta be the Carlson Bowl for me. Both Daniel and Anders are off to great starts, with the younger Carlson currently 5-for-5 on his field-goal attempts and 9-for-9 on extra points. Anders, a rookie sixth-round pick, looks up to Daniel a great deal and has been inspired by his sibling's All-Pro career. I know this is going to be a huge moment for the Carlson family and also Rich Bisaccia, who has had a role in the development of both Daniel and Anders. It's an opportunity brothers dream about when they're playing football in the backyard as kids. Their older brother, Nils, is flying out from Sweden, as well. So, this will be the first time all three Carlson brothers and their parents will be together since Anders' wedding 1½ years ago.
View the best photos from practice as the Silver and Black prepare for their Week 5 matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Allegiant Stadium.