The Las Vegas Raiders are set for their second primetime game in Allegiant Stadium this season. This time, it will be the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
This showdown doesn't lack intrigue or storylines, as Davante Adams will play his first game against the team that drafted him. Additionally, Daniel Carlson will have a special teams battle against his \brother Anders, the kicker for the Packers. It's high stakes for the Raiders as they try to grab their second win of the season against a team they haven't defeated since 1987.
Here are three matchups to follow between the two historic franchises.
Divine Deablo vs. Aaron Jones
Packers running back Aaron Jones rushed for 18 yards Week 4 following two games missed due to an hamstring injury. Even if he's playing through pain, Jones is still a top rusher in the NFL, and the Raiders need to focus on limiting him. Jones set a career-high in rushing yards (1,121) in 2022 with a 90.7 rushing grade from Pro Football Focus.
"Jones is elusive, fast, slippery," said Josh McDaniels. "Seems like he never runs other than full speed no matter what he's doing. Breaks a lot of tackles. Really an open-field space player that gives you a lot of problems, catches the ball out of the backfield well."
The Raiders defense will have to attack Jones with hard-hitting, fundamental tackling – something linebacker Divine Deablo excels at. Through four games, Deablo is second on the team in solo tackles (18) and tackles for loss (two). He scored at least a 79 tackling grade from Pro Football Focus in each of his first three games as well. He's poised to have his fair share of matchups with Jones at the line of scrimmage.
Davante Adams vs. Jaire Alexander
Stopping Davante Adams is not an easy task. Sometimes looks like an impossible task. But this Monday, he'll be lining up against someone that knows him pretty well.
No. 17 is hosting his former team this week – a team he still holds many receiving records for. In eight seasons in Green Bay, he compiled 669 receptions, 8,121 receiving yards and 73 touchdowns on his way to becoming an household name.
For four of those seasons, he was teammates with Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander, who the team selected with their first-round pick in 2018. Alexander has since developed into a top cornerback in the NFL, and the time spent working against Adams in practice was a benefit. The Packers cornerback has 10 career interceptions and 60 pass deflections.
"He's one of the most locked in players, as far as from the jump, that I've ever [gotten] to play with," Adams said. "Our first one-on-one in Green Bay, I came back in the locker room and he was already on his iPad looking at the tape trying to see exactly what it was. He went up to me and asked me what was it I'd seen that led me to doing what I did on the route. ... That's when I knew he was going to be a special. Not that I had nothing to do with it – I didn't create that monster, but he definitely turned into one."
Raiders defensive line vs. Jordan Love
Contain will be the key word against Packers quarterback Jordan Love this week.
Love took the reins at starting quarterback this season and has proved he can do one thing very well: extend plays. Through four games, Love has thrown for eight touchdowns and 42 first downs. He's also generated offense with his legs with two rushing touchdowns.
"[H]e's a big challenge because there's a lot of things that he can do that hurt you," McDaniels said of Love on Thursday morning. "We're going to have to obviously contain him and try to keep him from making big plays. I had a lot of respect for him coming out [of college] and you can see that he's made progress. He's more comfortable in the pocket and just developing into a good player."
The Raiders defense has improved each and every week, thanks to the play from the big boys up front. Maxx Crosby currently leads the team in sacks (four) with interior lineman Bilal Nichols, John Jenkins and Jerry Tillery also making an impact. Last week against the Chargers, their pass rush led to Pro Bowl quarterback Justin Herbert completing under 55 percent of his passes and 167 passing yards, a career low.
"He can make all the throws," Crosby said of Love. "He tries to make a lot of plays and is a guy like that reminds me [of] the new modern day quarterback. ... They're all trying to make all the plays all the time. With a guy like that, you've got to stay on point, you've got to hunt him all game and that's what we plan on doing."
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.