The Oakland Raiders have started the season in impressive fashion, winning on the road against an impressive Tennessee Titans team, before scoring for fun against a woeful New York Giants team in their home opener, and the Bovada NFL bookies have them as a 3.5 point favorite against the Redskins on Sunday night,
The Raiders were on my radar at the start of the season after only an injury to Derek Carr prevented them from making a splash in the playoffs last season. With a fully fit Carr, an extra year under the belt of star young receiver Amari Cooper and a rejuvenated Marshawn Lynch it is easy to see why so many fancy the Raiders to make a big push this season.
The Washington Redskins lost at home to Philadelphia on opening weekend, although they quickly put that to the back of their minds with a great road win last weekend against the LA Rams. After giving Quarterback Kirk Cousins a new deal in the summer they will be expecting more from him this season, although it is the run game that has led them so far, with Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine all looking impressive.
Onto this game at the weekend and although Washington are at home, I make Oakland favourites to win the game, although not by much. With so many different offensive players on the team, Derek Carr has never had it so good with the Raiders and I think he is going to reap the rewards this season. Any defence is going to struggle with the Raiders, but the Redskins have already shown vulnerability in that area, something they need to shore up quickly before the Raiders come into town.
While Kirk Cousins does have a very good arm, he doesn’t have anywhere near the same amount of weapons, or the quality that Derek Carr has. Tight end Jordan Reed has been his favourite target so far which comes as no surprise, but even with Reed to aim for, I still can’t see the Redskins having enough to really cause problems for the Raiders defence.
In what looks like being a very close game on Sunday night, I am going to side with the Raiders and I think they will take their season record to 3-0 after this game. Derek Carr looks to be in great form and with so many offensive weapons, I just don’t think Washington have the defence to stop him.