A look inside the Giants-Raiders NFL game in Week 9 on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada:
Raiders DE Maxx Crosby vs. Giants RT Evan Neal
With his next half-sack, Crosby becomes the 13th player in NFL history with seven or more sacks in each of his first five seasons. He is relentless. Neal is expected to be available after missing the last two games with a sprained ankle.
“He’s an exceptional athlete,” Neal said of Crosby. “What strikes me most about him is his engine. He is the epitome of playing games until the final whistle. It’s definitely going to be a big challenge, but it’s a challenge that I’m up for, it’s a challenge that the rest of the offensive line is up for as well. “I look forward to it.”
If it’s not Neal, it will be Tyree Phillips, who played well for Neal.
There is so much new with the Raiders, and there must be so much new in the way the Giants operate, especially on offense. The return of Daniel Jones and one or both of his starting tackles has to help, right? And Saquon Barkley should be able to find yards against the league’s 30th-ranked run defense. This is not a heavyweight fight.
Giants 24, Raiders 19
Open book test: The good news for the Giants is that the Raiders are in transition. The bad news for the Giants is that they have no idea how interim coach Antonio Pierce will call a game and no idea how newly promoted offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree will call a play — something he has never done before. The Raiders won’t be able to change their entire offense in five days, but there will be new wrinkles and different accents. Best guess? Getting the ball to running back Josh Jacobs will be a big challenge. Jacobs, the NFL’s leading rusher in 2022, is averaging just 3.1 yards per attempt.
Not the idea: Darius Slayton has attended many football games but never experienced what happened to him in last week’s 13-10 overtime loss to the Jets. He was on the field for 74 of 75 offensive shots and was the target of a pass twice. He had one catch for minus 1 yard. It wasn’t the lack of productivity that was bothersome, but rather the lack of, well, lack of lineup and deployment at wide receiver as the Giants attempted four passes after halftime.
“It’s definitely not a receiver’s dream,” Slayton said. “There was a fair bit where everything was blocking and that’s part of the job. … When you’re 9 years old, you don’t dream of butting heads with a safety, but hey, if that’s what it takes to get the win or get the job done, you gotta do whatever you have to do. ”
Who is this? A national television audience saw Jimmy Garoppolo look terrible for the Raiders on Monday night, and benching him means Aidan O’Connell, a rookie fourth-round draft pick from Purdue, will make his second NFL start . O’Connell completed 24 of 39 for 238 yards and an interception in a 24-17 loss to the Chargers. O’Connell is something of a mystery man.
“He played a lot in the preseason and was one of the top-rated passers,” coach Brian Daboll said. “So there are enough records about him. Of course make adjustments, but evaluate the tape and get ready to play.”
Top of the heap: The last time we saw Davante Adams, he was throwing his helmet to the ground in frustration during a 26-14 loss at Detroit last week. Adams was targeted seven times and ended up with just one catch. He didn’t sign with the Raiders for that. Regardless of whether there is a new play-caller and a new quarterback, Adams will be the focal point against the Giants, meaning it will be another challenging day for rookie cornerback Deonte Banks.
“I’ve said this before, he’s one of the two best receivers in the league, and he’s not number two,” defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said of Adams. “I think this guy can be tackled by three people and he’ll still make the catch.”