Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Oakland Raiders At Washington Redskins

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes the ball against the New York Jets at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins throws the ball during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    Derek Carr is clearly one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and he gets a chance to show off his skill in prime time on Sunday night. Carr has the confidence, arm strength and accuracy to get the job done in all circumstances, including on the road against a tough NFC team. Carr is completing 75.0 percent of his passes, and his efficiency is a huge advantage.
    The Redskins responded quite well in Week Two with a victory over the Los Angeles Rams after they were beaten at home in the opener by the Philadelphia Eagles. Kirk Cousins is a fine quarterback who can make accurate throw on medium- and long-range pass patterns. Once Cousins hits a couple of big throws early, the Redskins become a dangerous offensive team.
  • Offense
    The Raiders are a tougher and more effective offensive team this year because of the presence of running back Marshawn Lynch. He has converted seven first downs in the past two games while running for 121 yards, while Jalen Richard has given them a big-play threat. Michael Crabtree is coming off a three-TD performance against the Jets, and Cooper is a big-play threat.
    The Redskins have gotten surprising production from their running game to this point in the season with Rob Kelley (fractured rib) leading an attack that has 293 rushing yards and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry. While that’s not likely to continue, wide receiver Terrelle Pryor and tight end Jordan Reed (chest) are starting to find their stride and they may be very difficult to stop from this point in the season.
  • Defense
    The Raiders are a team that is in transition on defense. That’s a good thing, because they were among the most vulnerable teams in that area last year. The Raiders may give up yardage between the 20-yardlines, but they are allowing 18.0 points per game, and head coach Jack Del Rio can live with that. Khalil Mack is a playmaker who has not asserted himself yet this season.
    The Redskins could have a very difficult time handling the Raiders’ speed in this matchup. The Washington defense is nasty and hard hitting, but they may not have the quickness needed to handle the most skilled offensive teams. Inside linebacker Zach Brown is a big hitter who leads the team with 22 tackles, while pass rusher Preston Smith has 2.0 sacks.
  • Special Teams
    The Raiders have steadily become much-improved on special teams, as Richard is a solid punt returner and ex-Viking Cordarrelle Patterson is an explosive kickoff returner. Giorgio Tavecchio has made all five of his FG attempts, while Marquette King has a huge leg and is averaging 54.8 yards per punt.
    The Redskins are adequate on special teams, and while they can’t match Patterson kickoff return ability, Jamison Crowder is a strong punt returner. The combination of PK Dustin Hopkins and P Tress Way is adequate but not special.
This is a barometer game for both teams. Can the Raiders make their second trip across country in the season and play well against a tough NFC East team? Do the Redskins have the speed and athleticism to keep up with the Raiders. Who wins the QB duel between Carr and Cousins?