3 Raiders to Watch on Defense in Week 1

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A year ago, the Raiders defense was a mess. Now, they’ve undergone a coordinator change and added some new faces. Monday night, they’ll get their first chance to show off against an impressive Baltimore Ravens offense. Here are three players who might stand out come Monday night.

K.J. Wright

K.J. Wright is a player I could not be more excited to watch this week. After dealing with some injuries among linebackers, the Raiders brought in Wright to play with his former defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley.

Linebacker is one of if not the most important positions on the field. It becomes even more important when the opposing offense has a talent like Lamar Jackson. Jackson runs better than most running backs do, and the linebackers are going to be the ones tracking him down most of the time.

KJ Wright is a tremendous talent, and he’s one of the best players the team has signed in years. Facing QB Lamar Jackson tomorrow night, he’s going to have to step up in his first game to make an impact on the Raiders defense in Week 1.

Tre’von Moehrig

Moehrig has not played a regular season NFL game yet in his career, but here I am touting him as a player who could have a breakout performance Monday night. He’s that good.

Last year the Raiders pass defense was awful. Part of the reason everyone was so excited about the Raiders grabbing Moehrig was because of how well-rounded he is. He has the ability to make the pass defense better just by being on the field. He’s capable of playing zone and excels in man-coverage.

We all know Lamar Jackson is going to run the ball, but one way the Raiders can win Monday is by shutting down the passing game. If the Raiders can make Lamar Jackson one-dimensional, their odds will be much better, and they’ll need Moehrig’s help for that.

At safety we will likely see him get some matchups against Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, who is no easy cover. He’s also going to get some matchups against WRs Marquise Brown or Devin Duvernay in the slot. If he can contain those players, it will help the defense as a whole.

Maxx Crosby

Raiders fans have already seen Crosby have breakout performances, but he may be in for a big one on Monday.

Crosby has put up great numbers throughout his career, and they should get even better now. The Raiders brought in Yannick Ngakoue this offseason, and his presence as the best edge rusher on the team should make things a lot easier for Crosby.

With Ngakoue on the squad, Crosby will get a lot less attention from the opposing offense. With that said, he should be able to put up even better numbers this year, and we might just see a big game from him for the Raiders defense in Week 1.

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