In the early stages of the 2021 season, the Las Vegas Raiders appear to be one of the best teams in the league. Thanks in large part to Derek Carr’s performance, the team is one of only two AFC teams without a loss after two weeks of play. The 30-year-old quarterback has turned back the clock, looking every bit like the MVP candidate he was in 2016. However, after suffering an ankle injury in the team’s 26-17 victory over Pittsburgh, it’s possible he won’t be under center for the Silver and Black’s Week 3 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
“I think he’ll be able to play,” head coach Jon Gruden said of Carr, according to Jesse Merrick of News3 Las Vegas, but added that “right now, he’s questionable.” ”
While Carr appears to have avoided a major setback, the Raiders have made a move at quarterback to help offset the injuries at the position. According to the transaction report, the team has signed journeyman quarterback Kyle Sloter to the practice squad. The move comes after backup quarterback Marcus Mariota was placed on injured reserve due to a quadriceps injury.
Sloter, 27, recently had his second workout with the New York Giants this calendar year. Despite speculation that the preseason standout could be an ideal developmental quarterback for Big Blue, the 6-foot-5-inch, 218-pound Sloter will now join Nathan Peterman as one of the team’s only two healthy quarterbacks. In Week 9, Sloter and the Raiders will face the Giants in East Rutherford.
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Daniel Jones Making Progress in Year 3
While the Raiders appear to be on the verge of a playoff run, the Giants are currently in last place in the NFC East. Not much has gone right for New York this season, as the lone winless team in the division — a far too often used statement over the past decade or so. One bright spot has been quarterback Daniel Jones’ performance, which appears to be progressing in his third season in the NFL. The former sixth-overall pick is coming off arguably his best game in a Giants uniform.
Jones Doing Damage in an Imperfect Situation
The former sixth-overall pick is coming off arguably his best game in a Giants uniform. In Week 2, Jones rushed for 95 yards on nine carries, which would have been more than 100 yards if not for a questionable holding call on a would-be Jones touchdown scamper. He completed 68 passes as a passer. 8% of his passes were completed, and he had a quarterback rating of 102.2 at the end of the game.
In two games this season, Jones has three total touchdowns and has only turned the ball over once (a costly fumble in Week 1). So far, he hasn’t thrown an interception, which is a big deal for a player who has 22 interceptions since 2019.
The most impressive aspect of Jones’ early play has been his ability to perform despite the limitations he has faced. This season was supposed to be the year Jones got the tools he needed to properly evaluate himself. And, while that may turn out to be the case in the future, it hasn’t been the case so far.
As he recovers from a hamstring injury, big-ticket free-agent signee Kenny Golladay has struggled with separation. He’s only averaging 1. According to Next Gen Stats (h/t ESPN’s Jordan Raanan), there was 52 yards of separation at the time of completion/incompletion this season. To put things in perspective, the league average is 2. The distance is 87 yards. Saquon Barkley, the running back, still doesn’t look like himself, averaging 3. Getting only 6 yards per carry and failing to reach the end zone. The offensive line, meanwhile, remains a glaring weakness plagued by injuries. Jones has been dealt a bad hand this season, thanks to Jason Garrett’s unimaginative playcalling, but he is still a promising quarterback for the Giants.
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