The Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals are two playoff teams from last season that lost in Week 1. Neither team can afford to lose in Week 2 as they are both in two of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Out of the two teams, the Cardinals looked much worse in Week 1 in a 44-21 blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raiders put up a good fight against the Los Angeles Chargers but lost 24-19. One concerning thing from the game was the lack of production from Chandler Jones. The four-time Pro Bowler joined Las Vegas after spending six years with the Cardinals. He didn’t get a sack in his debut with the Raiders and didn’t bring much pressure but will be looking to change that in Week 2.
Quarterback Kyler Murray has spent the majority of his career not having to worry about Jones and how he’ll be his opponent for the first time. Murray had a chance to talk about the matchup.
“It’ll be weird,” Murray said, via AZCardinals.com. “Different seeing him in a new uniform. But at the end of the day, he’s got one job, I’ve got one job.”
Murray was a big fan of Jones but is hoping that they don’t have much contact during the game.
“It’s going to be fun. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever been around. I’m going to try my best to avoid him. I don’t plan on seeing too much of him.”
D.J. Humphries Talks Lining up Against Jones
Outside of Murray, the other player who will have to worry about Jones the most is left tackle D.J. Humphries. Maxx Crosby usually takes on the right tackle so Jones will be battling Humphries for most of the game. He’s interested to see how the matchup goes after battling the pass rusher in practice for most of his career.
“Every year he comes up with something new and something he is trying,” Humphries said after practice Wednesday. “Every offseason I’m trying and testing something new. He’ll definitely have something new I don’t know about and vice versa. It’ll be an interesting scenario for us.”
Humphries is a very good offensive lineman and was named to the Pro Bowl last year. He credits Jones for his development through the years.
“I would be wrong to not credit Chandler with a lot of my growth and success over the last six years,” Humphries said. “I know how much he helped me grow as a player and build confidence in even knowing I can go against pretty much any rusher in this league because I was going against him every day.”
Can Jones Bounce Back Against His Former Team?
The Raiders aren’t paying Jones $17 million a year for his veteran leadership. The team needs him to be a dominant pass rusher. He had a tough task in Week 1 as he lined up against Rashan Slater, who is proving to be arguably the best young left tackle in the NFL right now.
Humphries is good but he’s not at the same level as Slater. Plus, Justin Herbert is much harder to sack than Murray. Even if Jones doesn’t get a sack, he needs to bring consistent pressure in this game. Odds are that he’ll have a very good game against his former team.