The Las Vegas Raiders are looking like one of football’s best teams over the early parts of the 2021 season. The team is one of just two AFC teams without a loss through two weeks of play, thanks in large part to the performance of Derek Carr. The 30-year-old signal-caller has turned back the clock, looking every bit of his 2016 MVP candidate form. However, there’s a possibility that he won’t be under center for the Silver and Black’s Week 3 bout with the Miami Dolphins after suffering an ankle injury in the team’s 26-17 victory over Pittsburgh.
“I think he’s going to be able to play,” head coach Jon Gruden said of Carr via News3 Las Vegas’ Jesse Merrick, but added that as of “right now, he’s questionable.”
While Carr looks to have escaped a serious setback, the Raiders have made a move at the position to help counteract the injuries under center. The team has signed journeyman quarterback Kyle Sloter to the practice squad, per the transaction report. The addition also comes on the heels of backup quarterback Marcus Mariota landing on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury.
Sloter, 27, recently had a workout with the New York Giants — his second over the last 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 head to Sin City where he joins Nathan Peterman as one of only two healthy quarterbacks on the roster. Sloter and the Raiders will travel to East Rutherford in Week 9 to take on the Giants.
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Daniel Jones Making Strides in Year 3
While the Raiders look poised for a playoff push, the Giants currently reside in the dwellers of the NFC East. The lone winless team in the division, not much has gone right for New York this season — a far too often used statement over the past decade or so. However, one bright spot has been the play of quarterback Daniel Jones, who looks to be taking a step forward in year three of his NFL career.
Jones Doing Damage in an Imperfect Situation
The former sixth-overall pick is coming off arguably his best game in a Giants uniform. Jones rushed for 95 yards on nine carries in Week 2 — which would have been over 100 yards had it not been for a questionable holding call on a would-be Jones touchdown scamper. As a passer, he completed 68.8% of his passes and finished the contest with a quarterback rating of 102.2.
Through two games this season, Jones has amassed three total touchdowns and turned the football over just once (a highly costly fumble in Week 1). He hasn’t tossed an interception thus far, which is huge for a player who has accounted for 22 interceptions since 2019.
The most impressive aspect of Jones’ play early on is how he’s been able to perform despite the limitations around him. This season was supposed to be the year that Jones was finally supplied with the tools to properly evaluate him. And while that may eventually prove true, it has certainly not been the case thus far.
Big-ticket free-agent signee Kenny Golladay has struggled mightily with separation as he works his way back from a hamstring injury. He’s averaged just 1.52 yards of separation at the time of completion/incompletion this season per Next Gen Stats (h/t ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). For context, the league average is 2.87 yards. Running back Saquon Barkley still doesn’t quite look like himself, averaging 3.6 yards per carry and failing to find the endzone. As for the offensive line, the unit remains a glaring weak spot riddled with injuries. Add in Jason Garrett’s non-imaginative playcalling, and Jones has been delt far from a proper hand this season, yet is still providing promise for the Giants under center.
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