Las Vegas Raiders vs. New England Patriots Preview and Predictions 09-27-2020

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Cam Newton knows there's no sense in ever trying to fill Tom Brady's legendary shoes. The former NFL MVP plans to focus on making an impact on the Patriots as they enter Sunday's home game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Newton has completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 552 yards but is making even more noise as a runner with 122 yards and four touchdowns through his first two games for New England (1-1). He's well ahead of his MVP pace of 2015.

The four rushing scores are the most in NFL history for a quarterback through two games and perhaps the total could have been one higher if Newton wasn't stopped at the 2-yard line on the final play of Sunday night's 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Newton, the former Carolina Panthers star, is still exerting himself as a leader with his new team, but quickly took responsibility for the decisive play not working.

"We just have to execute. And I could have bounced it," Newton said of the play. "I just have to do better. I just have to do better here at the end. We put ourselves in a position to win and when you do that, you just have to finish and we didn't do that."

Overall, there are few complaints about Newton as he assimilates his style into the existing and well-established Patriot Way.

New England coach Bill Belichick feels Newton is quickly picking up the game plan and adding just the right amount of spice.

"Each week's a new challenge, but Cam understands what we want to do," Belichick said. "He has a good grasp. He's got a lot of playing experience and is a very instinctive player, and when things come up in the game, he's very quick to identify the differences from what we've prepared for and or what the team has shown in the past based on the last two weeks. But, we'll continue to work together on that."

Raiders coach Jon Gruden has Las Vegas at 2-0 after taking down the Saints on Monday night. He fears Newton's combination of strength and size, as well as his prowess throwing the ball.

"I haven't seen many guys walk through my doors that look like Cam," Gruden said. "I call him 'Slam.' Slam Newton. That was the nickname. He's a power forward playing quarterback."

Newton, who has one touchdown pass and one interception, also has quickly built a strong rapport with veteran receiver Julian Edelman, who had eight receptions for a career-high 179 yards against Seattle. Overall, Edelman has 13 receptions for 236 yards.

The Raiders scored 34 points in both of their wins -- by four over the Carolina Panthers and an impressive 10-point margin in Monday night's win over New Orleans in their first game in Las Vegas.

Quarterback Derek Carr has completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 521 yards and four touchdowns without being intercepted. He takes aim at a New England defense torched for five touchdown passes by Russell Wilson last week.

Carr is looking for a strong rebound season after hearing chatter in the offseason that the Raiders would be better off moving on from him despite the fact he passed for more than 4,000 yards in each of the past two seasons.

"This organization has stuck behind me through some hard times," Carr said. "Through some times when our team struggled, there's no doubt about it, but when you can get on the other side of things and be 2-0 as the Las Vegas Raiders, that's a pretty cool thing."

The Raiders have emerging star Josh Jacobs (181 rushing, three touchdowns) in the backfield and tight end Darren Waller (18 receptions) off to a strong start for an offense that ranks fourth in scoring, which was a problem area -- specifically in the red zone -- in 2019.

The defense could use improvement and is allowing 27 points and 406 yards per game. Las Vegas has just one sack and the failure to pressure quarterbacks could be exploited by a dynamic player like Newton.

Las Vegas is hurting on the offensive line after placing guard Richie Incognito (Achilles) on injured reserve on Wednesday. Others missing practice were Jacobs (hip), Waller (knee), offensive tackle Trent Brown (calf), guard/tackle Denzelle Good (thumb/illness), linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) and defensive end Carl Nassib (illness).

New England center David Andrews (hand) was the only player to miss Wednesday's practice due to injury. Running back James White was also absent as he deals with a family tragedy. His father was killed and his mother injured in an auto accident in Florida on Sunday.

--Field Level Media

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Last Injuries

New England Patriots

  • Josh Uche

    day-to-day | I-R

    Uche has been ticketed for the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list with an ankle injury. The team has two weeks to take him off the IR.

  • Jermaine Eluemunor

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Eluemunor has been ticketed for the injured reserve list with an ankle injury, and there is no timetable for recovery.

  • Justin Herron

    day-to-day | questionable

    Herron has an ankle injury, leaving his availability against the Bills in Week 8 unknown.

  • Joe Thuney

    day-to-day | questionable

    Thuney sustained and ankle injury in the last outing. It has yet to be determined if he will be active against the Bills in Week 8.

  • Kyle Dugger

    day-to-day | questionable

    Dugger was absent from the lineup in the last contest due to an ankle injury, and it is uncertain if he will line up versus the Bills in Week 8.

  • Beau Allen

    day-to-day | I-R

    Allen has been shifted to the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list with an undefined injury. It is uncertain is he will be activated in time for Week 8 versus the Bills.

  • James White

    Ques Sun | questionable

    White is tending to an unspecified ailment, and it is up in the air if he will be on the field against the 49er son Sunday.

  • Julian Edelman

    Prob Sun | probable

    Edelman is likely to suit up against the 49ers on Sunday despite a knee injury.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Keisean Nixon

    day-to-day | questionable

    Nixon sat out the previous game with a groin injury, and it is unknown if he will play against the Browns in Week 8.

  • Marcus Mariota

    day-to-day | questionable

    Mariota has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after healing from a strained pectoral muscle, and it is unknown if he will make his season debut Week 8 versus the Browns.

  • Sam Young

    day-to-day | questionable

    Young was forced from the last game with a knee injury. It has yet to be established if he will suit up against the Browns in Week 8.

  • Bryan Edwards

    day-to-day | questionable

    Edwards has sat out the last three games due to a right ankle sprain, and it is unclear if he will take the field Week 8 versus the Browns.

  • Johnathan Abram

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Abram has been shifted to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unclear when he will be activated.

  • Trent Brown

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Brown has been added to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is uncertain how long it will take for the symptoms to subside.

  • Derek Carr

    day-to-day | questionable

    Carr sustained an unspecified injury in the previous contest, and it is undetermined if he will dress against the Browns in Week 8.

  • Carl Nassib

    Prob Sun | probable

    Nassib sustained a broken big toe, but he is expected to face the Buccaneers on Sunday.