The Belichick-led Pats travel to Vegas to face McDaniel’s Raiders. Tommy Burch gives the Patriots Week 15 preview and breaks down both teams in advance.
Patriots Week 15 Preview – McDaniels vs. Belichick
The Patriots and Bill Belichick travel to Vegas to face off against his coaching alum Josh McDaniels and the Raiders, and it’s a surprisingly good game. Although the Raiders and Pats do not have incredibly impressive records.
Although they have not shown incredible success on both sides of the ball, they have shown incredible flashes of greatness. What makes the game the most impressive is the incredible coaching expertise. Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots from 2012-2021, with many years of coaching in New England scattered in between.
Belichick is one of the best and most accomplished coaches in NFL history, sharing many of those years with McDaniels. This makes for an interesting matchup and a fun one at that.
Vegas Corrects Woes
The Raiders have been incredibly inconsistent this year, with a 5-8 record to boot. The offense is patchy, the defense is horrendous, but they still manage to win games. They are 3-1 in their last 4, with big wins over the Broncos, Seahawks, and Chargers.
However, many speculate that their success is shortlived, with a disappointing loss to a Baker Mayfield-led Rams team. Only scoring 16 against a bad defense, it was upsetting to see a loss to a quarterback only on the opposing team for two days.
Most of the starting roster consists of healthy players, but a big concern is Josh Jacob’s durability. He has been limited in practice for the entire week, which does not bode well for a Raiders team that runs behind his success.
Belichick Reigns Supreme
Regardless of the travel, the Patriots look like the favorites here. Their record does not look incredible, with a 7-6 record putting them 3rd in the AFC East. The biggest difference between the teams is the fact that the Pats are in playoff conversation while the Raiders are not.
Mac Jones has been back on top, having a couple of good games. The offensive woes of the team are the offensive playcalling, which is run by the former defensive coordinator. Their run game has been consistent year-round, with Rhamondre Stevenson dominating the backfield.
However, Stevenson does not look great to play this weekend. Almost the entire starting offense is on the injury report, with all of their top receivers sitting out as well. Stevenson, DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, and Nelson Agholor have been either limited in practice or ruled out completely. Both backs are questionable, meaning rookie Pierre Strong Jr. may have the most carries.
Regardless, the Patriots look better on both sides of the ball. The Raiders offense is nothing without Josh. and his capability of playing may be lessened. Other than Jalen Mills, the Patriots defense is completely healthy and prepared to take on the Raider Wrath. Both teams are competitive, and it could go either way, but the Pats look better and are clearly the favorites.
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