The final game of Week 5 should be a fascinating matchup, as it features one of the NFL's best players going up against his former team for the first time. Davante Adams won't make a return to Lambeau Field, but he and the Las Vegas Raiders will play host to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.
Adams is off to yet another terrific start to the season despite Vegas coming into this game at just 1-3 and having lost every game since the season opener. The Packers are coming off a dispiriting loss agains the division rival Detroit Lions, and looking to get back in the win column.
Can the Raiders avoid falling further into the AFC West basement, or will the Packers be able to keep pace with the NFC playoff field? We'll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here's a look at how you can watch the game.
How to watch
When the Packers have the ball
Green Bay's offense suffered a significant loss with David Bakhtiari undergoing yet another knee surgery, but did at least get a talent reinfusion with the respective returns of Christian Watson (last week), Aaron Jones (same), and Elgton Jenkins (Monday night). This should be the first time all year the the Packers have their entire skill-position group healthy and not on a snap count, and it comes against a Las Vegas defense that so far checks in 28th in FTN's DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).
After the Packers allowed Jordan Love to be sacked five times last week against the Detroit Lions, they are likely thrilled to be going up against a Raiders pass-rush unit that has been dreadful outside of the fabulous Maxx Crosby. Crosby has 27 pressures so far this season, according to TruMedia, and the entire rest of the team has just 39. His pressure rate of 19.9% so dwarfs the rest of the team's 8.9% that it is barely worth mentioning them alongside each other.
Crosby mostly rushes off the left side of the defense, which matches him up with right tackle Zach Tom, rather than fill-in left tackle Rasheed Walker. Tom has allowed just eight pressures and has yet to give up a sack this season, so the Packers would surely prefer that the Raiders keep Crosby in his usual role. Of course, there's no rule against defensive coordinator Patrick Graham simply shifting him over to the other side, which would be advisable here and almost surely change the way Green Bay's offense and protection schemes work.
The Vegas secondary has been extremely burnable so far this season, with opposing quarterbacks completing 87 of 123 passes (70.7%) for 811 yards (6.9 YPA), along with eight touchdowns against just one interception. Opponents have averaged 0.14 EPA/dropback, per Tru Media, tied for the fourth-best mark in the league. The Raiders start journeyman corner Marcus Peters, along with fourth-round rookie Jakorian Bennett (listed as questionable with multiple injuries) on the outside, and will be without slot corner Nate Hobbs (ankle).
Peters and Bennett have combined to allow 26 of 36 passes thrown in their direction to be completed for 374 yards and two scores, per Pro Football Focus. If they can keep Love well-protected despite the issues up front, the Packers should have advantages on the perimeter in the passing game. The Raiders have allowed only 29 receiving yards per game to running backs so far this season, but Jones is of course more than capable of collecting that many and more on his own.
Jones has been the far more efficient rusher than A.J. Dillon throughout their respective careers, but that has especially been the case this season. Jones missed two games with injury and was limited last week in his return, but Dillon has been stuck running in mud all year: he's averaged just 2.7 yards per carry on 44 totes, and hasn't broken a run longer than a mere 14 yards. Love is at his best when throwing off play action, and it would seem that if the Packers want those plays to be as fruitful as possible, they should be using Jones well ahead of Dillon.
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When the Raiders have the ball
Last season's First Team All-Pro running back, Josh Jacobs has sputtered to begin the season after sitting out all of training camp. Much like the aforementioned Dillon, Jacobs is averaging a mere 2.7 yards per carry so far this year, and Jacobs has yet to gain more than 10 yards on any single carry.
If there were ever a matchup to get back on track, though, it would be against the Packers. Green Bay's run defense is once again extremely vulnerable, as it has been every year under defensive coordinator Joe Barry. Green Bay checks in just 25th in run defense DVOA this year, after finishing 26th in 2021 and 31st in 2022. Packers opponents have gained 5 or more yards on 41% of their carries, according to TruMedia, the second-highest mark in the league. Green Bay ranks 26th in FTN's Adjusted Line Yards, indicating that its opponents are generating excellent push up front.
Perhaps there will be more room for Jacobs to run than there was a week ago thanks to the return of Jimmy Garoppolo, who sat out the Week 4 loss to the Chargers with a concussion. Jimmy G has established a good rhythm with both Jakobi Meyers (9-81-2 and 7-85-0 in his two games with Jimmy G) and Adams (6-66-0, 6-84-1, 13-172-2 with Garoppolo), who is playing against his former team for the first time. Adams has been just fine in Las Vegas despite no longer having Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, piling up another monster receiving line in 2022 (100-1,516-14) and getting off to a strong start to this year.
It will be interesting to see if the Packers allow star cornerback Jaire Alexander to shadow Adams, or if they play sides with him and Rasul Douglas. Douglas has much more size than Alexander, which could make him a more natural fit for the Adams matchup, but Alexander is simply better in coverage. Either way, Meyers should see a lot of Keisean Nixon in the slot, and there could be an advantage for the Raiders there.
The path for a Vegas win probably runs through Jacobs and Adams dominating, and this matchup sets up fairly well for that to happen. The issue for the Raiders is on the other side of the ball, where they have been largely unable to generate stops and have forced just one turnover and six sacks all season.
Prediction: Packers 23, Raiders 20
Green Bay is a bit healthier now than it was last week, and therefore should be able to move the ball with more consistency against a defense that has very little in the way of a pass rush outside of its one star player. The Raiders offense is set up decently to succeed as well, but the Packers have more advantages.
I like my pick for this game, but you might like R.J. White's better. He's our gambling guru over at SportsLine.com and he's been on roll with his Packers predictions, going an amazing 60-22-2 on his last 84 picks. If you want to check out White's pick, you can do that here.