How Oakland Raiders Can Get the Most out of DB T.J. Carrie in Week 7

No one envisioned Oakland Raiders defensive back T.J. Carrie progressing at this rate since breaking into the league as a seventh-round pick from Ohio in 2014. Kudos to general manager Reggie McKenzie for picking up a late-round gem who serves as an integral piece of the Raiders secondary.

Now, the Raiders must optimize Carrie’s talent to neutralize the most potent passing attack in the league. Oakland travels south within the state to square off against San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on the heels of a 43-of-65, 503-yard passing performance against the Green Bay Packers' 11th-ranked pass defense.

Carrie is an essential piece to slowing Rivers down, but in what capacity? Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t share any details on his game plan for his versatile defensive back, per San Francisco Chronicle writer Vic Tafur:

We’ll dig into a plan of action for Del Rio and highlight some key points in countering Rivers’ offensive weapons.


Secondary Matchups

Here’s the wide receiver-cornerback production comparison between the two teams, focusing on the Raiders defense:

As a cornerback, Carrie would likely match up against Keenan Allen. David Amerson would line up against Malcom Floyd. In the slot, D.J. Hayden would cover Stevie Johnson.

Neiko Thorpe falls out of the rotation as the odd man out with limited snaps in dime packages. Despite Hayden's early struggles, the Raiders aren’t wavering from featuring their former first-round pick in the secondary. In Week 5, when Carrie played cornerback, Thorpe played 26 snaps compared to Hayden's 58 snaps, per Pro Football Focus.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chargers’ leading receiver, Allen, suffered a hip injury in his last outing:

Based on the Chargers' injury report, Allen missed the first two practic...

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