Week 5 of the NFL season is going to present some pretty interesting matchups. One of the more intriguing matchups for online football betting this week is when the Las Vegas Raiders face the Chicago Bears. Both teams feel like they have something to prove. The Raiders look to get back on track after losing to the Chargers, while the Bears want to get above .500 for the first time this season.
Both teams have some standout performers on offense and defense, meaning anything can happen.
One of the Raiders’ go-to weapons so far has been Darren Waller. The tight end has earned the trust of Jon Gruden and the team since arriving in 2018. So let’s look at where Darren Waller fits into the Raiders plan for Week 5.
Bears vs. Raiders
The Raiders are coming into their Week 5 matchup against the Bears at 3-1, with their only loss coming last week against the Chargers. The Bears, however, enter this game at 2-2 after beating the Detroit Lions in Week 4.
The Raiders are currently 5.5-point favorites to win this matchup. Those odds seem pretty accurate. The Bears have struggled and need to get something going soon, or their season could be a bust. In contrast, the Raiders need to win to keep pace with the rest of the AFC West.
This season, a significant reason for the Raiders’ success is the team’s passing attack, led by Derek Carr, Henry Ruggs III, and Darren Waller.
Darren Waller And the Raiders Offense
Darren Waller is a 6’6″ tight end out of GA Tech, and he is no stranger to working hard both on and off the field. Darren Waller overcame addiction and was a practice squad player for Baltimore before the Raiders signed him. He shows that grit and determination on the field every week.
Waller has 24 receptions so far this year for a total of 274 yards. That’s an average of 11.4 yards per catch, making him an excellent 3rd down and red-zone option. He only has one touchdown so far this season, but his presence on the field allows the Raiders offense to thrive even when he’s not getting in the end zone. Defenders know that they have to account for him, allowing Ruggs and other receivers to find space.
Look for Waller to be a potent part of the Raiders offense against the Bears’ defense. Waller hasn’t had a 100-yard game since Week 1. However, I expect that to change this week as the Raiders will try to exploit the middle of the field using Waller’s size.
With the Raiders having the #9 ranked offense in the league, he should continue to get more opportunities. The Raiders average 26 points per game and are a pass-heavy team, giving him more opportunities.
Get In On the Action
Do you think Darren Waller will have a strong showing in Week 5 and lead the Raiders to a victory over the Bears?
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