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Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders: Five opponents to watch

The Raiders made some questionable moves this offseason, but they still have plenty of talent that the Rams need to prepare for in order to get the win on Monday night.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

DE Bruce Irvin

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of Khalil Mack, the big dog of the Oakland Raiders defense is now Irvin. New defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is going to utilize the 30 year-old pass rusher to maximum effect, so look for LT Andrew Whitworth to have his hands full on the offensive line. And if QB Jared Goff has a rough night, it would make sense to assume that Bruce Irvin had something to do with it.

WR Amari Cooper

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Pencil it in: WR Amari Cooper vs. CB Marcus Peters. Both players have a lot to prove this season. Cooper needs to rebound after a lackluster season last year and Peters wants to prove that he deserves a big contract and that the Kansas City Chiefs made a big mistake in trading him. WR Jordy Nelson was brought into the Raiders organization to mentor Cooper, so secondtime first-year Head Coach Jon Gruden and his staff obviously have big plans for the star wideout — he just needs to fulfill his potential and that starts on Monday night.

CB Gareon Conley

NFL: New York Jets at Oakland Raiders Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

A first-round pick in 2017, Conley has been limited by injuries during rookie season. However, it appears that standout Ohio State product is ready to roll against the Los Angeles Rams. With elite speed, Conley will be able to chase after guys like WR Brandin Cooks and WR Robert Woods with little difficulty. It may make sense for Goff to stay away from him if it appears that he’s healthy and locked in.

DE Arden Key

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The third-round pick from LSU assumed that he was going to learn from his veteran teammates during his rookie year, but with the recent trade that send Mack to the Chicago Bears, DE Arden Key has been presented with the opportunity to provide solid run defense, which will be needed with RB Todd Gurley II on the field. The early hype on Key is that he has Aldon Smith skills with career trajectory of Danielle Hunter.

QB Derek Carr

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Carr and Cooper’s successes in the NFL are linked; their conjoined decline last year in production was obviously no coincidence. If Carr can stay healthy and play at the level his did two years ago, then Cooper will also be a threat in the open field once again. Carr’s biggest flaw is his pocket presence. That’s great news for the Rams’ defensive line which will be swarming all around him on Monday night. Carr excels when he’s not under pressure, so Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips needs to consistently bring the heat in order to keep Carr off his game.