Game Preview: Raiders vs Chiefs

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The Oakland Raiders head to the Kansas City to take on the Chiefs Sunday in a AFC West battle.

The Raiders are 6-5 and in second place in the AFC West but had a hiccup last week with a loss to the New York Jets. The defeat in Gotham City made this week’s game much different than what Raider Nation thought it could’ve been. If the Silver and Black would have won this week’s game could have been for first place in the AFC West and the right to control their playoff destiny, but instead, they are back to fighting for their playoff aspirations lives.

TQ's monday morning beef
Photo Credit: AP Seth Wenig

The Kansas City Chiefs are 7-4 and are looking to distance themselves from the rest of the division. Head Coach Andy Reid has the Chiefs playing better after going through a rough patch, one that happened to be when last season’s MVP Patrick Mahomes was out with a knee injury.

The Raiders hit the road for the second time in two weeks and look to try and upset their bitter rival, the heavily favored Chiefs.

For the Raiders to win, they need to do the following two things to leave Kansas City with more than a belly full of BBQ.   

 

Feed Josh Jacobs early and often.

Raiders vs Chiefs
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs is nearing 1,000 yards on the season and is the heartbeat of the Raiders offense. Jacobs leads the Raiders and all rookies in rushing yards and touchdowns, so his importance to the Raiders offense goes without saying. But the weather is getting colder, and the Raiders offensive line has been playing well for most of the season, and they should be able to open up holes for the budding star to run through. If Head Coach Jon Gruden wants his offense to run its full gambit of plays, he needs to rely on Jacobs early and often in both the run and the passing game.

Jacobs is also looking to bounce back from a poor game against the Jets, where he had just ten rushes for 34 yards and was held out of the endzone. The young running back is going to have some extra piss and vinegar this week coming off that performance, but also because he knows how much this game means to the Raiders. Jacobs knows that the Riders and Chiefs rivalry is one of the NFL’s best and wants to continue to carve his name out in the records books and Raiders history.

 

The Raiders need to get offensive and stay that way.

Raiders vs Chiefs
Photo Credit: USA Today

Quarterback Derek Carr has to continue to play the way he has the past few weeks. He has made smart decisions with the ball and taken shots down the field when he has had the opportunity. The Raiders need to feed running back Josh Jacobs early and run play action out of it. If ran correctly, this should help wide receiver Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren Waller get open downfield.

Carr also has to be “on time” with his throws. Gruden’s offense is a rhythm offense, and Carr needs to get the ball out early and fast to his targets. The Raiders will be without Hunter Renfrow for a few weeks due to a rib injury he suffered against the Jets, so Williams, Trevor Davis, and the rest of the receivers need to step-up this week for the Silver and Black.   

 

Know It Is Going To Be A Shootout

Both team’s defenses are average at best. While the Raiders have been playing better, especially getting to the quarterback, Mahomes makes a lot of plays running around the pocket, which could help the Raiders since he isn’t as mobile after his knee injury. The Raiders did a decent job the first time they played (aside from the second quarter) and gave him fits. I expect a lot of the same, with the exception of the Raiders playing better defense this time of the year.

The Chiefs will do everything they can to get to Carr and take Jacobs out of the game. They also haven’t been great against the pass, and Gruden knows this. I think the Raiders will take some shots downfield early but mostly rely on the quick and play-action passing game. Either way, I expect both teams will score a lot today.

Come watch the Raiders at Al’s Garage in Summerlin!

 

Las Vegas! If you want another great place to watch the game, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games. Al’s has “Happy Hour” starting at 9 AM and ending at 9 PM. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. The game begins at 1:25 PM PST on Sunday, December 1st.

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