Raiders vs seahawks
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New FSM Game Preview: Raiders vs Patriots – Week 15

Las Vegas Raiders (5-8) | New England Patriots (7-6)

Franchise Sports Media

 

In Week 15, the Raiders will tangle with the Patriots in what may be their only “playoff-like game” of the year. Facing mathematical postseason elimination, the Silver & Black are back at Allegiant Stadium with a glimmer of hope.

 

Raiders vs Patriots
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Yes, we’re still here. To add to a laundry list of heartbreaking defeats in 2022, the Silver & Black are returning to Vegas after losing to the Rams in L.A., despite leading for over 90% of game time. In all honesty, it’s a good thing they played last Thursday because that latest brutal loss took a couple of days to process–Especially since it seemed the Raiders were finally headed in the right direction as a team.

Regardless of the many let-downs Raider Nation has endured this season, Las Vegas is somehow still in contention as the AFC continues to cannibalize itself. Thankfully for the Silver & Black, one of the many teams in their way will be here in Sin City this week: the New England Patriots. With the Pats getting a significant win on Monday Night Football over the Cardinals, they essentially control their own postseason destiny. Of course, for New England, this is not their first trip to Vegas this year (losing to the Raiders 23-6 in PRE3).

Naturally (and perhaps more than it should), a great deal will be made about Josh McDaniels’ reunion with former mentor Bill Belichick. Be it preseason or not, the Raiders should be coming into this matchup with confidence, especially considering they had Mac Jones extremely frustrated last time around while also bullying the Pats at joint practices. However, that game was way back in August. Now with the Holidays upon us, the entire landscape has changed–We’re playing for real this time.

Let’s get right back to it. With the calendar now showing Week 15, the Raiders must buckle down and treat every game like a playoff contest. Regarding the upcoming NE-LV matchup, here’s everything I’m looking for.

 

Previous contests

 

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)
WK6: BYE
WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)

WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L)
WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L)
WK10: Colts 25 – Raiders 20 (L)
WK11: Raiders 22 – Broncos 16 (OT)/(W)
WK12: Raiders 40 – Seahawks 34 (OT)/(W)
WK13: Raiders 27 – Chargers 20 (W)
WK14: Rams 17 – Raiders 16 (L)

 

KEYS TO THE GAME:

 

Carr trouble

 

Raiders vs Patriots
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

QB Derek Carr takes his share of criticism from Raider Nation and the media alike, but after last week’s performance against the Rams, it was warranted. In his ninth year as the signal caller for the Silver & Black (and the longest-tenured player), Carr has come too far to go 11-20 with no touchdowns and two picks in pivotal primetime games.

To make things even more sour, the poor showing came on the heels of a three-game win streak for the Raiders, squandering the momentum along with the game.

With that said, Carr is a veteran in this game and has shown the ability to bounce back time and again. There’s also the fact that Carr has never defeated the Patriots in his career, so that may add a little fuel to his competitive fire. Of course, WR Hunter Renfrow and/or TE Darren Waller will likely be returning to action this week. I would not have my hopes sky-high for either of them to have a huge impact, but the reinsertion of weapons could obviously do well for Carr. Keep an eye on the practice reports later in the week.

 

Keep Jones one dimensional

Although playing better as of late, Patriots QB Mac Jones hasn’t exactly lit the scoreboard on fire in year two. Besides missing a couple of games early in the year due to injury, Jones has passed for 2,198 yards, which is down at 25th in the NFL (behind Davis Mills, Andy Dalton, and Marcus Mariota).

When reviewing Jones’ tape from this season, everything about New England’s attack seems flat or to the sidelines. Their receiving corps is respectable with the likes of Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker (concussion?), and former Raider Nelson Agholor, so you would think the scheme could show more vertical ability, but perhaps therein lies the issue: The Patriots’ lack of a prevalent offensive mind since their old one left for Vegas.

 

5+ catches for Adams every game

This one is pretty straightforward; Davante Adams needs AT LEAST five touches in every game (if not more). At this point, the All-Pro wide receiver’s ability is illuminated in every football fan’s mind and does not need constant reaffirmation. But in a critical game under the bright lights of primetime last week, the offense largely struggled. Adams having only three (albeit a couple of spectacular ones) catches was clearly a contributing factor. One of, if not the best players at his position, has to touch the ball more than three plays in a game.

 

Coaching matchup

Well, this should certainly be fun, almost as if it could make it into a Saturday Night Live skit. We had this matchup back in preseason, but as everyone knows, drinking mocktails isn’t the same as drinking cocktails. Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick will square off for real this time, and unfortunately for Raider Nation, history has not favored the side of Belichick’s disciples. With that said, McDaniels was able to defeat the Patriots once back in the day as Denver’s head coach, but that won’t matter much come Sunday in Sin City. It’s hard to go against Belichick’s ouija board-like effect against his assistants, so advantage Belichick is really the only comfortable answer.

 

INJURY REPORT:

 

Below are Thursday’s (Dec. 15) practice participation sheets for the Raiders and Patriots:

Las Vegas – G Alex Bars (DNP – Knee), DT Andrew Billings (Limited – Fibula), OL Jermaine Eluemunor (Limited – Oblique/wrist), RB Josh Jacobs (Limited – Quad/hand), G Dylan Parham (Full – Knee), LB Denzel Perryman (Limited – Hip), CB Sam Webb (Full – Illness), CB Rock Ya-Sin (DNP – Knee), DE Malcom Koonce (Full – Knee).

New England – CB Jack Jones (DNP – Knee), WR DeVante Parker (DNP – Concussion), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (DNP – Ankle), OL Isaiah Wynn (DNP – Foot), DL Christian Barmore (Limited – Knee), T Yodny Caiuste (Limited – Calf/back), LS Joe Cordona (Full – Ankle), RB Damien Harris (Limited – Thigh), WR Jakobi Meyers (DNP – Concussion), CB Jalen Mills (Limited – Groin).


WEATHER REPORT:

The Death Star (aka Allegiant Stadium) is a covered venue and climate controlled. Outside on the streets of Paradise, Nevada, Sunday’s weather will be cloudy and chilly, with light winds and a high temperature of 49 degrees.

 

In Week 15, the Raiders will return home to Allegiant Stadium for a conference clash with the New England Patriots. Pitting master against apprentice, Josh McDaniels will try to beat his old boss, Bill Belichick. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 18, at 1:05 pm PST and will be televised on Fox 5 (local radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).

 

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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Twitter & Instagram at @gps_onthemic

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