It’s tough to say that a game halfway through the season is a must-win. Nevertheless, this is about as close as you can get. The Las Vegas Raiders will take on their division rival in the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. And following the tumultuous weeks the Silver and Black have faced this year, this will be a great game to gauge how good they can be.
There is no doubt the Chiefs have struggled. And it seems the Raiders can be either very on or very off. However, it appears the distractions have passed (knock on wood), and Vegas can again focus on winning again. And there might not be a better week to get right. A struggling Patrick Mahomes, a questionable defense, and a team that seems off should be susceptible to the strengths of the Raiders. So, here are three bold predictions that could lead to a huge win for the Silver and Black in primetime.
Josh Jacobs Breaks 150 Total Yards
The running game for the Raiders has been poor, if not a liability. Nonetheless, the vast improvements of Andre James, Alex Leatherwood, and the entirety of the offensive line showed that the Raiders can still run the ball. Josh Jacobs’ explosiveness and playmaking ability were on full display against the Giants. With the emergence of running back screens, Jacobs could finally break 100 yards this season rushing and another 50 in the passing game. The former first-round pick could show off again this week, reminding Raider Nation of his value. And have you seen the Chiefs rushing defense?
Mad Maxx and Yannick Ngakoue Combine for 5 Sacks
The Chiefs’ offense hasn’t quite looked like years past this season. The Raiders defense, on the other hand, has shown out all year. With 11 sacks on the season for the pair according to ESPN, Ngakoue and Crosby have caused havoc all year. And when in trouble, Mahomes has a tendency to hold the ball, probably a second longer than he should. Not to mention, Crosby made it a point of emphasis before the 2020 season to sack the Chiefs quarterback. He succeeded in that goal, and I believe he will want to do it again. He and Ngakoue should be licking their chops at the opportunity of showing out on primetime. Like Yannick said, “the best duo to hit the scene.“
The Raiders Stomp the Chiefs
You wanted “bold predictions,” right? The Chiefs have had the Raiders’ number for years outside of a couple of outliers. But last year, they showed that they’re built to go punch for punch with the Chiefs. And with an improved defense, and an offense showing it can run the ball, the Raiders can put this game away and early. The Chiefs have averaged nine points a game over the last three games. If the Raiders and Derek Carr can clean up the mistakes they displayed in New York: the Raiders could quickly be up multiple scores. They’ll have to play clean ball to do so.
The Raiders are desperate to getÂ back on track. A season full of distractions, adversity, and turmoil, yet, the Raiders are still in a prime position to make the playoffs. Putting away a division rival is always a huge accomplishment. Putting away the division rival that has had your number for years, at home, on primetime, can change the complexion of a whole season. It might be early November, but for the Raiders, this is a must-win.
*Top Photo: L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal