The pressure and weight of not being in the win column has dissipated. The Las Vegas Raiders picked up a much-needed win, and now the focus is on beating the Kansas City Chiefs, a feat that has been accomplished only once in the last eight meetings. The majority of those games were over before the second half began. To say Kansas City has been a house of horrors for the Raiders would be an understatement. The one win was in 2020, and it was one of the most complete games the Raiders have played in recent memory. Can they recapture that glory? Well, it won’t be easy. Regardless, here are three bold predictions for Monday night.
Prediction No. 1: The Raiders’ defense will rattle Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes seems to have a small stake in the Raiders organization. He has dominated the defense in every game and seems to treat the game like a scrimmage. This season, he faces a different defense with Patrick Graham in charge. In his matchup against Graham last season (when Graham ran the New York Giants defense), Mahomes had a tough game, throwing for 275, but it took 48 passes. Additionally, he was sacked twice and intercepted once.
Last season, Graham assembled an effective gameplan. As a result, he frustrated Mahomes. Well, he has to make it happen on Monday Night Football. Maxx Crosby needs to set a tone early and get to the former league MVP. If they can, they’ll rattle the Chiefs’ signal-caller.
Prediction No. 2: Hunter Renfrow bounces back
The man named Hunter Renfrow has been out with a concussion the last two games. Prior to that, he had fumbled twice en route to a loss against the Cardinals in Week 2. In that game, Renfrow was on the receiving end of a devastating hit from his ex-Clemson teammate Isaiah Simmons. While the Raiders’ offense has fared well in his absence, Renfrow’s presence has been missed. If he’s on his game and healthy, he can certainly create concerns for the Cardinals’ defense.
With Renfrow back in the lineup, the Raiders would have four legitimate pass catchers on Monday night. The Chiefs need to account for Mack Hollins after his breakout game against the Tennessee Titans, and we all know what Davante Adams brings to the table. It’s worth noting Renfrow picked up two touchdowns in the meetings last season, so why not pick up where he left off? A game of five receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown seems to be right on deck for Monday.
Prediction No. 3: Las Vegas Raiders HC Josh McDaniels lets Josh Jacobs carry the offense
In Week 4, Josh Mcdaniels did what many wanted; he fed Josh Jacobs. It was a career night for No. 28, as he carried the ball the same number of times as the digits he wears. That led to an imposing performance in which Jacobs amassed 144 yards on the ground along with two scores. Historically, he has had some really good moments against the Chiefs. However, Monday night will be a different story. Keeping Mahomes off the field will depend on how well Jacobs is fed and how quickly the run game is set up. McDaniels has now seen for himself that Jacobs is capable of carrying the team on his back.
The Chiefs’ pass defense isn’t a strength right now, which is where Jacobs comes into play. If you can run the ball effectively and make defenders commit to the box, that’ll leave your secondary open on an island. In theory, Derek Carr can pick apart the defense at that point. A 25-carry 125-yard game with another two scores is my prediction against the Raiders’ loathed rival.
*Top Photo: ESPN/Raiders