Raiders Blog

3 Key Matchups For Raiders vs. Chiefs

It is finally Kansas City Chiefs’ Week. Raider Nation doesn’t need an explanation about how big the game is this week. Personally, this game is circled every year on my calendar. Being from Kansas City, it’s the biggest game of the year. But besides that, one could argue that this is the biggest game of the 2022 season for the Las Vegas Raiders. Falling to 1-4 would wipe out the small momentum built after the Denver Broncos game. Going up to 2-3, following two big AFC West wins, would get everybody talking about the Silver and Black once again.

There is talent on both sides of the ball for these two rivals. So, the matchups to discuss are honestly endless. Furthermore, there are also “offensive masterminds” on both sides, or so they say. The battle between Andy Reid and Josh McDaniels has led to classic chess matches over the years. However, the pawns this time around are quite different. And for a Raiders victory, these key matchups are big ones to follow.

Raiders Blog: Which matchups will determine the course of Monday Night Football?

Andrew Wylie & Orlando Brown vs. Maxx Crosby

Soon to be a dad, Maxx Crosby has played at an incredibly high level to start the 2022 season. According to Pro Football Reference, Crosby is tied for sixth in the league with four sacks, eight tackles for loss, seven QB hits, and has been a menace in the backfield all season long. However, the Chiefs have only given up five sacks all season. Between solid line play and Mahomes’ ability to do whatever the hell he wants, the Kansas City quarterback is hard to bring down. Being able to rush four while dropping back the other seven players is key to keeping the Chiefs’ offense in check. And Crosby has to be the first through the door of that Raiders’ attack. Hopefully, Baby Crosby will let his dad play on Monday night.

Justin Reid vs. Darren Waller

Waller has struggled to start the season, to say the least. According to PFR, Waller has dropped four passes this season, which doesn’t seem like a lot at face value. But the timing of them has proved pivotal. His ability to get open is still unmatched, but the Chiefs’ secondary looks to make it even more difficult for Waller to take it in. Odds are, Reid will be shadowing Waller throughout the game.

It should be noted that the Chiefs’ passing defense isn’t what it has been in the past. Heading into tonight’s matchup, they’re ranked 28th in passing touchdowns surrendered. What’s worse is that they’re 25th in red zone scoring defense, with 12 touchdowns counting against them. Waller has a golden opportunity to get it going by dropping a couple of touchdowns against the Chiefs. Although he has not been targeted much, he has allowed a passer rating of 105.8, six out of ten completions for 34 yards. Yet, two of those six receptions have been touchdowns. So, Waller could be a heavy target in the redzone. And Raider Nation knows the Silver and Black need all the help they can get inside the 20, too.

Raiders O-Line VS Chiefs D-Line

The Raiders finally leaned on the run in their victory against the Broncos. In this case, I believe correlation does not equal causation. However, according to PFR, the Chiefs have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL. They are also tied for the fewest rushing attempts against them this season. So, if the Raiders want to be successful against the Chiefs, they are going to need to rely on the run. More importantly, their effectiveness while running the ball will be pivotal. Keeping Mahomes on the sideline will be crucial for success today. If you see a lot of No. 15 on the field, that probably means the running game of the Raiders has been stifled.

The Raiders-Chiefs rivalry is one that is storied throughout NFL history. And there is no love lost between the two. However, as of late, it hasn’t been much of a rivalry, with KC seeming to win every time, by a lot. McDaniels’ coaching staff needs to find a way to end the rule of the Chiefs Kingdom. And a huge victory in Arrowhead on Monday would be a huge boost in their pursuit of changing the crown.

Gamble Ramble: Betting the Raiders in Week 5 Against the Chiefs

*Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/AP

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