Las Vegas Raiders

Chiefs vs. Raiders: 3 X-Factors For Patrick Graham’s Defense

There are currently eight players on the injured reserve list for the Las Vegas Raiders defense. In general, this is not excellent, but in the last week of the campaign, they play the Kansas City Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes at the helm. It doesn’t seem ideal for the defense to face the top-scoring offense in the NFL with so many injuries. Please bear with us as we discuss our final defensive X-factors of the season, because some of these players you may or may not be familiar with. Let’s examine these three Raiders defenders and how crucial they will be this week.

Raiders DE Maxx Crosby

The backbone of the Raiders’ defense is Maxx Crosby. Additionally, the 49ers offense exploded against the Raiders defense last week when they played a subdued game. Although his importance extends beyond statistics, the Raiders’ defense cannot function effectively without his numbers. Nothing changes this week either because Mahomes and company are visiting Allegiant Stadium.

According to ESPN, the Chiefs average the most passing yards per game, so Crosby’s impact will be necessary in the passing game. Even better, according to StatMuse, the Chiefs’ offensive line has allowed the third fewest sacks. The only way to rattle Mahomes is to put him under pressure, and the only reliable option for this is Crosby. Crosby is one of the few defenders who can follow Mahomes around as he moves around the edge. Although it is obvious that Crosby will be heavily relied upon to put pressure on Mahomes, keep in mind that he is also the Raiders’ best run defender. So let’s hope No. 98 can turn in one more great performance to end the season.

Raiders DB Trevon Moehrig 

Trevon Moehrig, who showed promise in his rookie season, has had a remarkably bad year. Moehrig has experienced a lot of injuries and inconsistent play this year. However, he did a good job of covering George Kittle last week against the 49ers. And trying to cover Travis Kelce this week will be an even bigger assignment for him. If your memory is a little hazy, Kelce was limited to just 25 yards in their first meeting. But he caught four touchdown passes to assist the Chiefs in pulling off a victory over the Raiders.

Although it would be ideal, the Raiders lack the defensive resources necessary to double Kelce. Because of his size and speed, Moehrig is the best defender the Raiders have to cover Kelce. The only thing Moehrig needs to do is make Kelce work for everything, especially in the red zone, because he will still get his. Let’s hope that 25 can finish the season with back-to-back strong showings.

Raiders DB Tyler Hall 

You would have laughed at us if we had told you that Tyler Hall has been arguably the Raiders’ best corner this year. But according to Pro Football Focus, Hall has allowed the lowest passer rating (53.6) when targeted in the Raiders’ secondary. If Hall performs well against the Chiefs, he’ll probably lock up a position on the roster for the following season. Hall has excelled while serving as the Raiders’ primary starting slot cornerback for several weeks. However, he will encounter a lot of speed in his opponents this week. Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Justin Watson are all fast and regularly play in the slot for the Chiefs. In 2023, be on the lookout for Hall if he answers the challenge against the Chiefs.

Three Burning Questions Ahead Of Week 18

*Top Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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