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5 things to know about Raiders-Bengals game

Keys to victory for Las Vegas on Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders must bounce back after losing two straight games Sunday at home when they host the Cincinnati Bengals at Allegiant Stadium.

Here are five keys to victory for the 5-4 Raiders against the 5-4 Bengals.

Derek Carr needs to bounce back:
The Raiders’ quarterback hasn’t been good during this two-game losing streak. Now, it’s not like he’s been the sole reason of the Raiders’ offensive malaise. The entire offense is sinking. But he is certainly a key part of the woes and as the leader of the team, it is on him to find the way out of the funk. Carr, who has committed four turnovers in the past two games, must set the tone early for this offense against the Bengals.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Darren Waller
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Get Waller and Jacobs going:
The surest way to get the Las Vegas offense (which is averaging 31 points a game in their five wins and 13 points a game in their four defeats) back on track is to get Carr’s two best options going. Jacobs had just 16 yards on seven carries against a bad Kansas City run defense and he is averaging just 3.7 yards a carry this season. Waller had just four catches for 24 yards against the Chiefs. With the Raiders’ passing game trying to find its way in the post-Henry Ruggs III days, Waller must have a huge impact for the Raiders to win. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson and Carr must find a way to reignite Waller against the Bengals.

Tackle better:
The Raiders’ defense had its worst game under first-season defensive coordinator in Week 10 against the Chiefs. In the first eight games, the Raiders were allowing an average of 23.6 points a game and the most it allowed in a game was 28 points. Then, the Kansas City explosion occurred. There were a lot of reasons why the Raiders’ defense flailed against Kansas City. But the crux of the issue was poor tackling. It had been a big problem in previous seasons, but it improved this season. Bradley has to make sure this was a one-game hiccup and not the start of a troubling trend.

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Contain Chase:
Cincinnati rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has 44 catches for 835 yards with seven touchdown receptions and is a top contender for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. After seeing the Chiefs’ success in the air in Week 10, expect Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow to test the Raiders’ often with Chase, the No. 5 overall draft pick in April. If Chase takes over this game, it could be another long day at Allegiant Stadium.

Be better on third down on both sides of the ball:
Among the many problems for Las Vegas against the Chiefs was a lack of production on third down by both the offense and defense. The Raiders were just one-for-nine on third down offensively and it has been an issue for much of the season.

Defensively, the Raiders allowed the Chiefs to convert on third down 9 of 15 times. In week 9 against the Giants, the Raiders allowed three third-and-longs in the second half that contributed to the upset loss. These are lapses in fundamentals on each side of the ball that will continue to hurt the team unless they are quickly addressed.