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Raiders-Giants: 5 things to watch

Las Vegas’ keys to victory in Week 9

Philadelphia Eagles v Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders get back to work on Sunday after their Week 8 bye when they visit the New York Giants Sunday. Kickoff is 10 a.m. PT.

Let’s look at five keys to victory for the 5-2 Raiders:

Keep the turnovers ratio going:
The Raiders were plus-four against Denver and plus-two against Philadelphia in the turnover ratio battle in the past two games. That helped in 10 and 11-point wins, respectively. One of the best ways for a bad team to beat a playoff contender is for them to win the turnover battle. As long as Las Vegas (which hasn’t lost a fumble yet this season) is careful on offense and opportunistic on defense, they should control the turnover battle and help avoid an upset in New Jersey.

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants
Daniel Jones
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Hassle Daniel Jones:
One of the reasons why Las Vegas is 5-2 is because its pass rushers are getting after the quarterback — Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue are pressure machines and have nine combined sacks already. Daniel Jones isn’t a great quarterback, but he can move a little. If the Raiders can make Jones uncomfortable, it will go a long way to averting an upset.

Start fast defensively:
The Giants are ranked 31st in the NFL in first-quarter scoring. New York is averaging just 1.9 points a game in the opening quarter. If the Raiders can keep the Giants from scoring early it should get in the home team’s collective head and set the tone from the outset. The Raiders cannot afford to let the Giants get confidence after a fast start,

Philadelphia Eagles v Las Vegas Raiders
Kenyan Drake
Photo by Sam Morris/Getty Images

Run, run, run:
The Raiders ran better against the Eagles just before the bye than they did for most of the season. That needs to continue for the sake of this game, but also for the rest of the season. Yes, Derek Carr has the Las Vegas offense humming, but finding balance between the pass and the run will only help the Raiders down the stretch and if they get into the playoffs. So, getting a strong running game is important this week.

Don’t mess around:
The theme of this post is about the Raiders doing what they can to avoid an upset. We’ve seen them in recent years against the New York Jets (at the same stadium Sunday’s game will be played) and at the Atlanta Falcons. Upsets happen all the time in the NFL. The best way for Las Vegas to avoid them is to play a clean game and be smart. If so, its superior talent will take over just like the last two games against the Broncos and the Eagles. If the Raiders play like the Raiders, they should fly home 6-2.