The Las Vegas Raiders host the Washington Football Team at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. PT kickoff.
Let’s look at five keys to victory for the 6-5 Raiders to stay in the AFC playoff chase.
Another big game from DeSean Jackson:
In his third game with the Raiders, the veteran wide receiver made a huge impact. Jackson — who turned 35 on Wednesday — had three catches for 102 yards, including a touchdown in a Week 12 overtime win at the Dallas Cowboys. His speed gives Las Vegas’ offense something it was missing during a three-game losing streak after the release of Henry Ruggs III. Getting Jackson to occasionally stretch the field is big for this offense.
Get home mojo back:
If the Raiders don’t figure out a way to win at home consistently, they will miss out on the playoffs again. The Raiders are 5-9 at Allegiant Stadium and 3-3 this season. However, they have lost their past two home games (to the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals in Weeks 10 and 11) be a combined score of 73-27. That’s embarrassing. The Raiders need to start fast, get the home fans into the game and register a home W.
Get Foster Moreau involved:
It is not known if star Las Vegas tight end Darren Waller will be able to play Sunday because of a knee injury. That will likely be determined later in the week. However, even if Waller can play some against Washington, Moreau will likely have a big role. The Raiders need to get him the ball. When targeted, the third-year backup usually produces. The tight end position is a big part of this offense and it has to be in this game as well.
Keep them out of end zone:
The Raiders’ defense has been allowing way too points recently. In the past two games, Las Vegas allowed 106 points. That’s an average of 35 points. The Raiders were lucky to win one of those games giving up that many points. Washington doesn’t have an overly explosive offense. So that can help, but the point parade must stop.
Win turnovers battle:
During the Raiders’ recent three-game losing streak, they were sloppy and lost way too many turnover. Las Vegas played a clean turnover game against Dallas and won. The Raiders are a more talented team than Washington. But if Derek Carr and the offense cough up the ball, this game could go the other way in a a similar fashion as the Week 9 loss to the New York Giants did.