The 1-3 Las Vegas Raiders will try to keep the good vibes going Monday night as they visit the 3-1 Kansas City Chiefs. it won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible.
Here are five keys to the game for Las Vegas:
Yes, we talk about this basically every week. But it’s still a problem and field goals simply won’t cut it against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders were 2-for-5 inside the red zone in Week 4 against the Denver Broncos. It’s been an early-season issue for the Raiders. They have scored touchdowns on 44.4 percent of their drives through four games, which is tied for the fourth worst mark in the NFL. It needs to change and quick.
Keep the Josh Jacobs’ train going:
A primary reason why the Raiders finally won a game was the play of running back Josh Jacobs. He dominated Denver’s defense all game long and it set the tone for the win. He had a career-high 144 yards rushing on 28 carries and he scored two touchdowns. The Raiders had 212 rushing yards as a team, their most in almost six years. Having ground success would be extremely helpful against the Chiefs as it would eat clock and keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands.
Make Patrick Mahomes uncomfortable:
Look, Mahomes is going to do his share of damage. That’s just a given. But the Raiders’ defense cannot let him completely take over or it could be another Chiefs’ blowout victory. The best way to keep Mahomes from taking over is to create pressure. The Raiders had three sacks of Russell Wilson last week after having just two sacks in the first three games combined. The Chiefs’ offensive line is coming off a strong game against Tampa Bay. But led by Maxx Crosby, who has four sacks, the Raiders must put the heat on Mahomes.
Get Darren Waller rolling:
Along with the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce, Waller is an elite tight end. While Kelce is expected to be a big part of the Chiefs’ attack Monday night, the Raiders have to focus on Waller as well. he hasn’t made a huge impact with just 16 catches with a per catch average of 10.9 yards per catch. Waller has just six catches for 46 yards in the past two games. With points at a premium in this game, getting Waller rolling would be a huge boost for the Raiders’ chances of winning this game.
Clean up special teams issues:
The Raiders were extremely sloppy on special teams against Denver. They gave up three punts for 66 yards, they muffed a punt and missed a PAT. Special teams miscues is far from a winning formula when it comes to trying to pull off an upset against Mahomes at Arrowhead Stadium. Thus, these issues have to be fixed immediately.