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Raiders-Chiefs Week 12: 5 things to watch

Keys to an upset win over Kansas City

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Patrick Mahomes
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders host the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday (kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. PT). Here are keys to an upset Raiders win:

Be efficient:

The Raiders are going to have to play one of, if not, their best, most complete games of the season to win this game. The Chiefs are rock solid in all three phases of the game. The Raiders have to score often, play timely, ball-hawking defense and they have to execute well on special teams. Penalties and mistakes will not be tolerated in this game.

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Contain Travis Kelce:

Mr. Swift has been a Raiders’ killer, including a four-touchdown game last season. The Chiefs don’t have a ton of weapons other than their star tight end on offense, so not allowing him to take over the game will go a long way for Patrick Graham’s defense.

Make Mahomes make mistakes:

Of course, Chiefs’ superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes is dangerous. But he isn’t having his best season and he has forced some passes this season especially since he feels pressure because his receivers often drop too many passes as we saw in Monday’s loss to the Eagles. The Chiefs lead the NFL with 21 dropped passes, which puts big pressure on their star signal caller. If the Raiders can force Mahomes into a few mistakes, this will be a winnable game.

Break Chiefs’ Vegas magic:

The Chiefs have loved playing in Las Vegas. They are 3-0 there and have outscored the Raiders by a total of 107-58 in the meetings. There is always plenty of red in Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders have to start fast, establish their home field and finally make the Chiefs take an unhappy flight home from Vegas.

Score early:

We just said it — but it’s true. the Raiders need to score early. They need to take the Chiefs fans out of the game. They need to give their own fans hope that they can beat the Chiefs and they have let the Chiefs’ strong defense know they’re in a fight and they need to let Mahomes and Kelce know this is going to be a different experience for them.