Here are five keys to a Raiders’ victory as they try to stay alive in the AFC playoff race:
Play clean again:
Lost in a blown 14-0 lead that ended with the Kansas City Chiefs outscoring them 31-3 was the fact that the Raiders played an extremely clean game. They didn’t commit a penalty and had no turnovers in their Week 12 loss to the Chiefs as they headed to the bye. It’s rare when an NFL team loses while committing no penalties and doesn;t turning the ball over. If the Raiders can play efficiently in this game, it should pay off better.
Keep going to Davante Adams:
Star Raiders’ wide receiver Davante Adams had five catches for 73 yards against the Chiefs. Yet, he had no targets in the second half. This has been an issue all season. The Raiders have gone long stretches without looking at Adams no matter who was calling the plays or who was quarterbacking. Adams’ overall numbers are projected to be somewhat down this season. He’s a game changer. He needs to be used as often as possible.
Contain Justin Jefferson:
The Vikings’ star wide receiver is set to return since being out since Week 5 with a hamstring injury. Expect Minnesota to try to get him involved right away. He may be rusty, but Jefferson is a game changer who will be looking to make an immediate impact. The Raiders’ cornerback will be challenged in this game.
The Raiders’ defense have found a way to get turnovers the season has gone on. The Vikings have been known to commit turnovers. This has a look of being a close game, so any help the Raiders’ defense can give the offense will help.
Per NextGen stats from @zebrasports, #Raiders Josh Jacobs gained 58 more yards than expected (RYOE) on his 63-yard TD run last week and was held to -20 (RYOE) on his other 19 carries. His -73 RYOE is tied for 2nd worst in NFL this season— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 29, 2023
Run, Josh, run:
There is no doubt, Raiders’ standout running back Josh Jacobs has benefitted from the coaching change four weeks ago. He has had his only two 100-yard rushing games off the season during this stretch. But there has also been times under interim offensive coordinator Bo Hargegree that the running game has stalled. It won’t be easy as Minnesota has the fourth ranked run defense in the NFL this season as it is averaging 3.7 yards per rush. So, getting Jacobs going is critical for the Raiders’ chances in this game.