The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 18 and here are some realistic expectations for them in the AFC West matchup.
What can we say about the 2022 Las Vegas Raiders other than this is a team that has missed so many opportunities to be playing past this Saturday. Instead, Week 18 will be the final go-around in Josh McDaniels’s first season as head coach, and this season has been a roller coaster ride for sure.
Las Vegas has blown leads, they have lost in overtime, and all the while, they were not technically eliminated from the playoffs until last week. Even there, the teams that needed to lose for them to stay alive did in fact lose, but they were unable to take care of their own business at home.
Saturday, they look to at least make an impact in the playoff race, keeping division rival Kansas City from locking up the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Expectations for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022 Week 18
In Week 17, we saw some great play from Jarrett Stidham, who was making his first NFL start against a top-ranked defense. Stidham showed incredible moxie, staying in the pocket and delivering the ball downfield en-route to a 350 yard performance with three touchdowns.
However, he also had a crucial interception in overtime, and for a young quarterback, that could come back to haunt you. I believe Stidham plays well at times against Kansas City, but he is going to struggle to put together the kind of effort he did against San Francisco.
Josh Jacobs sets a record
Going into the matchup against the Chiefs, running back Josh Jacobs is on the brink of setting some new Raiders records. In fact, with a big game against the division rival, he can become the team’s single-season rushing champion, as well as set the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single campaign as well.
Jacobs has been the main cog in this Raiders offense all season long, and you can be sure McDaniels is going to try and reward him for that on Saturday. There is also his pending contract discussions, so watch for No. 28 to have a monster game in Week 18.
Maxx Crosby gets to Patrick Mahomes twice
The Las Vegas Raiders have one of the best defensive players in the league in Maxx Crosby, and since joining the team in 2019, he has become a face of the franchise. On Saturday, I like Crosby to finish out his 2022 season with a bang, getting after Patrick Mahomes all game long, and sacking him twice.
The Las Vegas Raiders benched Derek Carr with two games left in the season, and after nine years, his career in the Silver and Black is over.
For the season, Crosby has 11.5 sacks, and he could have way more than that if he was not held on nearly every single play. The 11.5 sacks is a career-high for him, but on Saturday, I like that number to get closer to 14.