The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 18, and here are the x-factors to come away with the victory.
The Las Vegas Raiders will wrap up their 2022 NFL season at home in Week 18, as they play host to the Kansas City Chiefs. It is a tale of two seasons for the Raiders and Chiefs, as Las Vegas is looking to get their offseason started, and the Chiefs have a chance to be the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win.
It has been a whirlwind season for the Silver and Black, as they have been in nearly every game they have played, but go into this matchup with a 6-10 record. They have also moved away from Derek Carr at quarterback, something to keep an eye on as the offseason starts next week.
Here, we look at some X-Factors for the Raiders in this one.
Las Vegas Raiders X-Factors against the Chiefs in 2022 Week 18
Protect Jarrett Stidham
The move from Carr to Jarrett Stidham was shocking at the time, as the Raiders were still technically alive in the AFC Playoff race. In fact, going into their matchup with the San Francisco 49ers last weekend, the chips had fallen their way, with Miami losing early on, and the New York Jets losing before overtime kicked off.
Stidham and the Raiders would lose the game, but he was more than impressive, and to beat Kansas City on Saturday, they will need to give him some more protection. He had many throws under pressure, and took some big hits last weekend, something the offensive line needs to avoid in this one.
Keep the Chiefs off the field
The goal for the Silver and Black will be to run the ball with Josh Jacobs early and often, and that is for two reasons. The first is that establishing the run will help keep the ball in the Raiders’ possession and keep the high-powered offense of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines.
Then there is the fact that Jacobs is in line to rewrite the Raiders record book in terms of rushing statistics, as he is on the cusp of setting the single-season record for rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. He will have to pass a legend to do so in Marcus Allen, but if he can put together a big game, he could set both.
Avoid the big play
Kansas City comes into this game with one of the best offensive attacks in the NFL, and Patrick Mahomes can strike at any time from anywhere on the field. They have done a tremendous job keeping pace in the AFC this season despite losing All-Pro wideout Tyreek Hill, and they are likely to have their way against this Raiders defense on Saturday.
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The key for the Silver and Black will be avoiding the big play, and not allowing the quick-strike offense of Kansas City to put up points in bunches. They can go toe-for-toe on offense, but it will the defense stepping up that will key an unlikely victory in Week 18.