The Las Vegas Raiders head to the Motor City in Week 8 to take on the Detroit Lions in a Monday Night Football tilt inside Ford Field. The Lions have been one of the better teams in the NFC this season, getting out to a 5-2 record, but were blasted their last time out, a 38-6 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
For Las Vegas, they will be trying to get back on the winning track, as a two-game run was ended in a bad way by the Chicago Bears in Week 7. The team had a passionate meeting this past week, but with the season on the brink, and the trade deadline tomorrow, there could be major changes 24 hours from now.
With that said, here are some key matchups the Raiders must win on Monday night against the Lions.
Raiders at Lions 2023 Week 8: Matchups the Raiders must win on Monday night
Raiders OTs vs Aidan Hutchinson
The Raiders have one of the elite edge rushers in the AFC in Maxx Crosby, but the Lions will counter that with one of the best edge rushers in the NFC in Aidan Hutchinson. In order for the Raiders to win on Monday, they have to keep Hutchinson out of the backfield, especially with how happy Jimmy Garoppolo's feet have been in the pocket.
Hutchinson can make life very difficult for the Raiders on Monday, and will be a tall task for either Kolton Miller or Jermaine Eluemunor. If Hutchinson has his way against the Raiders, Garoppolo and this offense could be in for a long night.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs Himself
The Raiders will get Garoppolo back in this one, but what can we really expect from him in this game. Garoppolo has missed two games already this season due to injuries, but when he has been on the field, he has not looked like the winning quarterback the Raiders were expecting to get.
Garoppolo has been forcing the football downfield, setting his receivers up for big hits, and when he is under pressure, he has looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. The Raiders were hoping that Garoppolo could bring a winning presence to the team this season, but he has been below average at best, a trend that must change on Monday night.
Josh Jacobs vs the Lions run defense
One of the big surprises this season has been the play of the Raiders rushing attack, as Josh Jacobs led the NFL in rushing last season, but has yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game in 2023. He is averaging less than three yards per carry this season, and does not have a single game where he averaged four yards.
Detroit's run defense was overwhelmed by the Ravens rushing attack last week, as they averaged over five yards per carry. The Raiders cannot beat the Lions if they can not establish the run game, so dominating in the trenches and getting Jacobs going has to be priority No. 1 on Monday night.