Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season is already upon us, and for the Las Vegas Raiders, that means a huge matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Much like the 2021 season, the Raiders are going to need a strong finish to the regular season schedule to make the playoffs, something that seems far off to even think about going into this matchup.
As we look towards the Week 14 matchup with the Vikings, we dive into a few reasonable expectations for the Silver and Black on Sunday.
Reasonable expectations for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2023 Week 14
Raiders defense should notch a turnover or two against Joshua Dobbs
It has been a tough go for Joshua Dobbs as of late, and for as great as he had played for the Minnesota Vikings after landing with the team, he has been just as bad across his last two games. In fact, he is coming off a four-interception game against the Chicago Bears the last time out, something the Raiders defense needs to take advantage of in this one.
Dobbs is a journeyman quarterback who caught lightning in a bottle earlier this season, but he looks more like a No. 3 quarterback in recent weeks. The Raiders defense is expected to have Crosby ready to go for Sunday, and that could make for a very long day for Dobbs in the pocket.
Josh Jacobs could run wild for the Raiders over Minnesota
One player to keep an eye on this Sunday is Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs in this matchup. The Vikings defense has been solid against the run all season long outside of a handful of games, but Jacobs is at the point in the season where defenses are wearing down, and he is getting stronger.
I would expect the Raiders to lean heavily on Jacobs down the stretch if they would like to make the playoffs, and the Vikings will be the first chance we get to see that. He is going to have his opportunities early and often against Minnesota, and I like him to run wild against what has been an outstanding Vikings run defense.
Expect a close outcome for the Raiders in Week 14
This is a game between two teams that are fighting for their playoff lives, so they are going to leave everything on the field this Sunday. The Vikings are road favorites in this game, but as we have seen from them the last few weeks, they are a beatable team that has holes on both sides of the ball.
For the Raiders, this game will be all about coming out of the gates strong, and not letting off the gas after halftime. That has been an issue under Antonio Pierce, and one he is aware of, so look for four strong quarters from both teams in this one.