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What the Las Vegas Raiders Must Do to Beat the Kansas City Chiefs

The Las Vegas Raiders are set to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, just the fourth trip to Sin City for the defending Super Bowl Champions. This is a big game, as the Raiders are looking to return to .500 after a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins last weekend. To get back on the winning track, they need to hammer these points home and execute the following on Sunday.


Run the Ball

Last week, the Raiders and running back Josh Jacobs struggled to run the ball, with last season's league-leading rusher going for 39 yards on 14 carries. The inability to run the ball put too much pressure on rookie quarterback Aiden O'Connell. On Sunday, the Raiders must be able to run the ball to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, and it all starts with the offensive line; they will need to play physically.


O'Connell Must Take Care of the Ball

Last week, O'Connell threw three interceptions. He can not turn the ball over like that in the future, so the Raiders must put him in better situations. Last week against the Dolphins, the play-calling from offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree was suspect at best. He called too many bubble screens that did not work, and the Raiders were not aggressive enough in situations they needed to be.


Las Vegas needs to get Hunter Renfrow and Michael Meyer more involved in helping the young quarterback, which could also loosen things up for Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers. Also, the quarterback must process his reads faster and get the ball out quicker. O’Connell tends to hold on to the ball too long. He needs to move around in the pocket to extend plays.


Slow Down Travis Kelce

Kansas City has only one consistent pass catcher: Travis Kelce. The Raiders must do everything they can to slow him down, whether it's bracket coverage or double- and triple-teaming. The Raiders' cornerbacks should be able to cover the other Kansas City receivers one-on-one. Kelce has historically killed the Raiders, and they can not let that happen on Sunday.


Pressure Patrick Mahomes

Maxx Crosby and the Raiders' defense line have to pressure Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs offense is struggling, but Mahomes is still a great quarterback, and pressure is the way to stop great quarterbacks. You cannot, under any circumstances, give Mahomes all day to pass, or he will pick your defense apart. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham must keep Mahomes thinking by mixing coverages and stunts up front. Malcolm Koonce has stepped up for the Raiders lately; he will do so again on Sunday.



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