Raiders vs. Chiefs. Sunday Night Football. What more could you ask for?
The 6-3 Las Vegas Raiders are set to defend their new home field against their division rival Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs won't be taking this game lightly, as they will be trying to even the score with the Silver and Black after being handed their only loss of the season from them in Arrowhead Stadium earlier this year. KC is coming off a bye week with their eyes set on revenge. While the Raiders are currently firing on all cylinders behind Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs and an improved defense, they will be fired up going into this game attempting to grab a fourth consecutive win.
Once again, you all asked a lot of great questions this week. If any of you have any more questions, find me @theleviedwards on Twitter and Instagram.
Rick Belka asks..
"Going forward, are you planning on utilizing Booker as much as you have been in the last few weeks?"
This is the last call to jump on the Devontae Booker bandwagon before it leaves the station.
On paper, Booker had to face long odds to be as heavily involved in this offense as he is. The former Denver Bronco signed with the Silver and Black in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, learned the playbook through YouTube videos and Zoom meetings and beat out a short list of running backs in training camp for the backup spot behind Josh Jacobs.
Since given the chance to be the change-of-pace back to Jacobs, he's not only provided the Raiders with the same ground-and-pound running style as Jacobs, but also has kept Jacobs fresh for key situations in the game.
During the Raiders' three-game winning streak, Booker has run for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Booker has been playing like the best backup running back in the league, and he's only getting better and more acclimated in Coach Gruden and Olson's offensive scheme.
Jump on the wagon; I'm not going to say it again.
Dorian Oatis asks…
"We've pressured the QB on many blitz packages. Will we find a way to produce pressure on Mahomes with the front four?"
As good as Patrick Mahomes is — and I mean he really is damn good — the Raiders defense proved he's still mortal back in Week 5.
While the reigning Super Bowl MVP still threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders, every yard came at a price. The defensive line was able to win the battle at the line of scrimmage and pressure Mahomes consistently throughout the game. Mahomes completed only 51 percent of his passes, was sacked three times and threw a costly interception to safety Jeff Heath that set up a Raiders score.
The Raiders defense has also been playing better since they've defeated the Chiefs. Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther recently made several adjustments to the scheme, which have so far been successful. They went from allowing nearly 33 points through their first six games to allowing a little under 15 points.
With Maxx Crosby in the midst of another career year, plus the addition of David Irving and the successful pass rushing of Carl Nassib, Patrick Mahomes could be in store for another rough game Sunday night in Allegiant Stadium.
Anthony Calderon asks…
"The last 3 games the Raiders passing hasn't broken 200 yards (I understand the Browns game was due to weather). Do you see Carr passing more against KC?"
The Silver and Black offense has gravitated more toward the run lately, but it's actually been a point of pride for this offense. Derek Carr has repeatedly mentioned how important it is to win in different ways from week to week, and the offense has been able to have great success behind dominant run blocking. But Carr has still been playing great football despite his passing attempts dipping the past couple of games.
No. 4 could be in store for a shootout with the Chiefs, as their high-octane offense can put up points against the best of them. Carr's best statistical game he's had this season was against the Chiefs Week 5 in Arrowhead, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns.
The Raiders will definitely continue to try to control the pace of the game and win the time of possession with their dynamic run attack. That said, Carr has proven that he can win games with his arm and has been responsible for 19 fourth-quarter comebacks since being drafted in 2014.
So if the game is on the line, I'd expect the ball to be in DC's hands.
Jesse River asks…
"Why are the Raiders always playing KC after their bye week 4 out of last 5 years?"
I bet it's just a coincidence, Jesse.