1. Something great is about to happen
Nate Hobbs' successful season has continued to get better game by game.
The rookie cornerback was the first defensive back to get a sack this season for the Raiders during last Sunday's game against the Giants. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has utilized the fifth-round pick all around the field this season from nickel and outside corner to blitzing in certain situations. He'll be tested this Sunday against the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill.
"Well, we always say something good is about to happen. [Hobbs] always tells me, 'Something great is about to happen.' So, he is that guy," Bradley said Thursday. "He's very dynamic. He's a guy that can make things happen. He knows how to blitz. He's got a great feel for it. So, he's always somebody that we are aware of his skillset and what he can do."
2. Derek Carr is back under bright lights
The Chiefs have brought out the very best of Derek Carr in recent memory. In the two games between the teams from last season, Carr threw for 622 yards, six touchdowns and a 123.2 quarterback rating average.
This will give Carr another opportunity to have a good showing in a primetime matchup against his divisional rival. The Raiders have won every single game this season in which Carr has thrown for over 300 passing yards.
3. One game away
Quinton Jefferson has his own kind of revenge to get against the Kansas City Chiefs, separate than just being AFC West rivals with them.
Last season when Jefferson was with the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs defeated them 38-24 in the AFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl LV. Jefferson definitely hasn't forgotten.
"I'm excited to play them again," Jefferson said with a huge grin. "They did stop me, I was one game away last year. ... They're a great team. I have much respect for them and I know it's going to be a dog fight, especially now that I'm here with the Raiders and it's a division game. It's going to be even more of a dog fight. And I'm excited for the opportunity to go out there and play again and hopefully it's a different outcome this time."
4. First of many for Raider Nation
This game will be a historic one of sorts for the Raiders. This game against the Chiefs will mark their first divisional game at Allegiant Stadium with fans in attendance. Interim Head Coach Rich Bisaccia is hopeful the crowd will play a part in receiving different results than last year's matchup in Las Vegas, where the Raiders suffered a last-minute 35-31 defeat to the Chiefs.
"It's a tremendous venue to play football in," Bisaccia said of Allegiant Stadium. "Now we are playing a division game and we're excited that hopefully it will be loud and a pro crowd for Raider Nation. Anytime you can play at home, we are trying to make our house something special to play in."
5. Maxx Crosby's evolving into a superstar
Maxx Crosby has been on a tear this season, and all signs point to that continuing this Sunday.
So far, Crosby has had a borderline Defensive Player of the Year caliber season. He has the second highest PFF grade among edge rushers (91.5) and five sacks. Gus Bradley believes the great play of the defensive line as a whole has elevated Crosby's play to another level.
"I think [defensive line coach Rod] Marinelli always talks about four equals one and they got to work together," said Bradley. "If somebody is getting some sacks, it's probably because a lot of the other guys are doing some things right too. I know on a couple of those (sacks) Maxx did a good job on his side turning him back in and giving Yannick a chance. So, he really believes that."
In Crosby's four games against the Chiefs since being drafted in 2019, he's racked up 11 total tackles, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and a sack.
6. Can Travis Kelce be contained?
Travis Kelce is an amazing talent in the NFL, there's no denying that.
The All-Pro tight end is having another remarkable season with Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback. Kelce has recorded 54 catches, 628 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season, averaging nearly 70 receiving yards per game.
Despite the great numbers Kelce is putting up – and has put up in the past against the Raiders – this Silver and Black secondary may have an answer for Kelce. Through the Raiders' first eight games, they've given up an average of five catches and nearly 55 receiving yards to opposing starting tight ends. That includes four games where they've held tight ends to under four catches and 40 yards. While Kelce is once again playing at an elite level, this is something that people should take note of.
Head inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as the Silver and Black prepare for Week 10 against the Kansas City Chiefs.