5 things to watch in Chiefs’ Week 5 game vs. Raiders

The Kansas City Chiefs are back at home for Week 5, facing the Las Vegas Raiders on “Monday Night Football” after a two-game road stretch.

The Chiefs are riding some momentum this week after a big win over the No. 1 ranked scoring defense in Tampa a week ago. The Raiders are also coming in with some momentum after winning their first game of the season in Week 4. Which team will emerge victorious in this battle of division rivals?

Here are five of the things we’ll be looking for during the course of the game:

Can Raiders slow Chiefs' offense down?

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Historically, the Raiders have struggled to slow down the Chiefs’ offense under Patrick Mahomes. His individual stats against Las Vegas are impressive as is, but the team offense stats are also quite damning for Las Vegas. Not once in Mahomes’ eight games against the Raiders has Kansas City scored fewer than 28 points. Las Vegas has held three opponents below that 28-point mark this season, but they’ve only scored more than 28 points once themselves. Consider that they’re one of 18 NFL teams to have allowed over 100 total points this season and it’s hard to imagine that they’ll be doing much in the way of slowing down the Chiefs’ offense. That said, Patrick Graham’s defense with the New York Giants did hold the Chiefs to just 20 points in November of 2021. It’ll be something worth monitoring as the game goes on.

Big day for tight ends?

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Every tight end on the active roster scored a touchdown for the Chiefs in Week 4 against the Buccaneers. It’s poised to be another big week for tight ends for Kansas City. Through four games, the Raiders have allowed 21-of-28 passes completed (75%) to tight ends for 218 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders, like many other NFL teams, have never really had an answer for Travis Kelce. He’s recorded more than 11% of his career receiving yards against Las Vegas. It’s not unreasonable to think that this could be a good day to get Jody Fortson and Noah Gray more involved too.

Turnover opportunities for Kansas City?

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The Chiefs’ defense has been much improved during the first quarter of the 2022 NFL season despite some key absences. They’ve made some clear improvements in the trenches, boasting the league’s top-ranked run defense and they also have done a great job converting pressures into sacks. One area where they’ve been lacking is the turnover department. They’ve managed just four turnovers through four games, which is good for a tie for the third-fewest in the NFL. Raiders QB Derek Carr has played the Chiefs 16 times during his NFL career and during that span, he’s averaging 1.1 interceptions thrown per game. He has six games where he’s thrown multiple interceptions, including four games where he has thrown three interceptions. If K.C. is to make up some ground in the turnover department, this game is the game to do it. 

Run defense key to victory?

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As we mentioned before, the Chiefs have the top-ranked run defense in the NFL, allowing on average just 65.8 rushing yards per game. They’ve gone against some great running backs already too, including Austin Ekeler, Jonathan Taylor and Leonard Fournette. Run defense might again be a key to victory for Kansas City. In games where Raiders RB Josh Jacobs has been held under 100 rushing yards this season, Las Vegas has lost. Make their offense one-dimensional and make Carr beat you with his arm and you’re going to have a good day.

Do young players continue to see more opportunity?

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In Week 4 against the Buccaneers, Chiefs rookies Isiah Pacheco and Skyy Moore saw career-highs in offensive snaps. Both players were impressive, making the most of their opportunities. It begs the question — will they receive more opportunities moving forward? Pacheco seemed to be a perfect complement to Clyde Edwards-Helaire last week, providing a one-two punch that was tough for the Bucs’ defense to handle. Moore was hyper-productive on his two catches and could see more work this week with JuJu Smith-Schuster listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Keep an eye on No. 10 and No. 24 when they get on the field.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire