The Kansas City Chiefs are set to face off with the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday Night in Vegas. What are the keys to victory for the Chiefs and can this game be the turning point for Kansas City going forward?
The Kansas City Chiefs will face off with the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday night in Las Vegas in this week 10 matchup that is set to have important division and playoff implications. Both teams have 5 wins on the year, however, the Chiefs are in 3rd place due to having one more loss than Las Vegas. Going into week 10, this is an unusual start for KC, however, these keys to victory can rejuvenate this team heading into the last stretch and regain traction in this tough AFC West division.
Establish a run game
There have been times throughout the year that KC has gotten hot running the ball, then fades away after a good drive. This has been a focal point throughout the year that has caused multiple experts to think that KC does not have an identity. With the return of Clyde Edwards-Helaire set and returning from Injury Reserve, he has nearly averaged 5 yards per carrying which can help establish the run game going forward. Although Clyde has had issues with fumbles at the beginning of the season, I fully expect the first-round pick to come back and make a statement in this late-season push. With Darryl Williams getting more reps while Clyde has been out, we can see a two-headed monster that can cause great trouble for this Raiders unit this Sunday night.
Eliminate turnovers and play 60 minutes of clean football
In total, the Chiefs have turned over the ball 19 times, 10 being interceptions and 9 being forced fumbles. A team who had the least last year has had a horrendous start to the year and looking to change the narrative the second part of this season. The last game was one of the cleanest games KC had this year although it was a 13 point outing, we saw a unit that wanted to make sure they did not fall once again because of costly turnovers. Mahomes and the offense know they have been a letdown this year, however with it being a fixable issue this can transcend them going forward and being dominant in this matchup coming up Sunday Night.
Defense showing up and out
The past two weeks, the Chiefs defense has been one of the most dominant, and that’s with the emergence of Frank Clark finally breaking out. With the addition of Ingram, and Jones moving back inside, the pass rush has greatly improved and Clark had one of the best grades as an edge rusher last week being at 90.2. With Gay being out there more with Nick Bolton, the LB group has been swarming the ball carriers and improving the rush defense that has started out as one of the worse this season.
With Hitchens out, we have seen the development of Nick Bolton who is starting to look like a steal in the second round and with Spags giving the young rookie more time, it has been a blessing in disguise awakening a defense that had seemed to be lost this season. I fully expect this defense to be as aggressive as previous games and attempt to go after Derek Carr who is typically not very good under pressure.
This upcoming matchup between Kansas City and Las Vegas can determine how the rest of the season is set to play out. Hopefully, offensively we can see this unit once again be electric and dynamic and the defense continuing to play light out and put fear into the opposing team’s hearts.