With another must win game vs Las Vegas, here are my five predictions for the Chiefs on Sunday Night.
A primetime old-school rivalry game of the Chiefs vs the Raiders in Las Vegas brings a lot of pressure to both teams. The Raiders are coming off of a couple of tough weeks both on and off the field, and they are in desperate need of a win with the Chargers and the Chiefs gaining on them for the lead in the AFC West. The Chiefs played keep away from a backup QB last Sunday and need to get a solid win to build momentum as they try to get back into the postseason in 2021.
But we all know this, the Chiefs need this win as much if not more than the Raiders, and here are five bold predictions which could make the game way more entertaining.
1. Nick Bolton forces a turnover
The rookie has been spectacular all year long, making splash plays and tackles for loss every week. Bolton has been really solid in both coverage and the run game, but he has yet to force a turnover. I’m looking for him to have a big game against a pretty solid running team in Las Vegas, but I think he gets a big turnover in this game.
The Chiefs have not been able to force a lot of turnovers all season but they will need to get one to help them win the game. I’m not saying it’s the end-all-be-all but I have a sneaking suspicion Bolton will get his first turnover as a pro and it will be timely.
2. Patrick Mahomes has 3 Touchdowns in the air
You really don’t have to watch a lot of Chiefs games to know Patrick Mahomes is having an off-year, every single member of the sports media will gleefully tell you. There have been nothing but “the League has figured out Mahomes”or “Is Mahomes Washed” takes on every sports channel. But Mahomes is still playing pretty good. He still has issues with turnovers, but he is starting to look really comfortable with his offensive line.
I’m predicting this is the game where Mahomes shows out, he looks comfortable in the pocket and is able to have a vintage performance where he gets multiple touchdowns. Mahomes gets one of those huge deep balls to Tyreek for a score, a pass to Kelce, and one to Josh Gordon
3. Josh Gordon gets a touchdown
Josh Gordon has been very disappointing for the Chiefs, and it’s probably not his fault. The coaching staff has not used him well and the team isn’t calling plays for him in games to build his confidence. The Chiefs need to either use Gordon effectively or they need to move on, they have other solid options at wide receiver, with Byron Pringle really showing he is able to play in big moments.
But I think Gordon will make his case to be the second wide receiver this week vs the Raiders, the Raiders defense has been good, but the secondary is pretty banged up. This should be a prime opportunity for Gordon to get some touches in the RedZone, he’s a big target and he should be used a lot down there. I’m interested to see how the Chiefs use Gordon throughout the game, but if they could get him some touches down in the Redzone it would be good for building confidence for him.
4. Chiefs defense is able to generate 4 sacks
I know four sacks sounds like a lot, but let’s not forget the Chiefs defensive line is finally back to full strength and everyone is playing at their respective positions. It isn’t just they are playing at the right positions, they have been playing some good defensive football over the past two weeks. They have had a lot of great pressures and haven’t really generated a lot of sacks like they did last year, but they should this week.
The Raiders do not have a great offensive line and Derek Carr has had a lot of problems recently with dealing with pressure. These are perfect conditions for the Chiefs to get a lot of sacks in Las Vegas this week. I would guess Chris Jones and Melvin Ingram get the first couple of sacks because they have been the most aggressive throughout the night. I also think a defensive back and a linebacker will get the other two sacks, but I don’t want to guess with the zone blitz style of the Chiefs defense.
5. Travis Kelce has a classic game vs the Raiders
Travis Kelce has been good this season and has had some old-school performances, but not the dominant performances which he’s had the past two seasons. I think this changes tonight with a classic game in Las Vegas, it just seems like the perfect time for him to have one. The Raiders have had problems covering Kelce in the past and they did not improve their secondary.
Kelce will have plenty of space and time to get open all night and I expect him to have a huge game. I’m thinking he’ll have a vintage performance of 152 yards and 2 touchdowns against the banged-up secondary of the Las Vegas Raiders.