The Raiders lost to the Washington Football Team in Week 13 and they dropped to a record of 6-6 after Washington kicked a field goal with 42 seconds left on the clock. This week, the Las Vegas Raiders will travel to Arrowhead Stadium where they will take on a tough divisional rival in the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Raiders have won only two times in Kansas City since 2012, so getting a win to get back on playoff track is going to be pivotal. The Chiefs on the other hand are hot. After starting 3-4, they have won their last five games and are currently sitting at 8-4.
Last week, we talked about three Raiders players to keep an eye on for the Silver and Black against the Washington Football Team. Here are three players that could have huge impacts for Las Vegas against the Chiefs.
CB Trayvon Mullen Jr.
The Raiders need to get healthy in the backend of their defense. The last time the Raiders played the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes threw for over 400 yards, and that game started the Chiefs’ five-game winning streak.
Mullen Jr. has not technically been activated, however, the young star corner was designated to return from the IR last week, which means he has 21 days to be activated. He could be activated at any point now, and there is a good chance he will play for the first time since his ankle injury back in October.
“(Mullen Jr.)’s a corner that’s, first of all, he’s very sharp,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said Thursday. “He understands principles. He plays at a high speed. His physical traits, he’s got really good length… When you have a corner that has length, they trust that they can play at the line of scrimmage more.”
“He’s sharp, he’s on the details, and he really has a sense of confidence and he brings that to the group.”
Prior to his injury, Mullen gave up 11 catches on 18 targets for 161 yards. He also had one interception and one pass breakup. If Mullen is healthy, expect a big game from him for the Raiders against the Chiefs on Sunday. He is fresh, hungry, and eligible for a contract extension at the end of this season.
EDGE Malcolm Koonce
Just as last week, we’re predicting a big game from edge rusher Malcolm Koonce. The third-round pick got his first opportunity to see some action last week after DE Carl Nassib was confirmed out against Washington. Koonce really showed up against the Football Team, registering the first sack of his NFL career.
Koonce lined up over the left tackle and was able to long arm him and push him back into the quarterback. DE Clelin Ferrell came from the opposite end, and both guys wrapped up the quarterback. But it was Koonce who got to the quarterback first.
Koonce only played seven snaps for the Silver and Black. However, PFF ranked him as their 7th best overall player in Week 13. Against the Kansas City Chiefs, expect the young edge defender to play more, especially if Nassib is unable to go.
LB Divine Deablo
Divine Deablo got his first chance to see the field against Washington and boy did he deliver. Deablo played 38 snaps on Sunday and was ranked as the 11th best linebacker out of 72 according to Pro Football Focus in Week 13. He had eight tackles and three run stops, but it was the speed he played with that separated him from the group.
Deablo was visibly better than the blockers on the offensive side of the ball. He was able to key and diagnose plays while making tackles on the ball-carrier. Deablo is a Gus Bradley guy, and it’s clear that Bradley drafted him with the intention he will be a starting linebacker for this team.
The Raiders will be without Denzel Perryman on Sunday against the Chiefs, and signed Will Compton, which means if Compton isn’t ready to play, it’ll be Deablo who will see an extended amount of snaps. Look for Deablo to continue to show what he has to offer this team.
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