Week 13 Preview: Raiders face the Washington Football Team

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The Raiders are sitting at 6-5 with their playoff hopes still very much alive thanks to the unpredictability of the AFC. To keep the momentum going, they need to win on Sunday against a talented Washington Football Team. Let’s take a look at a couple ways they can make that happen.

Stopping Terry McLaurin

“Scary Terry” they call him. Washington Football Team WR Terry McLaurin has struck fear into defenses all over the league since he was drafted in 2019, and that is no different this year.

McLaurin has 58 receptions for 786 yards through 11 games this season. He is QB Taylor Heinicke’s favorite target, and for good reason. He’s fast, he gets open, and he averages more than 13 yards per reception, per Pro Football Reference.

Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia has a history with McLaurin, as he was on the scouting team that attended McLaurin’s games in college.

“We all fell in love with him,” Bisaccia told the media on Wednesday, referring to McLaurin. “His attitude, his effort, his ability to make big plays. He was a great special teams player coming out.”

It is well known that McLaurin may have landed with the Raiders if they did not trade away their draft pick for WR Antonio Brown. This game is a reminder of what may have been. 

The key to a Raiders win may lie in Washington’s offense. Reduce McLaurin’s production to increase the chance of winning. The Raiders will have to rely heavily on their secondary to cover McLaurin effectively. Between his success and Heinicke’s recent ability to make plays out of seemingly nothing, Las Vegas will be heavily focused on “the one that got away.”

Las Vegas’ Offensive Chemistry

Last week, the Raiders’ offense looked like a cohesive unit for the first time since before the bye week. QB Derek Carr was able to throw for over 300 yards, and WR Hunter Renfrow racked up a career high of 134 receiving yards. To add another game to the win column, the Silver and Black offense will have to have another similar game.

Las Vegas will be likely be without star tight end Darren Waller as he did not practice all week due to a knee injury. This leaves the door wide open for TE Foster Moreau and the other Raiders receivers. Carr has been criticized for not trusting his receivers enough in previous weeks. This week, there is no room for fear.

Washington’s defense has been hot, propelling the team to a three-game win streak. Despite the loss of DEs Montez Sweat and Chase Young, the Football Team’s defense hasn’t missed a beat. To finally put an end to Washington’s streak, WRs Zay Jones, Bryan Edwards, and DeSean Jackson, along with RB Josh Jacobs, all have to be ready to go to get the offense clicking on all cylinders.

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