Sports

Raiders Report: January 6, 2022

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Las Vegas’ Daniel Carlson (2) kicks the game-winning field goal January 2 against the Indianapolis Colts.
AP Photo

Last Week: Raiders 23, Colts 20

There’s a new entry in the conversation for the Raiders’ best win of the year, after Las Vegas kept its playoff hopes alive by beating what was arguably the hottest team in the AFC. Against the Raiders’ defense, Indianapolis’ offense never got going to the extent it had during a 6-1 stretch coming into the game. About half of Las Vegas’ defensive starters were on the COVID-19 list to start the week but came back to help hold the Colts to less than 5 yards per play. The Raiders’ offense did just enough to secure the win, including a late 24-yard pass from Derek Carr to Hunter Renfrow that was initially called a touchdown but overturned to set up a game-winning field goal from kicker Daniel Carlson.

This Week: Chargers (9-7) at Raiders (9-7)

When: Sunday, January 9, 5:20 p.m.

Where: Allegiant Stadium

TV: NBC (Channel 3)

Radio: 920-AM, 92.3-FM

Betting line: Chargers -3, over/under 48.5

Matchup: The playoffs come early this year in the NFL, with the final game of the regular season doubling as an elimination contest. The league moved the Chargers at Raiders to the Sunday Night Football slot, because it’s the only game on the schedule with direct playoff implications. The Raiders have won three straight to get into this position, while the Chargers have lost two of three to let their stranglehold on a wild-card spot slip. LA handed Las Vegas its first loss of the season in Week 4 at SoFi Stadium, a mostly noncompetitive 28-14 victory. The Chargers’ defense hasn’t played as well late in the season, but the offense remains formidable behind prolific second-year quarterback Justin Herbert.

Raider to Watch: Edge rusher Maxx Crosby

Las Vegas must take Herbert out of his comfort zone with constant pressure. Luckily for the Raiders, they have one of the best players in the NFL at creating constant pressure this season. Crosby didn’t get a sack against the Colts, but he was in quarterback Carson Wentz’s face consistently to alter the game. Pro Football Focus grades Crosby as the second-best edge rusher in the NFL this season, behind only Cleveland’s Myles Garrett. Herbert has been one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks under pressure since arriving in the league, but Crosby can be inescapable when he’s at his best.

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