Washington brings three-game winning streak into Las Vegas
The Washington football team has a good feeling after a strong stretch. The Las Vegas Raiders could be on the upswing as well.
One of these teams is bound to keep the momentum when they meet Sunday in Las Vegas.
“When you win a game, you have to be careful with the win masking your problems,” Raiders coach Rich Bisaccia said. “Sometimes the tendency is to kind of skim over the things you didn’t do well.”
The Raiders (6-5) snapped a three-game skid by defeating the Dallas Cowboys in overtime on Thanksgiving.
Washington (5-6) holds a three-game winning streak.
“It’s awesome winning now,” Washington safety Landon Collins said.
The team’s most recent victory came Monday night at home against Seattle, so it’s a short gap between games, plus travel, for Washington.
This looks like how coach Ron Rivera thought the Washington team could evolve.
“I think we’re coming together and being the kind of team that we envisioned,” Rivera said. “If we can continue to work and play the way we’ve played, we’d give ourselves a chance.”
The Raiders have the second-best passing offense in the league with 296.5 yards per game. Washington rates 30th in passing defense, giving up 266.6 yards per game.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has thrown for about 800 more yards than Taylor Heinicke, but his 17 touchdown throws are just one more than Heinicke.
Carr could reach a milestone Sunday. He needs 22 completions to reach 300 in each of his first eight NFL seasons, something only Peyton Manning has accomplished.
Despite Carr’s production, there has been a theme when the Raiders have had success.
“What you’ve seen from us in the games we’ve won here, we’ve played well in the run game and it has opened up our play-action packages,” Bisaccia said.
The ability to hit big plays is something the Raiders tend to count on. That worked in defeating Dallas.
“I’m so excited that we executed at such a high level,” Carr said.
Carr could be without one of his main weapons as tight end Darren Waller left the Thanksgiving game with a knee injury. Waller has 53 catches and two touchdowns this year.
With six games left, the Raiders have optimism, so that makes the visit from Washington even bigger.
“We’re playing meaningful games,” Carr said. “We’re right there. Not where we want to be, but we’re right there with a chance. We know what’s at stake. We know what we have to do.”
Said Bisaccia: “We’ve played well enough at times to be right in the thick of it.”
That’s all the Washington team is aiming for as well.
“All we can focus on is winning the next game,” Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said.
Washington was in the market for a new kicker after Joey Slye exited Monday’s game with a hamstring injury. Reports have surfaced that Brian Johnson will become the team’s fourth kicker of the season.
Washington is 0-3 so far against opponents in the AFC West. This will be Washington’s final game against an opponent outside of the NFC East.
“If we take care of our business, we give ourselves a chance,” Rivera said.
Washington will play in Las Vegas for the first time. The Raiders lead the series between the franchises by an 7-6 margin, although Washington has won the last three meetings.
–Field Level Media