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Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook
|Washington Football Team
|Las Vegas Raiders
Washington is on a roll so take them to cover the spread against this up and down, banged up Vegas team.
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The lead story on the Washington Football Team is their three-game winning streak led by backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who is working around an injured receiving corps, but thankfully Washington has a run game ranked tenth in the league that features playmaking dual-threat back Antonio Gibson who can hurt you big both on the ground and through the air.
It was arguably one of the best (and most-watched) NFL games of the season thus far, the Las Vegas Raiders beating the Dallas Cowboys in overtime on Thanksgiving Day, 36-33, but this 6-5 Las Vegas franchise is still reeling from all sorts of off the field drama while remaining on the playoff wildcard bubble thanks to quarterback Derek Carr’s steady leadership and play.
These two cross-conference rivals have faced each other 14 other times (including 1 postseason game), with the Las Vegas Raiders winning 8 of those games and the Washington Football Team winning 6 of the games.
Washington’s backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke took over the starting role early this season once starter Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a season-ending hip injury, and since then the team has adjusted to him under center and are on a three-game win streak that keeps them NFL relevant.
Heinicke’s numbers are gradually getting better, with 244 completions as the starting QB for 2,613 yards and 16 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, the fill-in hurler completing an impressive 67.2 percent of his passes in the 11 games he’s played.
This week, two of Heinicke’s receivers are listed as questionable – Adam Humphries (hip) and Curtis Samuel (groin) – so he will have to figure out how to distribute the ball to someone else besides his favorite target Terry McLaurin.
The Raiders’ offense has benefitted greatly this season from the high-level play of tight end Darren Waller who is both a strong blocker in the run game and pass protection schemes and who can get open and catch the ball as well as gain big yards after most receptions.
Right now Waller is listed as doubtful with a knee issue, so the team will most likely be without his production, something that his backups Foster Moreau and Daniel Helm and rookie Matt Bushman must make up for as a group, not an easy ask given how effective Waller has been.
Waller’s size makes the perfect red-zone target for QB Carr, so those other TEs will have to step up near the end zone to give the Raiders a chance at scoring touchdowns instead of kicking field goals, something a sixth-ranked offense should be able to get done.
Now in his second NFL season, Washington running back Antonio Gibson is already approaching in twelve weeks of football the kind of numbers he posted all last season, a sign that the young and talented player is acclimating well to the professional level.
Gibson is a 6’ 2” 220 pound back so he has the size to break tackles plus he has the patience to wait for his blocks and the speed and agility to evade the defense, this season with 183 carries so far for 712 yards and 5 touchdowns plus 26 receptions for 193 yards and another touchdown.
This dual threat out of the backfield will be a key to Washington’s offensive game plan, so watch for him to have another great outing like he did last week against the Seahawks when he carried the ball 29 times for 111 yards and caught seven passes in that win.
Few things are scarier than being an NFL quarterback must be while seeing Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby scrambling towards you, the 6’ 5” 255 pound sack specialist immune to double teams and chip blocks on his way to yet another fantastic season.
This season is Crosby’s third in the league, the East Michigan alum so far with five sacks, 24 quarterback hits, 30 total tackles and 2 passes defended, numbers that have forced offenses to game plan around him while making him a fan favorite in Las Vegas.
Crosby’s pass rush was fiercest in Week 6 when the Raiders beat the Broncos in Denver and Maxx had three sacks and six total tackles plus five hits on the quarterback with a pass defended and a tackle for loss.
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|Washington vs Raiders Information
|Washington Football Team vs Las Vegas Raiders
|Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV
|Sunday, December 5, 2021; 4:05 PM ET
|How to watch
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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