Raiders aim to extend late-season surge at scuffling Rams

December 7, 2022 GMT
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Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) pulls in a touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
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Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) pulls in a touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)


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AGAINST THE SPREAD: Raiders 6-6; Rams 3-8-1.

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 8-6.

LAST MEETING: Rams beat Raiders 33-13 on Sept. 10, 2018, in Oakland, Calif.

LAST WEEK: Raiders beat Chargers 27-20; Rams lost to Seahawks 27-23.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders minus-2; Rams minus-7.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: CB Nate Hobbs showed the Raiders what they were missing by making a team-high eight tackles against the Chargers and recovering a fumble. It was Hobbs’ first appearance since breaking his left hand Oct. 10 at Kansas City. The Raiders secondary had struggled badly in his absence and the lack of an effective pass rush didn’t help, either. Now facing a beat-up Rams team playing a backup quarterback, Hobbs could have his opportunities to make plays.


RAMS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Tutu Atwell showed his potential against the Seahawks, catching two passes for 48 yards and rushing for 23 yards on four carries. But the best play from the 2021 second-round draft pick out of Louisville came when he got behind Seattle’s rookie CB Tariq Woolen on a go-route, only for QB John Wolford to underthrow him on what should have been a long touchdown grab.

KEY MATCHUP: Raiders WR Davante Adams vs. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey. There should be plenty of trash-talking and physicality when two of the most confident and aggressive players in the NFL line up opposite one another. Adams, who had eight receptions for 177 yards with two touchdowns against the Chargers, got the better of the Los Angeles secondary when he helped Green Bay pick up wins in the divisional round of the 2020 playoffs and Week 12 of the 2021 season. Ramsey will want to make amends after being beaten by Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf for the winning touchdown with 36 seconds remaining on Sunday.

KEY INJURIES: Raiders TE Darren Waller (hamstring) and WR Hunter Renfrow (oblique) are eligible to come off injured reserve, but coach Josh McDaniels indicated he might wait a week because the team isn’t having full practices. ... CB Rock Ya-Sin (knee) and DT Andrew Billings (fibula) could miss the game. ... RB Josh Jacobs (calf/quadriceps) has been questionable each of the past two weeks and is limited this week, but he played and produced a combined 453 yards from scrimmage. ... Wolford aggravated a neck injury against the Seahawks, which could put his availability on a short week in question. Bryce Perkins would start if Wolford cannot play, though 2018 first overall pick Baker Mayfield could be in the mix after being claimed off waivers from Carolina on Tuesday. ... DT Aaron Donald (ankle) could miss his second straight game. ... CB David Long Jr. isn’t expected to play because of a groin injury he sustained Sunday.


SERIES NOTES: The Rams have won the past two games against the Raiders and four of the past five in the series going back to 2002. ... The Raiders dominated the start of the series, winning seven of the first nine meetings. ... The Raiders won four of five games against the Rams between 1982-1994 when both teams were based in Los Angeles.


STATS AND STUFF: If the Raiders beat the Rams, they will be 6-7. That was Las Vegas’ record last season before it closed the regular season with four consecutive victories to make the playoffs. The difference, though, is that was the beginning of the Raiders’ winning streak. They opened this season 2-7. ... The Raiders have gained at least 300 yards in 11 games, tied with the third most in the NFL. It’s the third time they have gained that many yards in 11 of their first 12 games and the second in three years. The other time was in 2002 when the Raiders last played in the Super Bowl. ... Derek Carr needs 20 yards to become the third quarterback with at least 3,000 yards in each of his first nine seasons. The others are Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. Carr has passed for at least two touchdowns the past five games, tied for the second-longest active streak. ... Las Vegas’ five sacks Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers were the team’s most since also getting that many on Oct. 17, 2021, against the Denver Broncos. ... Adams has seven 100-yard receiving games, the most for the Raiders since Tim Brown in 1997 also had that many. ... Jacobs’ three consecutive 100-yard rushing games is the league’s longest active streak. His 1,303 rushing yards through 12 games is the most through 12 games in franchise history. ... The Rams are assured of their first losing season in six years under Sean McVay following a sixth consecutive defeat, which marks another dubious first-time occurrence for the 36-year-old coach. ... Second-year DL Michael Hoecht had a breakout game against the Seahawks, getting two sacks and forcing a fumble. The Canadian-born Hoecht certainly isn’t lacking for athleticism, as he showed in returning a kickoff 22 yards in Week 6 against Carolina despite weighing 310 pounds. ... Los Angeles had a season-high 171 yards rushing against Seattle, its most since getting 186 yards on the ground versus New England in Week 14 of 2020. ... LB Bobby Wagner has missed one tackle this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Not surprisingly, Wagner grades out as PFF’s top inside linebacker. He had seven tackles, two sacks and an interception in a memorable outing versus his former team. ... The Rams have not gained 200 net yards passing in any of their past six games. ... Los Angeles has accounted for 26 sacks on defense this season. Barring a remarkable late-season turnaround, this will be the first time since 2018 the defense fails to bring down the opposing quarterback at least 50 times.


FANTASY TIP: There can never be enough options at RB, especially closing in on the fantasy playoffs, so Rams lead back Cam Akers could be a sneaky play. He had two rushing touchdowns for the first time in his career against Seattle, along with 60 yards on the ground. Taking into account the limited nature of the Los Angeles offense at the moment, the likelihood Akers will get close to 20 touches makes him one of the few Rams skill players worth having in a lineup.


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