Winners and losers for Raiders in Week 5 vs. Chiefs

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It has been years since the Las Vegas Raiders have won in Arrowhead stadium with no wins since 2012. This all changed on Sunday with the Raiders beating the Kansas City Chiefs 40-32 with one of the season’s biggest upsets. The Raiders are now 3-2 after getting past their toughest part of their schedule.

The Raiders offense showed up hugely. This is the second time they have scored 40 points in the Jon Gruden era and did so against a defense averaging 17.5 points per game coming into the contest. They averaged 7.3 yards per play and could be aggressive and attack downfield consistently. The Raiders saw the best performance from their offense when they needed it and will need to continue to build on this momentum.

The defense struggled in the first half but buckled down in the second. We saw the most pressure from this Raiders team all season, making Mahomes uncomfortable and forcing him to make plays off schedule. If the defense can play a bend but don’t break style for the rest of this season, this could be a playoff team.

Who are the winners and losers for this week? Let us take a look.

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Winner: QB Derek Carr

This week’s biggest winner is the player who has heard the whispers for years about his play in Arrowhead. Derek Carr came into this matchup 0-6 playing in Kansas City with plenty to prove. He delivered with his best performance in a big game of his career up to this point.

Carr finished the game the 22-31 for 347 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Carr has never thrown for more than 250 in Arrowhead before in his seven-year career, but he displayed a different mindset this week. The starting QB had his highest intended air yards of 9.4 and attacked down the field consistently completing three passes of 40 yards or more.

The performance was definitely a career-defining moment for the Raiders leader in career touchdowns. He finally got one monkey off his back after years of peril in Kansas City. Hopefully, this continues a path to greatness throughout the season.

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Winner: DE Clelin Ferrell

Clelin Ferrell has been hearing from Raiders fans and draft pundits for a while after a slow start to his career. For the most part, it has been warranted because Ferrell has struggled to make his presence felt on this defensive line. Sunday was a different story with Ferrell disrupting most of this game, making Mahomes uncomfortable.

Ferrell was able to get beat Eric Fisher consistently and get pressure on the quarterback. He displayed a plethora of pass rush moves while exhibiting more bend then we are used to seeing from the high 2019 draft pick. While he didn’t finish with a sack, he created havoc on Mahomes, forcing him to make plays with his legs, and Ferrell barely missed a couple of sacks.

When the Raiders drafted Ferrell at four in 2019, this is the type of game they wanted. Ferrell has to build on this performance over the buy week and come into his own as a pass rusher in the NFL. Fans already know he is a good player against the run; it is now time to show them his pass rush technique and unleash his potential.

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Raiders: RB Devonte Booker

Raiders fans have been begging for a backup running back that could compliment Josh Jacobs in the backfield. They begged for players like AJ Dillion in the draft to be a bruiser and give Jacobs a breather and not have the offense depend on him too much. Instead, the Raiders picked up Devonte Booker, who has played extremely well in the backup role to Josh Jacobs.

Booker finished the game with seven carries for 62 yards on the day. His biggest run of the game was a 43 yard gain when the Raiders were down 21-10 in the second quarter, helping finish with a touchdown. Booker has been doing this all year, making the most out of power concepts with big run after big run for huge gains.

While Raiders fans continue to look for the perfect compliment to Jacobs, the Raiders might have already found that back. Booker can catch and run the football to give Jacobs a breather. The former Utah Ute has been one of the best signings for the Raiders this season.

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Loser: LB Cory Littleton

The Raiders defense came to play, but a few Raiders did not live up to the billing. The Raiders signed linebacker Cory Littleton for these types of games to guard tight ends who are Travis Kelce. Littleton did not live up to his billing allowing big catches on third down.

Littleton continues to struggle in coverage after coming in as one of the best cover linebackers in the NFL. He was worked by Kelce multiple times in this game and allowing huge gains on third down when the Raiders defense needed him. Certainly, this is not the player they thought they were getting when they signed the undersized linebacker.

Littleton has to step up his game as soon as possible as this Raiders defense needs him to be great. He can’t be beaten easily like he was this week when facing top-notch talent after performing at a high level in 2019 with the Rams. Could it be coaching? Maybe, but Littleton has to figure it out over the bye so the Raiders team can make a run at the playoffs.

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Loser: DT Maliek Collins

Maliek Collins was brought in this offseason to become the starting three-technique in Paul Guenther’s system. He has for sure underperformed those expectations this season, not being disruptive during the first four games of the season. He was inactive for the Raiders’ big win against the Chiefs, and the defensive line didn’t look like they missed him.

A mixture of Vickers, Hankins, and Ferrell helped the Raiders pressure the interior against the depleted Chiefs offensive line. Kendall Vickers filled in well, causing a ruckus in the backfield on multiple occasions with Hankins displaying his pass-rush ability with the chance at more snaps. The Raiders’ interior had one of their best games of the season.

What does this mean for Collins? With Maurice Hurst outplaying him by a mile, it makes you wonder whether Collins might end up being the odd man out after a bad start. The Raiders have to build on this performance’s momentum, and bringing back Collins might hurt that momentum after a great performance by the defensive line.