NEW ENGLAND (7-6) at LAS VEGAS (5-8)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST, FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Raiders by 1.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Patriots 7-5-1; Raiders 6-7.
SERIES RECORD: Patriots lead 18-14-1.
LAST MEETING: Patriots beat Raiders 36-20 on Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass.
LAST WEEK: Patriots beat Cardinals 27-13; Raiders lost to Rams 17-16.
PATRIOTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (24), RUSH (23), PASS (21), SCORING (18).
PATRIOTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (6), RUSH (12), PASS (9), SCORING (5).
RAIDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (8), RUSH (10, PASS (12), SCORING (11).
RAIDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (24), RUSH (10), PASS (29), SCORING (24).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Patriots plus-3; Raiders minus-3.
PATRIOTS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Josh Uche. He hasn’t started a game and even was inactive twice this season. But Uche is on a tear with a league-high 10 sacks since Week 8. He had three sacks Monday night at Arizona, earning an AFC defensive player of the week honor. Uche and fellow LB Matthew Judon (14 1/2 sacks) are the first Patriots tandem in 11 years to have double-digit sack totals.
RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Davante Adams. Even if WR Hunter Renfrow and TE Darren Waller return off injured reserve, they likely will show the rust of being out for more than a month. Expect Patriots coach Bill Belichick to follow his usual strategy of trying to take out the Raiders’ top offensive playmaker, but Adams has shown an ability to beat a variety of coverages.
KEY MATCHUP: Raiders RT Jermaine Eluemunor vs. Patriots defensive front. Eluemunor, a former Patriot, has played all over the offensive line and hasn’t allowed a sack since the second week. He will have a series of tough matchups because New England will throw several defenders at him. The Patriots are third in the league with 45 sacks.
KEY INJURIES: Patriots CB Jack Jones (knee), WR DeVante Parker (concussion), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and T Isaiah Wynn (foot) did not practice Wednesday. DT Christian Barmore (knee), T Yodny Cajuste (calf, back), LS Joe Cardona (ankle), RB Damien Harris (thigh), WR Jakobi Meyers (concussion) and CB Jalen Mills (groin) were limited. Raiders: DNP: G Alex Bars (knee) and CB Rock Ya-Sin (knee) did not practice. DT Andrew Billings (fibula), Eluemunor (oblique/wrist), RB Josh Jacobs (quad/hand), G Dylan Parham (knee), MLB Denzel Perryman (hip) and CB Sam Webb (illness) were limited. TE Darren Waller (hamstring) and WR Hunter Renfrow (oblique) returned to practice, but no decision has been made on whether they would be activated off injured reserve.
SERIES NOTES: The Patriots have won the past six games. ... Until that stretch, the Raiders had won three in a row. ... This is the first meeting in Las Vegas. ... The series goes back to 1960 when both teams were in the American Football League.
STATS AND STUFF: This game was scheduled to be played Sunday night, but was flexed into an afternoon slot. ... The Patriots stayed in-state after Monday’s game against the Cardinals and practiced at the University of Arizona in Tucson. ... The teams had joint practice sessions this summer before meeting in a preseason game that the Raiders won 23-6. ... New England has four defensive scores, second in the NFL to Arizona’s five. ... Devin McCourty’s 33 interceptions is three off the team record shared by Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn. ... Nick Folk has made 58 consecutive field goals of less than 40 yards. His last miss was a 21-yard attempt on Oct. 12, 2017, against New England when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Baltimore’s Justin Tucker holds the record at 70. ... RB Rhamondre Stevenson is third among running backs with 58 receptions. He played high school ball in Las Vegas. ... Rookie Marcus Jones is first in the league with 799 total return yards (301 in punt returns and 498 in kickoff returns). ... Las Vegas’ Nate Hobbs is first among NFL cornerbacks with 7.57 tackles a game. ... The Raiders’ 13 giveaways are tied for second in the league and are the second fewest in team history through 13 games. ... Las Vegas has 16 sacks over the past five games, tied for third most over that stretch. ... DE Maxx Crosby leads the NFL with 19 tackles for loss. ... AJ Cole has downed 48.8% of his punts inside the 20-yard line, second in the league. ... QB Derek Carr has passed for at least 3,000 yards in each of his first nine seasons. The others to accomplish that are Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
FANTASY TIP: Patriots defense. The sack combination of Judon and Uche can help rack up some important defensive points. New England also doesn’t give up a lot of points, and this being playoff time for many fantasy leagues, any edge can be invaluable.
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