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2023 NFL season: Four things to watch for in Raiders-Lions on Monday night

The Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions are trying to get back in the win column in Week 8.

Las Vegas (3-4) hopes it can return to the .500 mark after a stunning loss to undrafted rookie QB Tyson Bagent and the Bears. The positive news entering Week 8 for the Raiders is Jimmy Garoppolo (back) appears to be "good to go" to play in Detroit. Garoppolo has missed two games this season (Week 4 at Chargers, Week 7 at Bears).

Detroit (5-2) got a piece of humble pie against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens last week. The 38-6 defeat was enough for Dan Campbell to admit that Baltimore "kicked our ass" after the game. The Lions will have to take care of business against the Raiders if they want to finish off on a high note heading into their bye week.

Las Vegas Raiders
2023 · 3-3-0
Detroit Lions
2023 · 5-1-0
  • WHERE: Ford Field (Detroit, Mich.)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL+

Here are four things to watch for when the Raiders visit the Lions on Monday night:

  1. Jared Goff setting the tone. Goff and the offense only managed to put up six points last week. It was Goff’s worst outing under center since Detroit’s shutout loss in New England in Week 5 of last season. Fortunately, Goff can get right at Ford Field against the Raiders. The home and road splits for Goff are something to watch on Monday. While playing at home, Goff has managed to score an average of 32.6 points per game, maintain a passer rating of 110.3 and throw 30 touchdown passes with only five interceptions. On the road, Detroit has averaged 19.7 points, while Goff has posted a 87.6 passer rating throwing 10 TDs and six interceptions. The Lions QB has a chance to get right before the bye, as Detroit has five different players Amon-Ra St. Brown (561), David Montgomery (451), Josh Reynolds (384), Sam LaPorta (377) and Jahmyr Gibbs (375) with 375-plus scrimmage yards entering Week 8, which is the most in the league, per NFL Research. 
  2. Keeping a close eye on Garoppolo. The Raiders have not been able to win in games that Garoppolo has missed this season. Garoppolo’s presence under center has led the team to results in the win column, but his play on the field has not been the best. The Raiders QB has thrown more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (seven), however, he has been clutch when the Raiders needed him, delivering two game-winning drives. Davante Adams will be happy to see Garoppolo back on the field as well. In games with Garoppolo, Adams has averaged 79.2 receiving yards and has caught three touchdowns in the five games the QB started. Without Jimmy G, Adams has averaged 66 receiving yards and has not seen the end zone. A positive note for Garoppolo's return to the lineup is that the Raiders QB is 4-0 in his career against Goff. Garoppolo will have to keep up with Goff in the Motor City, though. 
  3. Which Lions rookie will step up in prime time? When Gibbs and LaPorta were drafted back in April, many questioned the Lions about picking a running back at No. 12 overall and selecting another Iowa tight end. Fast forward to October, Gibbs is arguably coming off his best performance last week in Baltimore. With Montgomery sidelined due to a rib injury, Gibbs showcased he could be a No. 1 option if needed. The rookie RB ran the ball 11 times for 68 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and caught nine passes for 58 yards. Meanwhile, LaPorta and the rest of the receivers have a tough task ahead of them against the Raiders, as Las Vegas is only allowing 187.4 pass yards per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. LaPorta, however, leads all rookie tight ends with 377 receiving yards, and with Goff playing in Ford Field, the past two seasons forecast a successful passing game for Detroit. 
  4. A pair of dark-horse Defensive Player of the Year candidates share the spotlight. Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby returns to his home state for the first time as pro (drafted out of Eastern Michigan). Since entering the league in 2019, Crosby has been one of the league's best pressuring quarterbacks. He’s been a reliable and consistent player for the Raiders, and second-year Lions pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson has been the same for his squad. Both players lead their teams in sacks and QB pressures heading into Monday night. Among defensive linemen since 2022, Crosby ranks first in snaps played with 1,462 while Hutchinson is second with 1,287, per Next Gen Stats. The starting QBs will have to be aware of where these two disruptors. If not, NFL fans will be in for a treat watching Crosby and Hutchinson cause havoc for both offenses on Monday. 

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