On Saturday the Kansas City Chiefs face the Las Vegas Raiders. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored to win. We welcome Matt Holder of Silver and Black Pride — our sister SBNation site covering the Las Vegas Raiders — for Five Questions with the Enemy.
1. Is the Derek Carr era over?
Yes, they’re going to try and trade him between now and three days after the Super Bowl — when the guaranteed money on his contract hits — or cut him to save $40 million. Benching him would be kind of pointless and unnecessary drama if they end up keeping him at this point. And his brother David Carr basically confirmed it on NFL Network this week by talking about what type of team Derek would like to play for next season.
There are also a few indications that owner Mark Davis is actually the one who made the decision to sit Carr. That’s another good sign that the boss has seen enough and wants to move on without being on the hook for a whole lot of cash.
2. How would you assess this season?
It’s been a total failure. The Raiders were at least expected to be a playoff contender and while they had a chance to stay alive up until last week, they were really eliminated when they started 2-7; you could probably even argue it was before that — maybe even at 0-2. But it wasn’t just that they were losing. They’ve been embarrassing by becoming the first team to blow five double-digit second-half leads. This has probably been one of the most disappointing Raiders’ seasons in a while — and that’s saying a lot.
3. Let’s pretend that you’re the Raiders GM. What 3 moves would you make?
1) Trade Carr for whatever you can get for him. Obviously, try and get a bidding war going to raise the price but be realistic about what his trade market is and realize I’m not going to have much leverage since we’ve already played our hand. Avoid the Jimmy Garoppolo situation because that won’t work out for you.
2) Use those picks to try and trade with the Bears to draft a quarterback. I believe Las Vegas will be locked into a top-10 pick if they lose this Saturday and they have plenty of draft picks to spare, they’re projected to have about 10-12 after comp picks and I’ll get even more from step one. So they could offer Chicago a pretty nice trade package where the Bears wouldn’t lose too much ground in the first round and the Raiders could have a chance at drafting C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young.
3) Defense, defense, defense. It’s a gamble to turn the keys over to a rookie, but a cheap quarterback contract can give you more money to get Maxx Crosby some help as the Raiders really lack defensive playmakers outside of him. And this would be in addition to using some draft capital on that side of the ball. A better defense will also help take some of the pressure off of the young QB early on.
Steps four and five would be a battle between paying Josh Jacobs and fixing the offensive line. I kind of lean toward the latter personally but I think both can be done with the extra cap space now that Carr is likely gone.
4. The 49ers game was entertaining. Was it the Jarrett Stidham effect?
A little bit, yeah. Stidham played really well and made a lot of plays with his legs and out of structure. Both of those things are something people had been wanting to see from Carr for a while so that helped make the game more exciting. The highlight was when Stidham scrambled around, took a shot and threw a 60-yard touchdown to Davante Adams.
5. Are there any prop bets that you like? How do you expect this game to play out?
I like Stidham anytime touchdown scorer at +650. Like I just mentioned, he was scrambling around so I think that could be a good value for him to run one in, in the red zone or near the goalline. Big payouts only.
With the Chiefs having something to play for with the No. 1 seed up in the air, I’m not expecting much from the Raiders. It’s a big spread at -9 but I kind of like Kansas City to cover. We’ll see if we can get some Stiddy magic though!
Be sure to check out the answers I gave to their questions by clicking here.