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    Las Vegas Raiders vs. New York Giants: Storylines, prediction for interconference matchup

    What are the storylines and our prediction for a Las Vegas Raiders vs. New York Giants Week 9 game that is crucial for both sides?

    In theory, this week’s Las Vegas Raiders vs. New York Giants matchup should be a one-sided affair, but there are a lot of elements that make this game intriguing. Let’s take a look at the key storylines for this crucial contest for the Raiders and make a prediction as they take on the Giants in New York.

    Las Vegas Raiders vs. New York Giants storylines for Week 9

    Once again, the Giants’ season is sliding towards major disappointment. Meanwhile, despite everything that’s occurred off the field, the Raiders’ season has the feel of promise. Unfortunately, this has been another turbulent week for the Las Vegas locker room, and it’s tough to get a read on the effect that might have on their performance.

    Can the Raiders stay focused on the job at hand?

    It is so disappointing when such a promising season is derailed by so many off-the-field issues. Just as the Jon Gruden situation was slipping into the background, the Henry Ruggs incident becomes the headline for this Raiders team. Sitting at 5-2, Las Vegas deserves the headlines to be about their play on the field.

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    We have already seen two sides of the coin in terms of how controversy can affect the Raiders. After the initial reports surrounding Gruden surfaced, Las Vegas put in a flat performance at home against the Bears. But they have then reacted incredibly since he was fired, including two straight wins. Now they have to respond well again — or the focus will remain off the field for another week.

    The Raiders need to put another win in the bank before the schedule gets tough

    Going on the road to a cold-weather area is always tough. The Raiders handled their first two road trips to outdoor stadiums beautifully, with wins over the Steelers and Broncos. Now, they need to add a third outdoor road win, because their schedule turns more difficult in the coming weeks.

    Next Sunday, they face the Kansas City Chiefs, with the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys next up on the schedule. Over the final five weeks, they have games against the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, and a second meeting with the Chiefs. The AFC West is there for the taking, but this game against the Giants could be crucial when all is said and done.

    Can the Giants battle through more injury woes and put in a promising performance?

    The Giants must feel everything is against them. This week, they will be without Saquon Barkley, Dante Pettis, and Sterling Shepard. On top of that, Kenny Golladay and John Ross are questionable. This season has been absolutely brutal for the Giants from an injury perspective.

    Related | NFL Picks, Predictions Week 9: Will the Packers or Chiefs prevail in Kansas City?

    The problem is that New York simply cannot keep making excuses. After an expensive offseason, results are required. Daniel Jones is in a crucial evaluation season. The hiring of head coach Joe Judge required a huge leap of faith from Giants ownership. Dave Gettleman is surely on his last life as general manager. All three of them need big performances in the second half of the 2021 season — at home against a playoff contender would be a great start.

    Betting line and game prediction

    The Raiders are 3-point favorites, and that pretty much feels like the right number. They are the better team, but the elements and the situation means it should be a close game. With the emotion in the Vegas locker room this week, the Giants have a real chance to win this one.

    It’s next to impossible to predict how the Raiders’ players will react to yet another tough week. They have the talent to win this game, but you could forgive them if they are flat.

    Raiders vs. Giants Prediction: Raiders 24, Giants 21

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