What are the Las Vegas Raiders talking about ahead of this week's Monday night showdown against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field? Let's find out:
1. Will the Raiders have the services of starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who missed last week with a back injury? Garoppolo returned to the practice field on Thursday.
"Hopeful," Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels said of Garoppolo's status for Monday. "As long as we don't have anything go the other way we're very hopeful that will be the case."
2. Las Vegas offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi said watching Lions second-year defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson on film is a great representation of Detroit's defense as a whole.
"Hutchinson I would say sums them up as a whole unit," Lombardi said. "They are aggressive, and they all play with a high motor, and they want to get to the football. They take pride in it. They tackle really well. You can see they put a lot of stress on fundamentals and effort, and I think that's the core belief of their defense and you can see it on tape every Sunday."
View photos of the starters for the Las Vegas Raiders.
3. Lombardi hasn't been to Ford Field in a while, but he's certainly aware of the advantage it's become for the Lions' defense with the crowd noise. He said his offense is used to playing against noise and uses a silent count on a regular basis. One point of emphasis for his players on offense this week is to be really good at getting off the line of scrimmage because defenses that play in a dome and are used to playing teams on silent count usually have an advantage in that regard.
4. McDaniels made the comparison between Hutchinson and his own terrific edge rusher in Maxx Crosby. He said it should benefit each set of tackles in this one having matched up against an elite player with similar body types and motors all through training camp and practice.
5. Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said there will be an emphasis this week in practice on tackling. The Raiders missed a bunch of tackles last week in the Chicago loss. He said his guys are very aware of the fact that Detroit's skill players are some of the best in the league at gaining yards after the catch and after contact. Detroit has the third most receiving yards after contact and fifth most yards after catch.
6. What sticks out about Lions quarterback Jared Goff when Graham throws on the tape? First off is how he manipulates coverage with his eyes and looks defenders off, he said. Goff is doing a good job finding the open man to throw to by manipulating defenders with his eyes.
"He's comfortable in the pocket," Graham said. "He's comfortable making checks at the line of scrimmage. He's comfortable saying, 'Hey, let's take the profit.' That's really when you see the maturation process of a quarterback. He's found a nice spot for himself up there in Detroit."
7. One thing McDaniels said he really appreciates about Detroit's defense is how they are among the leaders in the league in passes defended while playing a majority of zone defense. He said that's rare. He also pointed out that Detroit was the only team in the NFL that hasn't allowed a touchdown outside the red zone yet this season. Detroit's defense makes teams drive the football to score.
8. "I always think we're close," McDaniels said of a Raiders' offense that ranks 27th in total offense per game and 30th in points per game.