The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll after five straight wins. They went undefeated in November, and have extended that streak into December with their win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. Owners of an 8-4 record and a game within 1st place in the AFC, Kansas City is looking to keep it going against their Week 14 opponent, the Las Vegas Raiders. Much like last week, the Chiefs should roll against another AFC West opponent.
The Broncos are 6-6 after a 5-2 start and have been on a landslide through the middle third of the season. Similarly, the Raiders are in a free fall. Last week, they barely lost to the Washington Football Team, 17-15. They are third in the AFC West and have been somewhat of a surprise team this season. Not because of their winning record, but because of all that has happened to them this season. Losing Jon Gruden and Henry Ruggs has left a shadow over this team, and their recent record has shown how difficult this year has been on the Raiders.
After beating the Raiders two weeks ago in a decisive fashion, another win over a stumbling division rival would allow the Chiefs to gain more room in the division race and the AFC.
Let’s take a look at two Chiefs’ dreams and one Raiders nightmare in Week 14.
The Chiefs offense once again embarrassed the Raiders defense
Back in Week 10, the Chiefs outright demolished the Raiders on their way to a 41-14 win. Things haven’t been great for the Raiders since that matchup. They’ve gone 1-2 since losing to Kansas City, and they’ve lost some key players in that three-game stretch. Simply put, Las Vegas is in position to lose again at the hands of the Chiefs.
Vegas’ only win in that three-game stretch was over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, and even still the Raiders gave up nearly 400 passing yards. It took them until overtime to put Dallas away. The Raiders defense has been porous at best, whether it’s giving up nearly 130 yards on the ground to Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals or the nearly 400 passing yards through the air to Dak Prescott.
Patrick Mahomes had one of his best games of the season against this Raiders defense a few weeks ago. With a few lackluster performances from the Kansas City gunslinger since then, look for him to contribute to a dominant offense this Sunday.
Kansas City’s running game steals the show
The Chiefs offense has been slowly working Clyde Edwards-Helaire back into form since he returned in Week 11. Having been out from Week 6 until his return, CEH, and more importantly this offense, is eager for a huge day out of the backfield.
It is true that Darrel Williams, Derrick Gore and Jerick McKinnon have played admirably in CEH’s stead. However, the dynamic playmaker out of LSU has experienced a down year. A big game against the Raiders feels almost like destiny to get his season back on track during this final stretch run.
With the Raiders giving up nearly 130 yards on the ground to Joe Mixon and the Bengals, and another 100-plus to Antonio Gibson and the Washington Football Team, the table is set for a rushing attack to win the game for Kansas City.
Derek Carr overcomes his loss of weapons and makes this game close
Back in Week 11, the Raiders were healthy and it still seemed like Derek Carr couldn’t hit guys when they were open, whether he was forcing the ball or he was under pressure from the Chiefs defensive front.
This week, the Raiders are without Darren Waller and Jalen Richard. Vegas interim coach Rich Bisaccia also said it’s “unlikely” Richie Incognito returns this year, leaving this Raiders team even more limited offensively.
Obviously, the table is set for the Chiefs to dominate, but there is also room for Kansas City to underestimate Derek Carr, and what’s left of this offense. With Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs, and Kenyan Drake still healthy and available, this Raiders team is no easy out no matter who their opponent is.
With Renfrow going over 100 yards last week against Washington with Darren Waller out, the Raiders passing game isn’t truly dead. Along with that they also have Josh Jacobs getting involved in the passing game with 9 catches in his last outing. While the Raiders have been struggling for much of this season, and it doesn’t look like those struggles will stop against Kansas City, we can’t truly count this team out.