Chiefs look to get back to their winning aways against the Raiders
The rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders dates back to when the two teams debuted in the AFL in 1960 (when the Chiefs were the Dallas Texans). But more recently, this series has been one-sided, kind of how this game is shaping up to be.
The Chiefs (9-2) are coming off of their bye and have the best record in the AFC. The Raiders (2-9) are struggling in all facets of the game in Jon Gruden's first season back as head coach and are merely playing for pride (or draft position depending on your opinion) at this point.
Kansas City also leads the all-time series 61-52-2 and has won eight of the past 10 matchups with Oakland. These teams will meet again in Week 17.
Kansas City at Oakland
Kickoff: Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:05 p.m. ET
Spread: Kansas City -14.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Chiefs' motivation
The last time the Chiefs were on a football field, they were involved in one of the best regular season games of all time. In Week 11, the Los Angeles Rams defeated Kansas City 54-51 on "Monday Night Football" in a game that was back and forth the entire night. Kansas City has one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. So the Raiders will have their hands full this weekend.
"I know what we're in for," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. I know what (Chiefs head coach) Andy Reid's record is. I know what the Chiefs are right now. I know what they're capable of doing. I know what the point spread is. I know a lot about what I see on tape."
The Chiefs' offense is averaging 36.7 points per game, while the Raiders are at 17 points per game. Kansas City should be highly motivated after they had to sit on a loss for two weeks.
2. Raiders getting pressure on Patrick Mahomes
Entering Sunday's game, the Raiders have just 10 sacks on the season, which is the lowest in the NFL. If the Raiders cannot get pressure on the Chiefs' quarterback, it will be a long day for their defense.
He's got a playing style that reminds me of (Brett) Favre," Gruden said. "He's a young Favre. That's why I think Andy Reid went and got him."
In 11 games, Mahomes has thrown for 3,628 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Even if Oakland doesn't bring Mahomes down in the pocket (he's been sacked 20 times), getting pressure on him is critical or else he may pick apart the Raiders' defense.
3. Kansas City's defense
The biggest weakness of the Chiefs lies on the other side of the ball. They're 30th in total defense as they're giving up 414.7 yards per game. Kansas City also is surrendering 26.7 points per game, which is 28th in the league.
This week could be the opportunity for the Chiefs' defense to flex its muscles some. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked 35 times behind a makeshift offensive line most of the season. This is excellent news for Kansas City defensive end Chris Jones, who has had at least one sack in seven straight games, the longest current streak in the NFL.
Although anything is possible, it is hard to find much evidence to think Oakland can slow down Kansas City's offense and put enough points of its own on the scoreboard to pull off the huge upset. There should be opportunities for Derek Carr and the Raiders' offense to string some drives together, but the Chiefs' have too much firepower with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Look for Kansas City to keep piling up the points and get back to its winning ways out on the West Coast.
Prediction: Chiefs 41, Raiders 20
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.