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2020-11-23
Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders
League : NFL

Las Vegas Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs Prediction & Preview


 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

Sunday Night Football in the AFC West here as the Las Vegas Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are looking for revenge after the Raiders pulled off an upset of them in Kansas City earlier this year. Las Vegas is also dealing with some COVID-19 issues at the moment, which is part of the reason oddsmakers have the visitors as favorites of more than a touchdown here.

 

Chiefs Want Revenge

The Kansas City Chiefs are of course coming off a Super Bowl win, and at 8-1, they've got their sights set on the big game yet again. Their one slip up this year came against this same Raiders team, so revenge will be on their mind. Especially so considering head coach Andy Reid made it clear this week the team wasn't happy with the Raiders taking a victory lap around their stadium's parking lot after that game. Talk about bulletin board material. I'd be very worried if Patrick Mahomes and co. were going up against me with any extra motivation. Mahomes once again looks like the league's MVP, and with his plethora of weapons, he's virtually impossible to stop.

 

Another interesting factor is that the Chiefs are coming off their bye here. That means Reid has had an extra week to scheme up plays, and his offenses have always looked amazing coming off bye weeks even well before Mahomes got to town. While the Chiefs' offense understandably garners most of the attention due to their explosiveness, their defense has quietly taken a huge step forward this season. The secondary in particular has grown under Steve Spagnuolo to be one of the NFL's best units. They're only giving up 6.6 yards per pass attempt this season, which is the third-best mark in the entire league. If they can slow down Josh Jacobs on the ground here, then the defense should have a pretty good day.

 

Raiders Dealing With COVID

The Las Vegas Raiders haven't been quite as successful as the Chiefs this season, but this has still been a big year for Jon Gruden's squad. So far things have gone pretty smoothly, and at 6-3, they enter this one in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt. But while they've won three straight games, I'm still not entirely sold. Their last two wins came against the Chargers and Broncos, two teams in absolute free-fall right now with a combined record of 5-13. The week before that they beat the Browns 16-6 in a very unique game that had such severe weather neither team was really able to throw the ball.

 

Outside of their win over the Chiefs, they've failed most of their recent tests, like when they got demolished by the Buccaneers a few weeks ago. Another thing to keep in mind here is that the Raiders are dealing with very significant COVID-19 issues. Pretty much their entire starting defense got placed on the reserve/COVID list this week, and even if they're all cleared in time to play on Sunday, they'll have gone the entire week without practicing. Against a Mahomes-led offense, that could be a recipe for disaster. The Raiders haven't been able to follow up on success during Gruden's tenure, as they're just 6-16 against the spread in their last 22 games following wins.



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