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It’s a battle of AFC West teams at opposite ends of the division standings out in the Golden State. The Kansas City Chiefs, with their high flying offense in tow, travel to the Black Hole to face the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon. Kansas City comes in off a bye last week: they fell 54-51 in a wild shootout against the Rams back on November 19 in their last game. Oakland was defeated 34-17 on the road by Baltimore in their last contest. The Chiefs own a 61-52-2 edge in the all-time regular-season series between the teams and have taken six of the last seven, including a 26-15 home win in the last matchup on December 10, 2017.
Kansas City Chiefs Try to Maintain AFC West Edge
Kansas City had a bye last week, which they may have needed after their shootout loss to the Rams that ended a four game win streak. The Chiefs come into this game holding a one game edge over the Chargers, who they beat in week 1 and face again in two weeks. Kansas City rallied from a 40-30 deficit after three quarters to lead 44-40 and 51-47, only to give up the lead with 1:49 to play. The Chiefs had two chances after that, only to end both drives with interceptions. Kansas City had a 546-455 edge in total offense despite losing the first down battle 29-27 and the time of possession by a 30:23 to 29:37 margin. Turnovers hurt the Chiefs the most as they committed five of them while forcing just two in the game. The Chiefs scored on a fumble return but gave up scores on a fumble and interception return. The Chiefs are 5-0-1 ATS on the road this season with the over 5-1 in those games.
The Chiefs average a robust 318.5 yards per game through the air this season while they run for 115.8 yards per contest. Kansas City is 2nd in the league in points per game with 36.7 per contest but ranks just 28th in scoring defense by allowing 26.7 points per game. Patrick Mahomes is 264 of 391 passing for 3,628 yards with 37 touchdowns against 10 interceptions while getting sacked 20 times for a total of 125 yards. He is second on the team with 186 rushing yards and two scores Kareem Hunt has run the ball 181 times for a team-leading 824 yards along with seven scores. Spencer Ware is next in line with 22 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes has a trio of talented targets that he works the ball to so far this season. Pro Bowl TE Travis Kelce leads the team with 67 grabs for 914 yards plus seven scores. Meanwhile, receivers Sammy Watkins (40 receptions, 519 yards, three TD) and big-play machine Tyreek Hill (65 grabs, team-high 1106 yards, 11 TD) are major threats on the outside. Harrison Butker has drilled 47 of 50 extra point attempts and 17 of 18 field goal tries with a long of 46 on the season. Watkins is questionable with a foot injury: if he can’t go, Chris Conley (22 receptions, 223 yards, four TD) likely takes his spot.
Oakland Raiders Look to Spring Big Upset
Oakland struggled on the road last week as they were unable to beat the Ravens despite the fact that Lamar Jackson was making just his second career start for Baltimore. The Raiders led 7-0 after their opening drive but gave up 13 unanswered points and couldn’t draw closer than a field goal the rest of the way. Oakland simply couldn’t get things going offensively as they were outgained 416-249, allowed 23 first downs while recording 13 and lost the time of possession 34:12 to 25:48 in the game. The Raiders forced two turnovers while committing only one but couldn’t make enough plays on either side of the ball. Oakland is 1-4 ATS at home this season.
The Raiders average 238.9 yards per game through the air and 99.4 yards per contest on the ground this season. Oakland is 30th in the league in scoring offense by putting up 17 points a game while they are 30th in scoring defense by allowing 29.7 points per game. David Carr has completed 263 of 384 passes for 2,827 yards with 13 touchdown passes against eight interceptions on the year. He has been sacked 35 times this season. A.J. McCarron is one of three for eight yards. Marshawn Lynch had compiled 90 carries for 376 yards and three scores before going on injured reserve. That puts the combination of Doug Martin (87 carries, 384 yards, TD) and Jalen Richard (30 carries, 119 yards) in the mix as the backs for the run game. Carr has 43 rushing yards and a score on the year. Richard leads the team with 53 receptions for 447 yards as a safety valve target. Tight end Jared Cook (47 receptions, 609 yards, five TD) is a solid target down the middle of the field while Jordy Nelson (25 grabs, 353 yards, three TD), Seth Roberts (27 receptions, 319 yards, two TD) are other reliable options in the passing game. Mike Nugent was four of five on extra points and six of six field goals with a long of 52 but is on injured reserve. Matt McCrane hit all five extra points and five of nine field goal tries with a long of 44 while Daniel Carlson is eight of eight on extra points and seven of eight field goal attempts with a long of 49.
- Raiders are 0-6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game
- Raiders are 0-6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game
- Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game
- Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game
- Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in December
- Chiefs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC opponent