Oakland Raiders (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
Before the season, the Raiders were expected to be an all-time bad team. That hasn’t happened, as they are 2-3 right now and credit Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen for building a passable team despite over 50 million in dead money on their cap. However, I think they’re a little overrated right now. They’re not a good football team. I circled 4 games I thought the Raiders could win before the season and so far they’ve both two of them (home games against the Titans and Eagles were the other two). The fact that they are 2-3 right now does not shock me. Terrelle Pryor has legitimately impressed me, but he gets his biggest defensive test of the season, by far, this week.
The Chiefs have allowed opponents to score 11.6 points per game this season and opponents are moving the chains at a 61% rate. For comparison, the Jaguars are averaging 10.2 points per game and moving the chains at a 59% rate. Basically, the Chiefs have made their average opponent look like the Jaguars offensively (and they embarrassed the Jaguars week 1, for what it’s worth). They haven’t had the toughest schedule, but both the Eagles and Cowboys are moving the chains at high rates this year and couldn’t do anything against the Chiefs. The Raiders aren’t exactly adding to their strength of schedule here and they have a very good chance to stifle them offensively.
That’s going to allow the Chiefs to execute their game plan offensively and they should have plenty of success avoiding turnovers and moving the chains against a Raiders defense that hasn’t been bad, but lacks much talent. I feel like this line is at least a couple points too low. It should be on the other side of 10, like it was before the Raiders’ “surprising” win over the Chargers. It’s not a big play, but the Chiefs should win this by multiple scores at home, on a day in which their fans will be attempting to bring Seattle’s crowd noise record. Kansas City is also my survivor pick.
Kansas City Chiefs 23 Oakland Raiders 9 Survivor Pick
Pick against spread: Kansas City -8