#269 Kansas City Chiefsvs.#270 Oakland Raiders
Written by Chuck D
When and Where: Sunday, Oct. 16, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, Calif. 4:05pm EDT (CBS)
Spread: Oakland -1; Total: 47
The Oakland Raiders beat division-rival San Diego 34-31 on Sunday to move into a first place tie with the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. They will now try to take out another division rival at home when they welcome the Chiefs, who sit 1.5 games back behind the Raiders and Broncos, to Oakland. Kansas City is coming off of a much-needed bye week after suffering a 43-14 defeat to Pittsburgh the week before. The Chiefs lead the all-time series 60-52-2 and have won the last three matchups.
The Chiefs have been up and down through the 2016 campaign. The squad has alternated wins and losses to open the season, winning twice at home and losing twice on the road. Their last road trip was a complete disaster, falling to the Steelers by 29 points two weeks ago during a nationally televised Sunday Night Football telecast. The game started poorly with the Chiefs falling down 22-0 after just one quarter of play and 29-0 at the half. They entered the fourth down 36-0 before getting some points in garbage time.
One bright note was that the squad did get running back Jamaal Charles back for the contest. It was his first game since tearing his ACL last October. He only carried the ball twice for seven yards but will have now had another two weeks of healing to be ready to face the Raiders. The current leading rusher for Kansas City is Spencer Ware, who has 284 yards and a touchdown through the first four games. Ware is expected to retain the starting role for now. Alex Smith has thrown for 1,073 yards on the season to go along with five touchdowns against two interceptions. Jeremy Maclin leads the squad in receiving with 20 catches for 244 yards and a TD.
For a team that has not made the playoffs since 2002, there were a lot of expectations put on Oakland in the preseason. So far, the team is living up to those expectations . . . at least on the offensive side of the ball. The squad is scoring 28.4 points per game, but also allowing 27.4 per contest. The wins have come by one, seven, one, and three points respectively, but they all still count in the W column and as former owner Al Davis liked to say, “Just Win Baby.” The defense, on the other and, has left a little to be desired, even leading head coach Jack Del Rio to refer to the unit as “Santa Claus.”
Third-year quarterback Derek Carr threw for 317 yards and two scores on 25-for-40 passing with one interception. It is the first 4-1 start for Oak-town since 2002, when they went all the way to the Super Bowl. The victory was clinched when a bad snap with two minutes remaining prevented the Chargers from getting their 36-yard field goal attempt off. San Diego won the yardage battle, 423-389, but could not overcome a Raiders effort that saw second-year receiver Amari Cooper catch his first touchdown pass of the season, a 64-yard laser from Carr. Cooper ended the day with 137 yards on six catches. Latavius Murray (toe) and weakside linebacker Malcom Smith can both return for Sunday’s contest according to Del Rio.
Kansas City is:
The Chiefs are still winless on the road and the Raiders are playing their best football in over a decade. That is not to say this will not be a close and competitive game. It appears all of the Oakland games will be at this point. However, the squad keeps finding a way to win close ones and with Kansas City coming out to the West Coast, you should expect this week to be no different.
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Chuck Dowling is a 30-something University of Florida J-School alum that lives in his mother’s basement. Just kidding... there are no basements in Florida (the ground is too moist). He has been in the “biz” for his entire adult life and specializes in NCAA football and basketball, as well as soccer, boxing, and MMA. When not writing, Chuck moonlights as a high school athletics radio and internet-television broadcaster.