When and where: September 15, 2019, RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, CA, 4:05 PM ET
The re-energized Oakland Raiders will be looking to pull off the massive upset on Sunday when facing All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. It was business as usual in Week 1 as the Chiefs picked right back up where they left off a season ago, demolishing what was left of the Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
However, perhaps the most impressive performance of the week should go to the Oakland Raiders, who emerged from all of the drama that recently departed wideout Antonio Brown brought and still defeated the Denver Broncos. Now, the true test begins with the 2018 AFC runners-up next on the schedule. Can the Raiders defense figure out a way to slow down Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs offense?
How will the loss of Hill affect the Chiefs?
The Chiefs’ blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the season opener didn’t come without its losses. Tyreek Hill, the two-time All-Pro wideout that bedeviled opposing defenses, went down with a collarbone injury that could keep him out four-to-six weeks. Perhaps the only positive note is the team not putting him on injured reserve, which would have resulted in an eight-week absence.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll return by Week 7, either. The team will take their time with Hill and continuously check back in to see when he’s ready to step back onto the field. So it’ll be an ongoing process.
As for the Chiefs, Mahomes will now have to move forward without one of his best weapons on offense. It didn’t look like it had much of an impact on him last Sunday as he continued to put up video game numbers on the Jaguars defense—25-for-33 passing for 378 yards and three touchdowns.
Receiver Sammy Watkins, a perceived first-round draft bust, also emerged out of nowhere with nine receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Heading into a divisional game against the Raiders, the primary area that should concern the Chiefs is their defensive backfield, which was just carved up by rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, who stepped in for injured Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles.
If Minshew could tear up the Chiefs’ first-team defense, imagine what Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will be able to do on Sunday. Mahomes has no other choice but to be spectacular on a weekly basis.
Raiders rally after Brown circus
Antonio Brown is the New England Patriots’ problem now.
That seemed to be the common theme amongst players in the Raiders’ locker room heading into their season-opening game against the Denver Broncos. Few expected them to even have much of a shot at competing considering the lack of weapons Carr had at receiver. Yet, the team rallied in the wake of “Tony Tornado” and knocked off the visiting Broncos.
Sometimes, heart and comradery can go further than talent. However, the Raiders will need all three to stop the Chiefs on Sunday. There probably is no stopping Mahomes and company on the offensive side of the ball. So the onus to stay in the game will fall squarely on the shoulders of Carr and the Raiders’ offense. Even with limited receiving weapons, he should be able to attack the Chiefs’ patchwork secondary successfully.
The question will be if he can do so consistently. That’s where teams typically run into a problem with the Chiefs. A quick glance at the scoreboard and the game could already be out of reach by the end of the third quarter. Carr will have to be special for the Raiders to even have a legitimate shot.
The defense will be severely tested facing an explosive Chiefs team.
“You watch the Chiefs, the first possession, I think Sammy Watkins catches an 8-yard pass and he looks like a rocket ship coming out the back end,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said in a news conference Tuesday, a day after the Raiders beat the Broncos. “They got a lot of skill, man, and Mahomes is spectacular. That guy is amazing. And defensively, they’ve got a new coordinator, they’ve got a whole new cast of players. Frank Clark is there, the Honey Badger is over there. It’ll be a tough, tough game for us on a short week certainly.”
- Chiefs are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- Chiefs are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Chiefs are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- Chiefs are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games against teams in the AFC West.
- Raiders are 17-35-1 ATS in their last 53 games following a straight up win.
- Raiders are 15-36-1 ATS in their last 52 games following an ATS win.
- Raiders are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in the previous game.
- Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game.