Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
The Kansas City Chiefs look to make it back to back big wins as they host the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs are -1 point favorites over the Raiders with an over/under point total set at 43.
Romeo Crennel had a successful debut as interim Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs as they knocked off the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs played with focus and enthusiasm on both sides of the ball and beat the defending Super Bowl champs in a game they led from start to finish. Kyle Orton looked solid and efficient and a clear upgrade over Tyler Palko who had been starting and while he didn’t throw his first touchdown as a member of the Chiefs, he didn’t throw an interception either. Thomas Jones got the bulk of the action in the backfield against the Pack carrying 15 times for 48 yards while Jackie Battle carried it 10 times. Orton spread the ball around very well completing passes to 10 different receivers including four each to Steve Breaston, Dwayne Bowe, two for 72 yards to tight end Leonard Pope. The bigger story for Kansas City was the defense where Derrick Johnson has seven tackles and forced a fumble, Tamba Hali sacked Aaron Rodgers three times, and Allen Bailey added another sack. Kansas City outgained the Packers 438 yards to 315 and held the vaunted Green Bay offense to just 16 first downs. While normally I go over the whole season when looking at games the Chiefs have put me in a tough spot as with a new coach and a new QB who can keep the defense off of the field, this looked like a different team than the one we have been watching in recent weeks.
A few weeks ago the Oakland Raiders looked like a playoff team but after losing three straight games they are back to .500 on the year and are going to need some help to be part of the post season. The Raiders appeared to be headed towards a win and a share of first place in the AFC West on Sunday but they blew a 13 point lead to the Lions and could have blown their chance at the playoffs. Carson Palmer hasn’t looked a savior since joining the Raiders throwing 13 interceptions and just 10 touchdowns but the Oakland offense just hasn’t been the same since Darren McFadden was injured. Michael Bush is averaging 3.9 yards a carry and most of it between the tackles and he’s scored seven touchdowns. Darrius Heyward-Bey is putting up numbers including the eight catches for 155 yards he had on Sunday and late pick up T.J. Houshmanzadeh had six catches. The Raiders defense allowed two touchdown drives to end the game and that could be the difference in their season as the final one went 98 yards. Lito Sheppard had eight tackles last week, Rolando McClain had seven tackles, and Matt Giordano and Stanford Routt had six tackles each. At this point all Oakland can do is win out and hope for the best.
Kansas City is 5-2 against the spread following a cover, 1-4 against the spread in their last five against AFC teams, and 0-4 against the spread in their last four games as a favorite. Oakland is 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 games against the AFC West, 6-2 against the spread in their last eight road games, and 16-35-1 against the spread against a team with a losing record. Oakland has covered five in a row in Kansas City and the road team is 20-5-1 against the spread in the last 26 meetings of these two.
With the line at one I have to lean to the Chiefs here in a game which can easily go either way and a strong argument could be made for both sides. I haven’t been encouraged by Carson Palmer’s play, not just as a Raider but since his injury a few years back. Also the Raiders just aren’t the same without McFadden and I like the inspired play of the Chiefs going into the end of the year.
Kansas City Chiefs -1 Oakland Raiders