Facing two consecutive road games after their bye week, the Chiefs travel to the bay area for the second half of their two-game series with Oakland.
As we covered in our Week 2 preview, Kansas City has dropped their two most recent home games to the Raiders. But their road winning streak, which dates back to 2003, remains intact.
Why The Chiefs Could Lose
Again, the same reasons we covered in the first Oakland preview – specifically the strength of their running game – could spell doom for the Chiefs if the defense can't keep things under control.
While that aspect will remain unchanged from Week 2, the Week 10 matchup could bring an extra wrinkle to the Raiders' offense. If JaMarcus Russell struggles to start the season, it could prompt the team to make the move to Jeff Garcia, who they signed this past offseason in free agency. This game actually comes on the heels of Oakland's bye week, so it would be the perfect time for them to make such a switch.
Garcia is a proven veteran and would provide the Raiders with a drastic reduction in the inaccuracy and mistakes that have plagued Russell in his first two years. Not only can Garcia make all the successful throws when needed, he could simply serve as a game manager and avoid turnovers if the Raiders get their run game going.
With his ability and experience, a Garcia-led offense would likely make the Chiefs' task more difficult.
Why The Chiefs Will Win
Though it has to be considered a possibility, the Garcia substitution doesn't seem all that likely. For one thing, it's possible that Russell will play well enough to make the entire point moot.
But even if Russell struggles, it's just hard to imagine Al Davis pulling the plug on him. After all, disagreement over the former #1 overall pick was – at least in Davis' mind - a major bone of contention between the owner and former coach Lane Kiffin.
It wouldn't make much sense for Davis to reverse his stance at this point. Even if Russell plays poorly enough to warrant a benching, would Davis really approve such a move so soon? Going into Week 10, the Raiders will still have half their schedule in front of them.
Benching Russell with so many games left to play would be a major indication that the team has no confidence in their young quarterback. As attached to Russell as Davis is, that surely isn't the message he wants to send.
Barring an injury that forces Garcia into the lineup, it will likely be Russell who the Chiefs line up against. In last year's game at Oakland, the Chiefs' defense did a halfway decent job of keeping the run game in check, forcing more responsibility upon Russell. He responded by completing just 10 of 28 passes for 132 yards.
If Kansas City's defense can force Russell to duplicate that performance, the team can stretch their road winning streak over the Raiders to seven games.
Most Likely Outcome: the Chiefs (3-6) break out the brooms and complete the sweep.
Reading KC's Fortune - Week 10
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