The Oakland Raiders return home looking to build on comeback win against the Tennessee Titans.
This week they’ll take on a tough Kansas City Chiefs team that is looking to extend their win streak to six games.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has his team rolling after starting 1-5 and will not take the matchup lightly after the Raiders ended their playoff hopes last season.
Reid and the Chiefs lost running back Jamaal Charles for the season due to a knee injury, but his backups Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware are filling in nicely. West is the team’s leading rusher with 373 yards and three touchdowns. West has a similar style to Charles, using his speed to bounce it outside and get to the edge. Ware is a bigger back, capable of punching it up the middle. The Raiders will need set the edge on defense to limit them from getting outside.
11-year-veteran Alex Smith heads the Chiefs offense, completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,681 yards and 12 touchdowns. Smith does a stellar job protecting the football, only throwing three interceptions on the season. Smith does have decent legs, so the Raiders will have to make sure he doesn’t scramble out of the pocket for first downs.
The Raiders have struggled defending against the tight end, and they’ll face one of the league’s best this weekend. Tight end Travis Kelce leads the team with four receiving touchdowns to go along with 54 receptions for 689 yards.
Reid also brought in Jeremy Maclin to help boost his receiving corps, who has 57 receptions for 772 yards and three touchdowns. Maclin is a shifty back that can cause problems after the catch, making it important for the Raiders secondary to tackle him quickly after the catch.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton boasts another top-10 defense, allowing just 335.4 yards per game. The Chiefs defense is aggressive, producing 14 interceptions and six fumble recoveries for a turnover ratio of +12. Rookie cornerback Marcus Peters leads the team with four picks.
The Raiders offensive line will have a tough test against a dominating Chiefs defensive line, led by linebacker Justin Houston. Houston leads the team with 7.5 sacks, while linebacker Tamba Hali has 6.5 sacks of his own.
Donald Penn and the Raiders must keep second-year Derek Carr off of his back in order to get the Raiders offense clicking.
It’ll help if running back Latavius Murray can get the running game going as well, though the Chiefs boast a tough rushing defense. They’re allowing under 100 yards per game, at just 95 yards per game.
The Raiders will go back on the road next week, heading to Denver to take on the Broncos.