This is a rematch of Week 5 when the Raiders went to Kansas City and defeated the reigning Super Bowl champions by a final score of 40-32. KC superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has 25 touchdown passes on the season and only one interception, threw his lone interception in Week 5 against the Raiders, so you know the MVP–along with the rest of his teammates–is going to be motivated to get revenge against Las Vegas.
After losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7, the Raiders have won three games in a row against the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos. They are in second place in the AFC West Division, trailing the Chiefs.
With the Raiders-Chiefs game almost here, let’s take a look at four bold predictions for the contest from a Las Vegas point of view.
1. Derek Carr throws two touchdowns, one interception
In nine games this season, Carr has thrown for 2,156 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. If the Raiders had a slightly better record, Carr may be in the MVP conversation.
In Week 5 against the Chiefs, Carr threw for 347 yards, three touchdowns and one interception to help the Raiders get the upset win on the road. In Week 11, we have Carr throwing two touchdowns and one interception. The Chiefs’ defense is giving up 20.3 points per game on the season, while the Raiders are scoring 28.3 points per contest.
Carr has vastly improved his decision-making in his second year under head coach Jon Gruden. He is one of the few quarterbacks who has had a high completion percentage in every game this season. We expect him to have a solid game in primetime in Week 11.
2. Darren Waller catches both touchdowns from Carr
Raiders tight end Darren Waller has been Carr’s favorite target this season. He has 53 receptions for 431 yards and four touchdowns. Waller is slowly but surely establishing himself as one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
In Week 5 against the Chiefs, Waller caught five balls for 48 yards and one touchdown. We expect the 28-year-old to catch two touchdowns in Week 11 against Kansas City and continue his Pro Bowl-caliber season. Carr has targeted Waller more than any other player on the Raiders this season, so the two clearly have a good rapport on the football field.
Thanks to his 6-foot-6 frame, Waller is a nightmare to defend in the middle of the field and the red zone. Carr basically just has to throw it near his direction and Waller will usually snag the ball out of the air with his excellent ball skills.
3. Raiders defense struggles against Chiefs
The Chiefs are averaging 31.8 points per game on the season, while the Raiders’ defense is giving up 26.8. We are expecting Mahomes and Co. to have a huge game against the Raiders on Sunday Night Football, especially after what happened in Week 5.
This Kansas City offense just beats you in so many different ways. They have the best quarterback in the NFL in Mahomes, two high-level running backs in Le’Veon Bell and Clyde Edwards-Helaire and explosive playmakers on the outside and inside in Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins.
Even though the Raiders’ defense has played decent this season, we just can’t see them having success against the high-powered Chiefs attack.
4. Raiders lose to Chiefs to drop to 6-4
We have the Raiders losing to the Chiefs and dropping to 6-4 on the season. The Chiefs are hungry to get back at the Raiders for taking a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium in Week 5 after their road win. Kansas City will likely come out firing on all cylinders in this contest and send a message to the Raiders.
Look for the Chiefs to win this game by more than two touchdowns. While Las Vegas will try and put up a good fight early, Kansas City’s offense is just going to be too much in this contest for the Raiders to keep up.
All signs point toward the Chiefs winning the AFC West, which means the Raiders have to clinch a Wild Card spot to reach the postseason. The AFC is really tough, but Las Vegas has shown it can keep up with some of the best teams in the NFL.
While Raiders fans are likely going to be disappointed after losing to the Chiefs in Week 11, the team still has a good shot of making the playoffs with Carr leading the way on offense.