It’s Raiders WeekNovember 4th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge
So who would have predicted that the Chiefs would be atop the AFC West at 5-2, and that the Raiders would be in second place at 4-4? Who would have thought that the Chiefs would be leading the league in rushing at 190.4 yards per game, and that the Raiders would be in second place at 168.5 yards per game? It’s great to see these two teams ascending so that the old rivalry means something again. I love Raiders Week!
The old adage is that to win in the NFL, you have to be able to run the ball, and you have to be able to stop the run. Both of these teams can run the ball. Jamaal Charles and Darren McFadden are among the league’s top running backs. Despite the fact that Charles shares the load with Thomas Jones, and McFadden has missed a couple games due to injury, both backs are among the top ten in the league. In the last two weeks since returning from his injury, McFadden has rushed for 276 yards and 3 TDs.
But which team can successfully stop the run? I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that the team that stops the run will win this game. The Chiefs are ranked seventh in the league allowing only 96.4 yards per game. The Raiders are ranked 26th allowing 127.4 yards per game. This would appear to favor the Chiefs.
The Raiders are ranked much better than the Chiefs against the pass (#5 vs #23) and total defense (#9 vs #16). But I think more importantly, the Chiefs hold an advantage in points allowed, where Kansas City is ranked #5 in the league giving up only 17.4 points per game, and Oakland is ranked #15 giving up 21 points per game.
But ultimately, this game will come down to coaching. Marty Schottenheimer always said that if you play smart against the Raiders, that eventually they would make the mistake that costs them the game. And Marty won a lot of games against the Raiders. These Raiders still make mistakes. The Chiefs are among the best coached teams in the league. They make few mistakes. They commit few penalties. They don’t turn the ball over. They don’t make negative plays. They don’t take sacks. And they don’t give up many points.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Raiders 21