Dexter McCluster

Beating the Oakland Raiders Will Make the Kansas City Chiefs a Sure Bet to Win the AFC West

This is a big one.

There is talk all around the nation this week by NFL pundits of how shocking it is that a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders actually means something for the first time in a long time.

With the Chiefs being 5-2 and the Raiders being 4-4, a lot is at stake for both teams in this AFC West rivalry game.

I wrote last week for Chiefs Command that the path was clear for the Kansas City Chiefs (then 4-2) to make the playoffs. One can now safely say that this might be the final hurdle in the divisional race. If the Chiefs can clear this hurdle by pulling off a huge win in Oakland, the only remaining obstacle to winning the race will be to not trip and fall on their faces.

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    A win puts the Chiefs at 6-2 and the closest competition in the division would be 4-5, giving Kansas City a huge margin for error to close out their remaining schedule, which isn’t exactly the toughest in the league either.

    Surprisingly, the Chiefs are already the surest bet to make the playoffs. As it stands right now, Football Outsiders have the Chiefs’ chances of making the playoffs calculated at 94.2%. Those chances will increase even more with a W. If you ask me, those are some pretty good odds. The Chiefs don’t need to win Sunday in order to make the playoffs, but it would, for all intents and purposes, lock the division up and secure a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

    The Chiefs have one significant historical stat in their favor: they have not lost to the Raiders at Oakland since 2002, when the Raiders last made the Super Bowl. That’s 7 wins in a row for the Chiefs on the road at one of the NFL’s supposed “hardest places to play.”

    I suppose I am the resident optimist here at Chiefs Command, but at this point, there’s little reason to not be one. If we beat Oakland on Sunday, don’t be surprised if you catch yourself checking the scoreboard for updates on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, and New York Jets  in the coming weeks.

    Prediction

    The Raiders have a lot of momentum coming into this game, winning their last two games by a combined score of 94-17; yet, I think the Chiefs pull this off because they are the better team. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has shown on a consistent basis that if you are a one dimensional team, he can stop your offense. This week, look for the Chiefs to effectively slow Darren McFadden enough that he won’t be able to win the game for Oakland. Expect Jamaal Charles to have another huge game, and with star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha out of action, who knows, maybe even Matt Cassel will have a good game.

    Chiefs 24, Raiders 17

    7 Comments Say Something
    • I think we win this game 7 times out of 10. Oakland is too thin at CB. Miller being out at TE bodes well for us, and we absolutely terrorized Jason Campbell last year when he was with Washington.

    • I’m starting to get pretty excited for this game, and it will be HUGE if Miller and Asomugha miss the game.

      I cannot remember the last Chiefs game I was truly excited for… No it wasn’t the playoff game under Herm Edwards.

    • The Herm playoff game was like watching a slow march towards death. We were possibly one of the worst coached teams in football that year. The Colts were just too good.

      I can’t even remember the last time I was this excited/nervous/anxious/pumped for a game. The 2003 Colts playoff wasn’t great because I knew our defense was terrible and no matter how great our offense was, Peyton Manning would beat us. Shit…I don’t know. ALL I KNOW IS I’M FREAKING PUMPED.

    • Right there with you… The first three games were a “let’s see what we have” situation, Indy and Houston were “we’re probably gonna lose,” Buffalo was a “this should be easy” game… But now, we have a game that means something against a solid opponent!!

    • now that I think about it, why did I put DMC as the picture? he’s out for this game I believe

    • Winning the road game in the Oakland series would help to lock the division up. Denver is no threat and the onus is on San Diego to show that they belong in the division race. Winning on the road isn’t easy for any team this year. I definitely agree, Tom. I’ve barely seen any Raider football but I believe they have a lot of weapons but they have a weak foundation and an idiot criminal coach. I don’t see them being a threat and the Chiefs winning in Oakland tomorrow would be a the best display of the year for the Chiefs.

    • If Chiefs don’t get this game, I could see this race going down to the wire – even though the next two games for the Raiders are at Pittsburgh and home against a Miami team who hasn’t lost a road game yet (though that will probably end today). Indy also looms.

      The schedule gets tougher for the Raiders down the stretch. 4 of the final 7 are on the road. So this game is not an end-all. But a win just indeed may end it.

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