We could have a blowout on our hands here, as the Kansas City Chiefs have opened as 13.5-point favorites over the Oakland Raiders in their Week 17 matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 4:25pm EST on December 30th.
Oakland’s offense is grounded on Derek Carr putting the ball in the air. But a new scheme may be in order, as the Raiders only average 19.1 PPG (28th). Although Jared Cook leads the team with 868 receiving yards, he and Carr have not done enough to keep the offense respectable.
The Raiders have needed this kind of effort from Carr, as their rushing attack has been miserable, averaging a horrendous 4.2 YPC (23rd). Carr’s 3,864 passing yards and 19 touchdowns (18th) is the only thing keeping Oakland’s offense respectable.
Teams have had a really tough time Carr and Cook (868 receiving yards and six touchdowns) this season, often resulting in extra attention being allotted towards it, leaving themselves vulnerable elsewhere.
But after a bit of a quiet game against the Broncos last week, where they only connected for 20 yards, expect Carr to be looking for Cook early and often on Sunday.
Not only does Oakland struggle to score points this season, but they can’t keep their opponent out of the endzone, either. The Raiders let teams score 28.8 points per game, ranking 31st in the league. They’ll need one of these units to overachieve a little to get the win on Sunday.
Oakland’s defense is in tough this week against a Kansas City offense that looks nearly unstoppable. Thanks to a potent passing attack, the Chiefs are scoring 35.3 points per game (1st).
Patrick Mahomes has been phenomenal for Kansas City this year, accumulating 4,816 yards through the air (2nd) with a 48:11 touchdown to interception ratio, good for a 114.0 passer rating.
Mahomes wouldn’t want all the recognition, though, as Tyreek Hill and the rest of his receivers have been tremendous. His favorite target has hauled in 82 passes for 1,378 receiving yards (6th) and 11 touchdowns this season.
But even if Mahomes is a little off, the Chiefs remain dangerous when offering the rock to Damien Williams and company. As a team, Kansas City averages a very respectable 4.9 yards per carry (fifth in the NFL). It’s really a pick your poison situation when facing this offense.
The Chiefs defense doesn’t contribute much help, though. They’re allowing a disgraceful 27.9 points per game, the fourth-most in the league.
Teams are no trouble scoring because they can attack in whichever way they please. Kansas City gives up 280.6 yards per game through the air (31st) and 132.5 on the ground (28th).
The last time these two teams played was December 2nd, 2018, when Kansas City defeated Oakland 40-33. The Chiefs were also 14.0-point favorites in that game.