coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 10/07/2013 04:24 PM in NFL

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: Preview and Pick

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: Preview and Pick

The Kansas City Chiefs are eager to prove they are one of the best teams in the National Football League (NFL). Despite having a perfect record with some impressive wins, the Chiefs are still not getting the respect they deserve by the media. They have a chance to make a big statement in week six of the NFL when they host their AFC rivals, the Oakland Raiders.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Chiefs listed as (-10) point favorites. Although the Raiders have looked decent at times this season, don’t expect any money to come in on the Silver and Black. Surprisingly only 59 percent of the early betting is on the Chiefs which is mostly due to the impressive Raiders win over the San Diego Chargers. This line has yet to move but it could change leading up to kickoff so keep an eye on the top rated sportsbooks.

The Raiders have looked very good since Pryor has taken over under center. The game against the Chargers is the first time the Raiders have scored a touchdown in the opening 2 minutes since Week 3 of 2011 against the Jets, which is a sign of how far the offense has come. Oakland's 17-0 halftime lead was its biggest at home since 2002 and the Raiders had no interceptions coming into the game.

Pryor will be tested against a tough Chiefs defense. The Chiefs had a Defensive EPA of 4.7 Sunday, and their defense has added an expected 65.6 points to their team's net points this season. No other defense has an expected points added total higher than 30 this season. The Chiefs are unstoppable up front which will put some pressure on the Raiders.

The latest sports betting trends for this game reveal some negative trends for both teams. The total has gone under in 13 of Kansas City's last 16 games when playing Oakland and the total has gone under in 5 of Kansas City's last 6 games at home. The Chiefs are 5-12-1 straight up in its last 18 games, but they have not lost a game yet this year. Kansas City is 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last 6 games when playing Oakland but Oakland is 0-5 straight up in its last 5 games on the road.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Pick

With plenty of time to go before kickoff of this week, I will wait to announce my pick when we get closer to game day. Check back the day of the event for my pick on this great game.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/08/2013 02:21 PM

All rivalries have their quirky periods when some strange, unexplainable things happen. The rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders has this: Oakland has won each of the past six games against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Now, the Chiefs have had some miserable teams during that period. But they’ve also had a division championship team in 2010 and would have had another the next season had they been able to beat the Raiders at home in December.

The one constant: The Raiders have been lousy during that time. From 2006 through 2012 the Raiders won just 17 road games with six of those victories happening in Kansas City. During the streak, they’ve been coached by four different men (Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson and Dennis Allen) and quarterbacked by four different players (Daunte Culpepper, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer).

The Chiefs get their chance to end this particular losing streak Sunday when the Raiders come to Arrowhead. They are 5-0 and 10-point favorites and all sorts of negative streaks are ending this season with the Chiefs being coached by Andy Reid, so it’s probable this one’s days are few.

But who thought the Raiders would win any of these games?

2007: The Raiders won 20-17 after the Chiefs’ Kolby Smith failed to convert late in the fourth quarter on 4th-and-1 from the Oakland 24.

2008: The Raiders rushed for 300 yards in a 23-8 win.

2009: Oakland scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter to win 13-10.

2010: The Raiders rushed for 209 yards yards in a 31-10 win.

2011: Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime to give the Raiders a 16-13 win.

2012: Four turnovers doomed the Chiefs to a 26-16 defeat.

The Chiefs are tied with the Broncos for the AFC West lead, so they have bigger things to worry about on Sunday. But even coach Andy Reid was in the spirit of things on Monday.

“I’m all about rivalries,’’ Reid said. “I’ve got it. Black and silver, if anybody’s wearing it, be careful.’’

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/08/2013 02:22 PM

The Raiders’ big roster move Monday, obviously, was the team releasing quarterback Matt Flynn and his $6.5 million payday.

But Oakland also activated receiver Andre Holmes off the exempt list after he served a four-game suspension for a failed PED test. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Holmes had a team-high seven catches, for 86 yards, in the preseason after being claimed off waivers from New England on May 13.

The Raiders also waived offensive lineman Jack Cornell, who was signed off the practice squad on Saturday. The move leaves open a roster spot, presumably for another quarterback. David Carr and Pat White are both set to visit the Raiders on Tuesday.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/09/2013 11:41 PM

The Raiders’ running game received a boost in practice Wednesday as Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings, both of whom were nursing hamstring strains, were on the field during the media window.

McFadden, who was injured in first half of the Raiders’ 24-14 loss to Washington on Sept. 29, missed the Raiders’ 27-17 win over San Diego Sunday night. Jennings, starting in place of McFadden against the Chargers, felt his hamstring tighten up during pregame warm-ups but played the first half and had a game-high 41 yards in 10 carries.

A day after working out three veteran quarterbacks in David Carr, Pat White and Trent Edwards, there were no other QBs on the field as starter Terrelle Pryor, backup Matt McGloin and practice squad refugee Tyler Wilson were there.

The Raiders also announced the signing of defensive tackle Daniel Muir and the re-signing of offensive lineman Jack Cornell to the practice squad.

The 6-foot-2, 322-pound Muir, 30, originally signed with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie out of Kent State in 2007. He has also played for the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, appearing in 46 games, 26 starts, with 130 tackles (100 solo), ½ of one sack and one pass defensed.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/09/2013 11:42 PM

From some fans’ perspective, the only thing a “prevent” defense does is prevent a team from winning.

And yet, there it was, on full display late in the Oakland Raiders’ 27-17 win over San Diego Sunday night, defensive players falling far back and allowing Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to pick the Raiders apart underneath.

Except … that was the Raiders’ goal. And it worked, as the Chargers simply ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Oh, and one more thing: Don’t call it a “prevent” defense.

"The key is, in those situations, is that the only way a team can beat you is to get the ball over your head; we let them do it one time in the game … and one time is too many,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “So we don’t use the term ‘prevent defense.’ We’ll never use the term ‘prevent defense.’ But there is 'situational defense.'"

Such was the case when the Raiders led by 10 points and the Chargers had the ball at their own 20-yard line with 4:24 to play and two timeouts remaining, plus the two-minute warning.

Running a no-huddle offense out of the shotgun, San Diego took advantage of the open real estate underneath, converting on receptions of 20, 16 and 24 yards on their first three plays of the series. In fact, four of the seven “explosive” passing plays the Raiders gave up – Allen describes an explosive play as one that gains at least 16 yards through the air, 12 yards on the ground – came after the Raiders went up 27-17.

Indeed, the Chargers got down to the Raiders’ 4-yard line, but there was just 1:53 to play, and the drive was snuffed out in the end zone when rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden picked off Rivers' pass in the back of the end zone.

“I was focused on [Charles] Woodson there,” Rivers said. “I had him where I wanted him and I didn’t see [No.] 25 there.”

Still, had the Chargers scored a touchdown, or even kicked a field goal, they would have been within one score of the Raiders and would have been in line to attempt an onside kick with those two timeouts still in their pocket.

Call it a “prevent” or even a “situational” defense, it did not prevent the Raiders from winning last weekend.

“You have to be smart, you have to understand what an offense is going to try and do to you, and at that point in time, yards don’t cost you anything,” Allen said. “The only thing that costs you is points.

“The key for us was eliminating points, and when we got down in the red zone, defensively, we were able to do a pretty good job of keeping them out of the end zone.”

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/09/2013 11:45 PM

The Chiefs began preparations on Wednesday for the Oakland Raiders without, arguably, their best offensive player and best defensive player.

Running back Jamaal Charles, the AFC’s leading rusher and the Chiefs’ leading receiver, was held out of practice because of recurring blisters on his toes.

Justin Houston, who ranks second in the NFL with 8 1/2 sacks, is undergoing protocol for a concussion after taking a shot to the head and neck area in last Sunday’s victory at Tennessee.

“So far, (Houston) has been cleared of any signs of (a concussion),” coach Andy Reid said. “That’s a plus. But we’re taking him through the whole protocol and making sure.”

Reid said Charles’ blisters are not a result of a heavy pounding. Charles has carried 92 times for 397 yards and has caught 28 passes for 250 yards.

“This is his feet,” Reid said. “It’s not the joints or anything like that. His feet are a mess. That’s unusual. He’s got blisters.”

Determining the cause of Charles’ blisters has been problematic.

“They’ve done the shoes and the socks …” Reid said. “He’ll be all right.”

Wide receiver Donnie Avery, who has a shoulder contusion, took part in the early part of practice open to reporters. Tight end Anthony Fasano, who has a knee strain, did not practice. S Kendrick Lewis (ankle) also did not practice. Offensive tackle Eric Fisher, who missed last week’s game because of a concussion, returned to practice on Wednesday.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen said running back Darren McFadden (hamstring), who missed last week’s game against San Diego, was limited in practice on Wednesday but the Raiders are “hopeful” to have him available this week.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/10/2013 01:32 PM

Jamaal Charles is not the NFL's biggest running back. Far from it, in fact. At 200 pounds, Charles is the smallest of the three halfbacks on his own team, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Charles does not look like a back built to take a consistent pounding. Nobody has ever questioned his toughness or ability to rebound from a big hit, but it's natural to wonder with Charles, how much is too much?

Charles leads the league in touches. He has 92 carries and 28 catches and those 120 touches project to 384 for the full season at his current pace.

The potential for overuse of Charles was a concern to the Chiefs last season and they still gave him the ball 320 times between carries and catches. But it doesn't appear to bother coach Andy Reid this season.

"Running backs, this is kind of their deal," Reid said. "I'm not sure you ever quite feel right after the first game. You kind of go off knowing the guy and make sure you keep in good communication. He's handling it pretty good."

Charles has been troubled the past two weeks by blisters on his feet. He didn't practice on Wednesday because of them. But that's not a problem stemming from overuse.

"This is his feet," Reid said. "This is not about the joints or any of that. His feet are a mess. That's unusual but his feet are a mess. He's got blisters. We'll get that taken care of."

Reid's deeds match his words. Charles has been the only consistent threat for the Chiefs. Particularly at running back, the Chiefs have been unable to develop what they consider to be a suitable alternative.

They drafted Knile Davis in the third round this year specifically to ease Charles' burden. Between fumbles, lining up in the wrong places and running the wrong plays, the Chiefs don't seem to trust Davis much.

The Chiefs also have Cyrus Gray, one of their best special teams players. He has played some in passing situations but otherwise gets little work on offense.

Charles is showing no signs of buckling under the strain. He had his best game of the season last week against the Tennessee Titans with 108 rushing yards and a touchdown along with five catches.

How long that will continue is up for debate. That's why it's imperative the Chiefs develop another threat, someone who can take some of the pressure off of Charles.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/11/2013 11:54 AM

Although the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs are off to their best start in 10 years, coach Andy Reid thinks his team has plenty of issues to work on as they head into their first AFC West contest.

The Chiefs look to keep rolling by ending a six-game home losing streak to the rival Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Kansas City (5-0) got the go-ahead score on a run by Jamaal Charles with 6:23 left and the Chiefs followed with a pair of interceptions to preserve a 26-17 win at Tennessee on Sunday.

Charles ran for 108 yards and a touchdown and added 37 yards on five catches. He's fifth in the NFL with 397 rushing yards and leads the team with 28 receptions, though hasn't been nearly as effective in recent meetings with the Raiders (2-3).

Charles rushed for 14 yards on 14 carries and finished with 38 total yards as Kansas City dropped both matchups with Oakland last season.

This year, however, been a much different story for the Chiefs. After a 2-14 finish in 2012, they're trying to win their first six games for the first time since a 9-0 start in 2003.

"Listen, we're 5-0 and we're not ashamed of that,'' Reid said. "But we also know that we got a ton of room to improve. It's important that we continue to do that.''

Quarterback Alex Smith has stabilized the most critical position for the Chiefs in his first season in Kansas City, but he'll be looking for a better performance after going 20 of 39 for 245 yards with an interception Sunday.

Smith faced Oakland twice while with San Francisco, throwing for 361 yards with five touchdowns and one pick in a pair of victories.

He could be missing one of his top targets in Donnie Avery, who is recovering from a bruised shoulder. Tight ends Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce are also uncertain to play, while right tackle Eric Fisher is likely out because of a concussion.

The Chiefs would like to get receiver Dwayne Bowe more involved in the offense, as he has just 17 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns, and a matchup with Oakland might provide the right opportunity. The Raiders gave up 391 passing yards in a 27-17 victory over San Diego last week.

Kansas City went 1 for 4 in the red zone and 1 for 12 on third-down conversions against the Titans.

"You can't make a living doing that, right?'' Reid said. "You have to make sure you're more efficient on third down, and you have to shorten the third downs a little bit, too.''

Looking to stay tied with Denver atop the AFC West, Kansas City begins a three-game stretch at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs, though, have averaged 12.3 points during their six-game home skid to Oakland.

The Raiders forced five turnovers against the Chargers and have eight takeaways in their last three games after recording none in the first two.

The Chiefs are also playing well defensively, allowing a league-low 11.6 points per game and ranking seventh in total defense at 312.8 yards a contest.

They could receive a tough test from Pryor, who went 18 of 23 for 221 yards and two touchdowns last week. His 135.7 passer rating was the highest for a Raider since Rich Gannon in 2002.

"He's probably leaps and bounds ahead of where we thought he would be at this point in time," coach Dennis Allen said. "The key for him is he continues to work and continues to strive to get better on the little things.''

In his last two starts bridging a one-game absence due to a concussion, Pryor has connected on 72.5 percent of his attempts for 502 yards with three scores and no picks. He also leads the Raiders with 229 rushing yards on 37 carries.

Matt Flynn, beaten out for the starting job by Pryor in the preseason, was released this week.

After rushing for 41 yards on 10 carries against San Diego, Rashad Jennings may get another start in place of the injured Darren McFadden. Jennings suffered his own hamstring injury in the contest but is expected to be ready Sunday.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/12/2013 10:52 AM

Safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), tackle Menelik Watson (calf) and center Stefen Wisniewski (knee) won’t be in the lineup for the Raiders. Running back Rashad Jennings (hamstring), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), running back Darren McFadden (hamstring), defensive tackle Stacy McGee (shoulder) and tackle Tony Pashos (groin) might play after being listed as questionable.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (knee) is out and tight end Anthony Fasano (knee, ankle) is doubtful. Linebacker Justin Houston (concussion) and running back Jamaal Charles (toes) are both probable.