Week 7 in the NFL kicks off with a pair of AFC West Divisional rivals as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to The Black Hole to battle the Oakland Raiders. The stakes for this game are hard to overlook as the Raiders will try to snap a 4-game losing streak. Kansas City will be trying to avoid losing two-straight games after losing their first game off the season to the bane of their existence, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Oakland’s offense has looked far from functional since it’s Week Two victory over the New York Jets. In that game the Oakland Raiders scored 45 points against New York. In their four games since the time has combined for an abysmal 53 points. Quarterback Derek Carr’s back-injury has not helped matters, but combine that with a run-game that has yet to be established in 2017 and you get a Raiders offense that will need to find itself quickly, before it is too late.
Kansas City’s offense has had zero problems operating in 2017. The emergence of Running back Kareem Hunt out of the backfield has surely helped the unit as a whole. Hunt’s presence has helped open up options in the passing game as Alex Smith has been able to to drive the football down the field to his two favourite options, WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce.
The Raiders defense while being league average at stopping the pass, has struggled to stop the run. The Raiders are allowing the 5th most yards on the ground to opposing running backs over the past 4 weeks (485 Yards), and 274 receiving yards to those running backs. The signing of Navorro Bowman will likely not have a huge impact on the game Thursday.
Kansas City’s defense has been sieve-like in these past four weeks. They have allowed eight-receiving touchdowns (Most in the NFL), while also giving up the sixth most rushing yards to running backs (472 Yards). The Kansas City Chiefs have also run man-defense more than any other team in the NFL (63.5% of their defensive snaps). The Chiefs passing defense will have to man up if they want to stop the Raiders.