You knew regression was coming with the Raiders this season after last year’s charmed run to 12-4 and a playoff berth. Nobody thought the Raiders could go 8-1 in one-score games again. Or duplicate all those 4th quarter comebacks.
And here they are, 2-4, losers of four straight, with a season-defining game against their rivals tonight. This one is simple: A Chiefs victory tonight would push Kansas City four full games ahead of the Raiders, with a later date between the two at Arrowhead. Oakland hasn’t won there since 2012.
This one’s simple: The Raiders defense stinks. They are allowing QBs to complete 68% of their passes (29th in the NFL). They are allowing QBs to have a 105.4 rating (31st in the NFL). Alex Smith was MVP-caliber through five games, but regressed a bit against Pittsburgh.
The Raiders need to do what the Steelers did last week – run the ball relentlessly, keep the Chiefs offense off the field, and control the clock. Pittsburgh had the ball for 36 minutes. But can Oakland do that? They’re averaging just 93 rushing yards per game (24th). Marshawn Lynch has topped 75 yards just once this season, in the opener against the Titans.
I’d feel a lot better about the Raiders here in a season-on-the-line game if the Chiefs hadn’t been dominated Sunday by the Steelers. But I’ll still take the +3.