The Chiefs are trying to run away with the division, but have two games remaining with the Raiders, and Oakland is the only team within distance right now. Tom Cable’s quarterback roulette threatens to catch up with him in the second half of the season. Would he really bench Jason Campbell now? These two teams boast two of the top running back duos in the NFL, and should be plenty physical at the line of scrimmage. The resurgent (4-4) Oakland Raiders will look to knock off the AFC West leading (5-2) Kansas City Chiefs at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST. The Chiefs own the longest winning streak by a visitor in Oakland, but they’ll face a resurgent Raiders team that enters November without a losing record for the first time since its ’02 Super Bowl run.
As well as the Kansas City Chiefs have played, coach Todd Haley knows his team has to improve away from Arrowhead Stadium. Off to its best start since it was 9-0 in 2003, Kansas City (5-2) leads Oakland (4-4) and is 2 1/2 in front of San Diego atop the division. The Chiefs, though, are 1-2 away from Arrowhead and face the Raiders and West rival Denver on the road the next two weeks. Kansas City is fighting for a playoff spot, and a win in Oakland will vault them into consideration for not only winning the AFC West, but gaining control of one of the top seeds in the AFC playoff race. Kansas City is averaging nearly nine points fewer on the road while giving up 9.5 more per game away from home. The Chiefs’ quarterback is also playing well, as Matt Cassel has thrown 10 TDs — five to Dwayne Bowe in the last three weeks — with only three interceptions. His ability to limit mistakes is a major reason Kansas City has a league-low four turnovers. Cassel has also benefited from the league’s top running game. Led by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, Kansas City has run for 228 yards or more in each of the last three games. Continuing that ground surge could be a challenge as Oakland has held two consecutive opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards for the first time since 2006.If Cassel is forced to throw more against the Raiders, he may feel more comfortable doing so if Nnamdi Asomugha doesn’t play. The Pro Bowl cornerback, who left last Sunday’s game with a sprained right ankle, did not practice Thursday and is doubtful for this week. Defensively for Kansas City, the Chiefs have playmakers all across the board beginning with lock-down corner Brandon Flowers, moving to the ultra-athletic Eric Berry, and finishing with the best pass rusher in the NFL, Tamba Hali. Kansas City squeaked out a win last week over the Buffalo Bills, and although it was not pretty, that is the type of team these Chiefs are. They don’t care how they win, and long as they win. Something more glaring on the Oakland sideline this weekend could be that the Chiefs haven’t lost at the Coliseum since 2002. Which not by coincidence was the last time Oakland was a good team.
After setting a franchise record for points in a 59-14 win in Denver the week before, Oakland racked up a season-high 545 yards in a 33-3 victory over Seattle on Sunday. Darren McFadden (135 yards rushing), Darrius Heyward-Bey (135 receiving), fullback Marcel Reece (122 rushing) and running back Michael Bush (106 rushing) led the way as the Raiders posted consecutive 500-yard games for the first time in franchise history. The 92-17 scoring margin in the two wins is the most lopsided for Oakland in 43 years. RB’s Darren McFadden and Michael Bush fuel the Raiders’ No. 2 ranked running game. McFadden is gunning for his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game while Bush had 119 yards rushing in his last meeting against the Chiefs. Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell rebounded from a tough initial outing to play well in the absence injured starter Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder). With a bye following the Chiefs game, the Raiders have opted to stick with Campbell to give Gradkowski more time off to ensure he’s fully healthy.The Raiders last won three in a row at home during a four-game run at Oakland that was capped by a 24-0 victory over Kansas City on Dec. 28, 2002. That was Oakland’s last home win in the series. While Jason Campbell has been at the center of the offensive outburst, going 27 of 47 for 514 yards and four TDs in the last two contests, coach Tom Cable said that Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder) will start as soon as he’s healthy. Gradkowski told coaches prior to last week’s victory that it was the best he had felt since getting knocked out of a 35-27 win over San Diego on Oct. 10.
Chiefs vs Raiders Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Kansas City Chiefs (pick ’em)
@ Oakland Raiders (pick ’em)
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Chiefs vs Raiders Predictions for Week 9:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – It is kind of interesting how the football betting experts set the lines for each week. The Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) barely beat the Buffalo Bills (0-7) last week, so the Chiefs become underdogs to the Oakland Raiders (4-4) who pummeled the Seattle Seahawks (4- 3) last week. I am still not convinced the Chiefs are for real. The Chiefs also have trouble traveling as they are 5-18 SU in its last 23 games on the road. The Oakland offense is difficult to figure out. One week they have a passing game, and the next week, they do not. The one constant is McFadden and the running game, and that may prove to be a potent weapon against the Chiefs. You would have to be a fool to bet against the way the Raiders are playing, they are reminiscent of the 2002 Superbowl team in how powerful they are. The Raiders will be fired up to win this one and gain one more step on the AFC leading Chiefs. The black hole should be rocking and I see Chiefs QB Matt Cassel being rattled early and often. We will consider the Raiders pulling out a close win over their AFC West rivals in the Kansas City Chiefs.
Game Total Prediction – OVER, OVER, OVER. This line baffles me and I believe this total could be reached by halftime. The Raiders are on fire offensively as of late and they will finally get a shot to test this offense against the AFC West leaders in the Kansas City Chiefs. The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oakland’s last 6 games and this offense shows no signs of slowing. The Chiefs are no slouch as 3 of their last 4 games have gone over the total posted total. I am still not convinced that the Chiefs front four are a legitimate bunch and I believe the Raiders rushing attack will find their spots for long gains. I strongly recommend taking a look at the OVER in this AFC West rivalry clash.