The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a slip-up last week, their first loss of the season. The Steelers helped Vegas out, taking down the undefeated Chiefs at home by a score of 19-13. It was one of the best efforts we’ve seen from the Steelers this season, and the worst for the Chiefs. That explosive offense we’ve seen was non-existent.
The public went heavy on the Chiefs, believing they would have had no issues against a Steelers team who just lost the Jaguars. Not just lose to the Jaguars, lose in horrific fashion. As we saw on Sunday night between the Giants and Broncos, things that took place the previous week, sometimes don’t carry over to the following week, though.
Despite playing a lifeless game last week, the Chiefs are still an impressive 5-1. They still are in control of the AFC West, with the Broncos at 3-2 and the Chargers and Raiders both at 2-4. The Raiders have not looked like a good team this season. I don’t think it’s just a blip on the radar, just had a bad week kind of thing. They have looked off, like something is amiss. Derek Carr was injured his back during the Broncos game a few weeks back, and has been hindered ever since. Carr did get the start this past Sunday vs the Chargers, but couldn’t lead his team to victory.
The Chargers earned a slim 17-16 win to prevent a 1-win start. LA were able to nullify the Raiders’ offense, holding Carr down in his return from the back injury. He passed for 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, along with 171 yards on 20-of-31 passing. Oakland needs a win tonight, or are quickly in danger of heading to last in the AFC West. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?
The Raiders must avoid another bad game, this time on primetime for everyone to see. Signing NaVorro Bowman came out of nowhere, and I don’t know if he has anything left to give, though. Maybe a change of scenery can get his competitive juices flowing again. Head below for our free Chiefs vs. Raiders pick on Thursday Night Football.
K.C. Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders Betting Odds:
vs. Raiders +3(+100)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chiefs vs. Raiders Pick:
The Steelers game plan was simple against the Chiefs: stop the run and make them win exclusively with Alex Smith. As we’ve seen in the past this season, Smith has been playing some of the best football in his career. However, he’s had a lot of help from his running back, Kareem Hunt. If teams can find a way to nullify him, it’s going to make the Chiefs really one-dimensional, and that’s what the Steelers did extremely well.
Hunt rushed for just 21 yards, a long of only 5 yards. The Steelers knew what to do, and they executed it to perfection. Hurting the Chiefs in that game was the absence of center Mitch Morse and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Both will miss action this week as well. The loss of Morse and Duvernay-Tardif were largely understated, but on the field, it was clear that they were greatly missed. There were zero running lanes for Hunt or anyone else to find. If Oakland can step up on the defensive line, they should have a good shot in this one.
The loss of safety Eric Berry will also to continue to hamper the Chiefs. He was terrific at everything on defense, including plugging up the run. The Chiefs are 27th against the run, allowing 130.7 yards per game. Le’Veon Bell made it look easy. The Raiders have lost four games in a row. They are 30th in the NFL, after being one of the top-ranked units in 2016.
This is the closest thing to a must-win for them this year. People will understate the absence of the Chiefs’ offensive line issues going into this one, again. At full-health, they are very good, but not with injuries. If the quarterback is the pilot of the offense, the center is the co-pilot. I look for the Chiefs’ running game to have troubles on the road again this week without Morse. I like the Raiders getting points at home on Thursday night.
PICK: RAIDERS +3 (+100)