Two of the NFL’s worst teams square off Sunday afternoon in an all-AFC West clash. The disappointing Kansas City Chiefs will play host to a puzzling Oakland Raiders squad. The Chiefs have a dismal turnover ratio despite their impressive yardage, but coming off of the bye week may have cured what ails them. Teams coming off of a bye week that lost entering it, are 6-2 against the spread in 2012, and the Chiefs will look to continue this trend on Sunday.
Kansas City was expected to contend for the playoffs and perhaps even the AFC West divisional title. Though after six games, the Chiefs enter this contest a brutal 1-5 team but their fortunes may be on the verge of changing. Kansas City is well-rested coming out of their bye, and for the first time in 2012, the Chiefs are finally a healthy group. Key running back Peyton Hillis will return to the line-up this week and should help ease the burden on Jamaal Charles. While this season isn’t already a write-off for Kansas City, if they lose at home to a struggling Oakland side, it could be lights out for the Chiefs in 2012. Expect a do-or-die like performance from Kansas City on Sunday.
On the other side of the football will be the Oakland Raiders. Coach Dennis Allen’s side should carry a wave of momentum with them into Arrowhead Stadium after staging an impressive comeback victory in Week 7. Oakland was down 17-3 in the first half last week, before storming back to net a huge overtime victory against Jacksonville. If Oakland is to continue to win games, their improved run defense will need to again be in peak performance on Sunday. Jamaal Charles of Kansas City averages a league-best 98.5 rushing yards per game, and if Oakland is to win this contest, they’ll need to contain the Chiefs’ ground attack. On the injury front, starting cornerback Shawntae Spencer and right tackle Khalif Barnes will both remain out for this contest, but their replacements have been capable in their absence.
Expect a hard-fought, tightly-contested encounter on Sunday between two divisional foes that don’t like each other all that much. Both Kansas City and Oakland’s playoff hopes are already hanging by a thread, and a loss in this spot would likely mean the remainder of their season would be comprised of meaningless games.
Raiders vs. Chiefs Betting Odds:
Oakland Raiders +1 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs -1 (-110)
Over 42 (-110)
Under 42 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Raiders vs. Chiefs Pick:
Though this will be a bitter and intense match-up, it remains a battle of two flawed teams that likely won’t sniff post-season play this year. Both squads has much higher aspirations for 2012, but those lofty goals will not come to fruition. However in this contest, one team has much more to play for than the other, and that team is the Kansas City Chiefs.
There is a lot of pressure on Kansas City head coach Romeo Crennel as he’s put his neck on the line by sticking with Brady Quinn at quarterback. Quinn is a capable, young quarterback, but has never really gotten a fair shot at starting in the NFL. Now Quinn has been given a full two weeks to prepare for this contest, a game viewed by many as a watershed game in their 2012 season. They’ve been relatively close in every game this season, and have been an exemplary team in terms of yardage on the year. Where they struggle though is taking care of the football, and punching the ball into the endzone. Going against a vulnerable Raiders’ defense, especially in the secondary, look for Quinn to thrive in this opportunity on Sunday.
Oakland enters 22nd in the NFL defending against the pass so look for Crennel to utilize this to his advantage. Brady Quinn has a ton of weapons at his disposal, especially key wide-out Dwayne Bowe. Bowe remains a premier receiver in the NFL, despite being stuck on a dismal Chiefs’ squad. Expect the Quinn-Bowe connection be hot on Sunday, en route to an impressive Kansas City outing.
The Chiefs have only held a lead once this season, despite outplaying the majority of their opponents. Though they are by no means a solid squad, they’re better than Oakland and better than their 1-5 record would indicate. Look for the Hillis-Charles duo to be stellar in their reunion, and Brady Quinn will turn in a solid outing as well as the Chiefs pick up a much-needed second win of the season.
PICK = Chiefs -1 (-110)