It’s a short week for the Raiders and Chiefs. Sucks for them, great for us; that means we don’t need to wait until Sunday for this epic matchup: the Raiders, at 10-2, along with the Patriots, have the best record in the AFC and are battling for the home field throughout. But the Chiefs are just a game back, beat the Raiders in their house, and hold most of the tiebreaker edges over Oakland. So going to one of the league’s most hostile environments, during a short week, is a huge challenge for the Raiders.
Look. I don’t know that the Raiders will beat K.C. in their house tomorrow night. And the Chiefs did get them in theirs. But I do know this. That was back in Week 2. And the Raiders are a different team now, than they were then. A better team.
Early in the season, they were just getting over; barely winning. Now, they’re smashing fools… And blowing chumps out. Ask Buffalo, who had jumped the Raiders only to have them drop 29 unanswered points on the in route to a hospital job.
But that’s not a surprise. The Bills implode and the Raiders explode, offensively. They’ve got the odds on MVP under center in Derek Carr: an excellent offensive line that keeps him clean. Weapons on the outside and a very good running game. We knew this, but what’s different now is that Raider dee. Don’t get it twisted; I’m not saying this is a great defense. It’s not. But it is led by a guy who is getting serious run for Defensive Player of the Year in Khalil Mack; significant considering the guy did next to nothing for the first month or so of the season. Now, the guy is un-blockable. If he keeps abusing people the way he is, that’s the kind of guy that can lead a team on a run almost by himself; sort of like Von Miller in Denver. Mack is that good. That dominant.
Again, I’m not calling a Raider win here. K.C. is legit. Especially with Justin Houston back. And they’re obviously hell to deal with in their house. But I’ve been riding with the Raiders since Week 1 and there’s no way I’m jumping off now.
The Raiders don’t need this one to win the division, but it’s going to be a helluva lot tougher to rip the AFC West without it. Raiders! Chiefs! Hell week.