The Oakland Raiders have a short week to prepare for the Kansas City Chiefs as they prepare to attempt to end a four-game losing streak that has dropped them to last in the AFC West.
On top of that, they host the AFC West leading Chiefs on Thursday Night Football who is coming off their first loss of the season, falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.
Head coach Andy Reid is leading the team for the fifth year and has won 15 out of their last 18 regular season games with back-to-back appearances in the postseason.
Reid’s offense is ran by veteran quarterback Alex Smith, who is having one of his best seasons in the NFL yet. Smith has an NFL-best 73-percent completion rate while tossing for 12 scores, 1,637 yards and no interceptions. Tight end Travis Kelce continues to be his favorite target, leading the team in both receptions (33) and receiving yards (390). After a successful rookie season, speedster wide receiver Tyreek Hill has added 30 receptions of his own and a team-high 390 yards with two touchdowns.
The Raiders defense struggled against the tight end last week and has also struggled to slow down speedy wide receivers, both of which will be important when they host the Chiefs on Thursday night.
Derek Carr and the Raiders offense has struggled over the last four weeks and will now look to get back on track against one of the league’s best and most opportunistic defenses. The Chiefs are allowing 378.2 yards per game, 13th best in the NFL.
The Chiefs defense relies on turnovers to give the ball back to the offense, currently holding a +7 ratio for third-best in the NFL. Oakland-native cornerback Marcus Peters has two interceptions, while Terrance Mitchell has also added two of his own through the first six weeks.
Donald Penn and the Raiders offensive line will once again face a tough defensive line. The Chiefs prolific pass rush has seen a resurgence from linebacker Justin Houston, who has a team-high 5.5 sacks on the year, tied for seventh in the NFL.
The Chiefs defense does however prove to be one in which Marshawn Lynch and the young running backs can run against. The Chiefs defense is allowing 130 rushing yards per game. Getting the rushing game going is crucial to opening up the pass game. Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing must also call more play-action plays, something he hasn’t done much of this season. The Raiders ran just two play-action play calls last week in their loss to the Chargers.
Jack Del Rio and the Raiders will get back on the road after this week, going to Buffalo to take on the Bills next Sunday.