The Oakland Raiders realize what type of game it will be against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The Chiefs are a touchdown favorite and under Andy Reid don't often lose to bad teams, which the Raiders undoubtedly are at 0-10.
Raiders coach Tony Sparano seemed to recognize that the Chiefs had the advantages in this game when he was asked by the Raiders media this week about playing Kansas City.
"Yeah, they've won five in a row," Sparano said, via the Raiders website. "They're a good football team, a well-coached football team, a good team, a physical team, a team that can possess the ball for long periods of time. They do a tremendous job keeping the ball on third down.
"This will be a game - one of the few games right now that we've played in, to be quite honest with you - where we'll be taxed. When I say that, I mean sometimes you can go into games and on paper you have an advantage in different areas. In this game here, we're going to have to play well in every phase of the game, obviously, which we have to do every week.
"Their special teams, their return game is very good, and that can be a real factor in this football game. So we have to do a great job from a special teams standpoint, which has been an advantage for us in the last few weeks. In other words, on paper, it's been an advantage for us - our returns teams versus our opponents. But in this ball game here, we've got to do a good job in that phase as well.
"They're an explosive team and they play real good defense, obviously, with two good rushers out there - one guy that's got a ton of sacks. They've got a great front - a big, physical bunch of guys. They get after you pretty good, and I know their defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and he brings a lot of different exotic pressures. He's from [New York Jets Head Coach] Rex [Ryan]'s school there and they'll come after us. They'll challenge us a bunch there."
The Raiders are 0-10 so the sooner they can be honest about themselves the sooner they can get to fixing things, and Sparano seems to know who his team is. The Chiefs have the advantage in every category. The Chiefs biggest weakness -- rush defense -- matches up nicely with the Raiders biggest weakness -- rush offense.
On paper, Kansas City has all the advantages. But the great part about the NFL is that "on paper" means nothing. Just as it did when the Chiefs beat the 13-0 Packers three years ago or the Rams beat the almighty Broncos last week. Bad teams upset good teams every week in the NFL. The Chiefs have to hope they're not one of those teams.