The Week 6 matchup between the Raiders and Chiefs will be the biggest game of the season for both teams. The Raiders have looked impressive at the start of the 2016 season and the game against the Chiefs will say a lot about where both teams are and where they may be going.
So tell your family to lock their doors because it’s Raiders week and we’re going to take a peek at our heated rivals.
Chiefs and Raiders Offensive Numbers
We’ll start by looking at the Chiefs and Raiders offensive stats. The stats are per game averages and the numbers in the parentheses are their NFL ranks.
The clear and obvious advantage goes to the Raiders offense.
For good measure, let’s compare the Chiefs and Raiders defensive opponent rankings. Based on points per game the Chiefs have played the 28th (San Diego), 13th (Houston), 23rd (New York Jets), and 9th (Pittsburgh) ranked defenses in the NFL. On average the Chiefs offense has faced the 18th ranked defense in the NFL.
The Raiders on the other hand have faced the 32nd (New Orleans), 26th (Atlanta), 10th (Tennessee), 7th (Baltimore), and 28th (San Diego) ranked defenses in the NFL. The average defensive rank for the Raiders is 21.
On an interesting note, the Chiefs have the highest sacks allowed per game while the Raiders have the fewest sacks allowed per game. I don’t feel this is an indictment of the Chiefs offensive line as much as it is an indictment of Alex Smith running into sacks.
Now let’s take a quick look at Alex Smith and Derek Carr.
Derek Carr: 276.6 Y/G, 66.8 Cmp%, 2.2 TD/G, 0.4 INT/G, 102.3 Rating
Alex Smith: 268.3 Y/G, 64.9 Cmp%, 1.3 TD/G, 0.5 INT/G, 87.7 Rating
Derek Carr has outperformed Alex Smith in every single category above including interceptions. Alex Smith is elite at taking care of the ball and to see Carr taking care of the ball better than Smith is impressive.
Chiefs and Raiders Defensive Numbers
Now we’ll look at the Chiefs and Raiders defensive stats. The stats are per game averages and the numbers in parentheses are their NFL ranks.
The Chiefs defense has outperformed the Raiders defense in nearly every category except for total rushing yards. I had to blink a couple of times to believe my eyes when I saw how bad the Chiefs defensive numbers are, especially the run defense.
Based on points per game the Chiefs have played the 2nd (San Diego), 31st (Houston), 24th (New York Jets), and the 6th (Pittsburgh) ranked offenses in the NFL for an average position of 16.
The Raiders have faced the 4th (New Orleans), 1st (Atlanta), 24th (Tennessee), 22nd (Baltimore), and 2nd (San Diego) ranked offenses in the NFL for an average position of 11.
These numbers suggest the Raiders defensive ranking may somewhat be a product of facing great offenses.
The only area where the Raiders defense has outperformed the Chiefs is in the sack department. Going into the season we all knew the Chiefs pass rush would be a problem, but I don’t think we knew it would be this big of a problem. The Chiefs are almost dead last in the NFL in sacks per game.
Strengths vs Weaknesses
Chiefs Running Game vs Raiders Defense
The Chiefs average 4.3 yards per rushing attempt which is good for ninth in the NFL. The Raiders give up 4.9 yards per attempt which is good for 30th in the league. If the Chiefs play calling isn’t balanced in this game, I don’t know when it will be. The Chiefs need to run the ball.
Raiders Running Game vs Chiefs Defense
The Raiders average 5.0 yards per rushing attempt while the Chiefs defense gives up 4.5 yards per attempt. A lot of talk has been made about the Chiefs defense needing to stop Derek Carr, but the truth is that the Chiefs need to focus on the Raiders run game as well.
I went back and re-watched the Raiders/Ravens game and the Raiders have three players who can run the ball well in Murray, Richard, and Washington.
Raiders Offensive Line vs Chiefs Pass Rush
The Raiders have aloowed the fewest sacks per game in the NFL and the Chiefs have forced the second fewest sacks per game. It may be a struggle for the Chiefs offense to generate a pass rush against the Raiders. Bob Sutton needs to dial up the exotic pressures.
Weakness vs Weakness
The Chiefs offense has not played well in 2016. Fortunately for the Chiefs neither has the Raiders defense. The key to this game will be whether the Chiefs offense can score on the Raiders defense.
The Chiefs offense is ranked in the middle of the pack in most categories, while the Raiders defense is ranked towards the bottom of the NFL in most categories. If the Chiefs can’t score on the Raiders after an extra week to prepare then there should be major concerns over the offense (if there aren’t already major concerns).
This is year four with Andy Reid and Alex Smith working together and there is absolutely no reason the Chiefs offense should struggle in this game after a bye week. For the record, my money is on the Chiefs being able to put some points on the board.