It’s time for this week’s Arrowhead Pride staff predictions. Every member of the staff picked the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, and every member of the staff was correct.
Let’s see how the staff feels about this matchup:
After selling the offense well short last week, I am being extra careful not to make the same mistake again. The Raiders actually looked like a capable football team on Monday night despite all of the distractions, and I am sure they will score a healthy amount of points, but as always, the Chiefs will have a little too much for the Raiders. And of course, we also need to account for the token Derek Carr meltdown that seems to happen every year against KC. Chiefs 51, Raiders 31
On paper, the Chiefs should blow the Raiders out of the water. Just like last season, I think they will — but only when the two teams meet again at Arrowhead during Week 13. This time it should be a different story. The Chiefs will be playing in front of an extremely hostile crowd taking full advantage of their last chance to harass their hated rivals before the Raiders flee to Las Vegas. With the team adjusting to Tyreek Hill’s absence and Patrick Mahomes’ tender ankle, I don’t think the Chiefs will put up a lot of points. So I expect the defense to be more aggressive, showing more of the stunts and blitzes for which Spagnuolo is known. Chiefs 27, Raiders 24
Ron Kopp Jr.
It’s Raider Week. The game may not have the same juice it did in the Schottenheimer era, but the two teams are each 1-0 and looked good in their opening games. Neither team will be at full strength — the Chiefs won’t have star receiver Tyreek Hill and the Raiders will be without rookie first-round safety Jonathan Abram. This game will come down to who wins in the trenches. A hobbled Mahomes will make it even more important that the offensive line controls the line of scrimmage. The Raiders didn’t surrender a single sack in Week 1, so it’ll be vital that the Chiefs pass rush reverses that trend. I’m expecting a big game from Travis Kelce on the offensive side, and I think Frank Clark has his first big game as a Chief. Chiefs 34, Raiders 21
Both the Raiders and Chiefs are coming into this game a little banged up with injuries, but it sounds like Patrick Mahomes will be good to play, which ends the last glimpse of hope for the Raiders. Despite a nice opening performance against the Broncos, the Raiders lack of the offensive firepower to keep up with Kansas City, while both defenses are fighting to be average. When the Raiders have the ball, it will be up to the Chiefs secondary to force Derek Carr to his second read and allow the pass rush to land home. While the Chiefs have the ball, look for Kelce and Watkins to carry the passing game, working the middle of the field with superior athleticism. The Chiefs win another game handily, as some garbage time points make the game look closer than it was. Chiefs 34 Raiders 16
Oakland surprised some folks with their defensive aggression and their offensive efficiency against what most think will be a good defense this year. Tight end Darren Waller abused the Denver cornerbacks, wide receiver Tyrell Williams got behind the secondary and rookie running back Josh Jacobs moved the ball well on the ground. They’ll need all three players to go off again if they want to hang with this Chiefs team in Week 2. Even a slightly injured Patrick Mahomes without Tyreek Hill will find room to work in a secondary that could be missing two starters. Look for the Chiefs to implement a quick passing game with Travis Kelce, get Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman into space, and let Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy pound the rock to move the ball up and down the field. The Chiefs defense throws a little more at Derek Carr this week and forces two turnovers en route to a comfortable victory. Chiefs 35, Raiders 17
A less-than-100% Patrick Mahomes is still a good football player, but he’s mortal. The health of the quarterback and absence of Tyreek Hill has created what is now a critical stretch for this team to navigate. The Raiders are improved, but I’m not buying them as a good team. The Chiefs eek the game out with a run-heavy, dink-and-dunk offense. Chiefs 27, Raiders 23
We all know at this point what the Chiefs offense is capable of even when they’re without Tyreek Hill and Mahomes is hobbled. The real question is how the defense will perform week to week, and this week’s task is no cakewalk. The Raiders’ offense has two things going for them: getting the ball out of Derek Carr’s hands quickly, and rookie running back Josh Jacobs. The Chiefs’ pass rush will have a tough time getting to Carr with how quickly he gets out the ball, so it will be up to the linebackers and secondary to perform and win this game for Kansas City. I believe they will struggle but make a few key plays to do just enough to help the offense win the game. Chiefs 35, Raiders 27
I’ll say it with every division rivalry game: throw the stats out the window. It probably should be a blowout, but it might be closer and uglier than a game against a typical opponent. The Raiders have serious issues (as do their fans, but I digress), but they managed a dominant victory in Week 1. The Chiefs are clearly the better team, and the quarterback/head coach advantage may not be close. I’m betting on Mecole Hardman’s arrival this week, as he’ll get the chance to show his playmaking ability with Hill out. The Chiefs defense will get to Carr, as usual and stop the run better than previous meetings. The score may appear closer than the game really was. Chiefs 45, Raiders 31
It’s a new day for the Oakland Raiders, as some of the things Jon Gruden put in place as part of his 10-year plan are beginning to come to fruition — that was evident on Monday Night Football in the Raiders’ 24-16 win against the Denver Broncos. On Sunday, we’ll find out if that had more to do with the Raiders’ on the rise or the Broncos on the decline. I tend to think it was a combination of both, and I expect every factor we’ve mentioned to play a role in determining the outcome of the game on Sunday. There will be emotion in the final Chiefs-Raiders game in the Black Hole before the rivalry moves to a city called Paradise, Nevada (not quite the same ring). Derek Carr has the Raiders offense moving while the Chiefs will be without Tyreek Hill. Gruden called losing rookie safety Johnathan Abram a “big blow” and I would agree. Though the Raiders feel a year away, I think they’re actually in the game for two quarters before the Chiefs offense is still too much. Chiefs 37, Raiders 27
Raider Week isn’t quite the same as it used to be because the Chiefs have owned the Raiders in the Andy Reid era, and I can’t see any reason that doesn’t continue. The Chiefs are simply the better team. I do think, however, this game will be competitive. Patrick Mahomes is banged up, which will affect him in this game. The Raiders keep it close, but the Chiefs hold on for the win. Chiefs 30, Raiders 25
Who wins Chiefs-Raiders?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout
Chiefs in a close game
Raiders in a close game
Raiders in a blowout
Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
For Chiefs-Jaguars in Week 1, everyone picked the Chiefs to win. Otherwise, John Dixon led the pack, accumulating just 10 points of error. John nailed the point spread at 14 but missed each team’s scoring output by five points with his 35-21 prediction. Pete Sweeney’s 42-21 prediction was second. Pete missed the spread by seven, the Chiefs’ score by two and the Jaguars’ by five.