All of Arrowhead Pride’s contributors expected the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 9; we just expected a bigger point spread. Our aggregate prediction was for a 35.3-22.3 victory. Our readers, however, were quite a bit less confident. While 97% called for a Chiefs win, 49% thought it would be a close game.
Let’s see what our staff (and our readers) think about the Sunday Night Football game between the Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
Offensively, I think the Raiders are going to try the opposite of what they did in Arrowhead. If they’re being honest with themselves, the Raiders coaching staff members know the Chiefs secondary won’t play as badly as it did in Arrowhead. Derek Carr definitely caught the Chiefs defense off guard. Will the Chiefs be as unprepared this time? Probably not. So I expect to see a heavy dosage of Josh Jacobs on Sunday and an attempt at ball control. This will require Jon Gruden to be aggressive on fourth downs once again, but I can’t see that being a problem for him.
The issue for Vegas is that they have poked the bear, no doubt. Since losing to Vegas, the Chiefs have averaged 37 points a game – I expect them to top that figure on Sunday. If they are scoring for fun, then the Raiders will have to abandon Plan A and attempt to emulate what they did in Arrowhead — something that I think will end badly for Vegas. Chiefs 51, Raiders 24
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
We might as well get used to the fact that the Raiders are a good football team. Their only problem is that they’re not a great football team. The Chiefs learned a lot about the Raiders (and themselves) when their division rivals got the best of them in Week 5. I expect both teams to bring their “A” games. It’s just that one of them has a better “A” game than the other. Chiefs 38, Raiders 31
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
It’s really hard to imagine the Chiefs fumbling their chance at revenge against the Raiders. After losing in Week 5, the Chiefs have won four straight and were set up nicely with a bye week leading into their trip to Las Vegas. The offense will play well like it did in the first matchup, and the Chiefs may even have Sammy Watkins back. It’s the defense that needs to play better this time, and it sounds like it will be more prepared for the passing attack than last time. The pass rush makes a greater impact, Andy Reid runs a memorable trick play, and the Chiefs secure a stranglehold on the AFC West. Chiefs 45, Raiders 28
Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)
It’s pretty simple math from where I stand. The Chiefs played one of their worst offensive halves of all-time against the Raiders the last time they met, while Derek Carr made plays that he’s never made before on a football field. I simply can’t see either thing happening a second time given the talent disparity between the two teams. I expect the Chiefs offense to not only be dialed in, but also schemed up well to take advantage of a rather young secondary and average pass-rushing unit. Defensively, the Chiefs likely will have to dedicate some extra men or field some of their better run defenders to slow down the Raiders’ rushing attack thus challenging Carr to repeat his performance. The Chiefs jump out big with a ton of energy on both sides of the football and simply never let up based on how the Raiders reacted to finally toppling the Chiefs. Chiefs 38, Raiders 17
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
There's no shortage of motivation this week for division rivals with playoff fortunes on the line. The Chiefs are coming in rested, healthier and maybe a little salty. The Raiders aren't a bad team, but they're going to hit a buzzsaw this week. The only thing scarier than Andy Reid after a bye could be Patrick Mahomes after a loss. Except another #MVPat performance with the “A” game plan. Mahomes throws for four-plus TDs, and the defense scores another. Chiefs 42, Raiders 20
Craig Stout (@barleyhop)
The previous time these two teams met, the Raiders’ pass rush bucked trends to pressure Patrick Mahomes and Derek Carr bucked trends to throw the ball down the field. Since that game, both have regressed to the mean. There’s little reason to expect that the Raiders can put together another trend-breaking performance on Sunday — and that’s bad news for Las Vegas. The Chiefs come out focused on both sides of the ball, execute significantly better than we saw in Week 5, and this game is a B-L-O-W-O-U-T. Chiefs 42, Raiders 17
Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)
Whether or not you believe the Chiefs have a bus-sized chip on their shoulder (after 41 Action News' Nick Jacobs reported the Raiders took a victory lap around Arrowhead after handing the Chiefs their only loss), this team is fresh and read coming off their bye. That historically bodes extremely well for Andy Reid teams. I expect more of the same. This is a statement game on national television. They start the back half of the season strong. Expect no mercy. Chiefs 38, Raiders 17
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
There were several reasons to believe the Kansas City Chiefs were set to beat the Las Vegas Raiders before the victory lap became a focal point: Andy Reid is coming off a bye week, it is looking like cornerback L’Jarius Sneed should make his return to the lineup and Kansas City can’t afford to lose to an AFC West division foe twice, regardless of any bus ride. When it comes to Derek Carr, it’s difficult for me to believe lightning will strike twice against Kansas City with the downfield passing, and if for some reason it does, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and safety Tyrann Mathieu made me believe this week they will be ready for it. I think an underlying key for the Chiefs defense in this game will be curbing the Raiders’ talented running back tandem on early downs, but the story will wind up being the offense. We have seen Patrick Mahomes turn into The Count when he has felt disrespected in the past against Chicago and Baltimore, and though he downplayed the lap this week, I wonder if we see another in-game reference after the Chiefs score big against a defense who couldn’t practice this week. Chiefs 40, Raiders 17
Which team wins Chiefs (8-1) at Raiders (6-3)?
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 the third time this season, Matt Lane turned in the best contributor pick, calling for a 34-27 Chiefs win against the Panthers. That prediction had only 10 points of error. Pete Sweeney was 16 points off with his 34-24 prediction — his best pick this year. Kent Swanson and Craig Stout both thought the Chiefs would win 31-21. That was good enough for Craig to stay at the stop of the standings — and for Kent to edge out John Dixon for second place.