All of Arrowhead Pride’s contributors were back to picking the home team when the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Denver Broncos in Week 13. Our aggregate prediction of a 29-17 Chiefs victory wasn’t great — it carried 16 points of error when compared to the 22-9 final — but it was the best one we’d turned in since Week 4. Our readers were less confident of a Kansas City victory. About one in 10 thought Denver would win — but half of the rest foresaw the easy victory.
In Week 14, the Chiefs face the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored by 9.5 points. Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
This version of the Chiefs’ defense versus that version of the Raiders’ offense?! Is it really even a contest? Come on! We’ve seen this movie a hundred times already; we know exactly how it plays out. Derek Carr has a horrible record at Arrowhead Stadium — despite last year’s fluke. On that particular day, everything had to break right for the Raiders to win. There’s no chance that is happening again. Get your popcorn ready, Chiefs Kingdom — it’s going to be a fun one. Chiefs 24, Raiders 10
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
Color me convinced: the Kansas City defense is the real thing. But despite its big performance in Las Vegas three weeks ago, I’ve not yet been persuaded the offense has figured it out. And I also think Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley — who has typically done a good job against the Chiefs’ offense — is itching to show that the last game was an outlier. I’d guess his players feel the same way. So I’ll call for the Chiefs’ defense to once again play a strong game — and for the offense to cover the spread. Chiefs 24, Raiders 14
Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)
We have seen this team go from being an offensive juggernaut to one that has now taken over the division because of its defense. The Chiefs have not allowed more than 17 points since Week 8 — and have held opponents to single digits in three out of the four last games, including the last two. Meanwhile, Las Vegas is 1-4 since their bye week — and it took a Thanksgiving overtime game against the Dallas Cowboys to get the single win. Tight end Darren Waller’s absence isn’t going to do the Silver and Black any favors, either. Last time, the Chiefs blew them out — and we could see a repeat performance... of sorts. Chiefs 27, Raiders 10
Kristian Gumminger (@kgumminger)
It’s Raider Week — but it doesn’t really feel like Raider Week. The Chiefs are putting things together for a playoff run — but the Raiders’ season is spiraling. Las Vegas has lost four of its last five — and enter this game without offensive playmakers Darren Waller and Kenyan Drake. With another division loss, the Raiders’ playoff hopes are all but over — so I see them pulling out every trick play they have; I just don’t believe they have enough of them to keep up with the Chiefs. That said, I don’t expect a blowout. I believe the Chiefs will again rely on their defense — and a few offensive drives — to win a close one. The Chiefs won’t be looking ahead to the Los Angeles Chargers — but they aren’t going to show anything they don’t have to, either. Chiefs win another uncomfortable one. Chiefs 24, Raiders 20
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
The Chiefs’ defense continues to carry the team — and I’m still not used to typing that. But that is the reality — and with the Raiders coming into town after a tough home loss against the Washington Football Team, I see no reason why the Chiefs’ defensive dominance won’t continue. These two teams met nearly a month ago — and the Chiefs won in convincing fashion, handing Las Vegas a 41-14 defeat. With Darren Waller out, I’m not sure how the Raiders will score enough to make this close. Chiefs 31, Raiders 14
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
One of the low-key themes of the Chiefs’ winning streak has been their luck with opponents’ injuries. It continues this week, as the Raiders will be missing tight end Darren Waller and likely starting linebacker Denzel Perryman — who is listed as doubtful after not practicing all week. Similar to the 22-9 win over the Denver Broncos last Sunday, I believe we’ll see the Chiefs control this game from start to finish. The Raiders’ defense doesn’t have the back end to shut down Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill like the Broncos did — and the Raiders’ offense isn’t really any more threatening. I really think this game will play out just like last week: the offensive coaching staff will trust its unit to win with a basic game plan, saving it all up for the Thursday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in five days. Chiefs 23, Raiders 13
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
Derek Carr’s career record in December is 12-20 — and a lot of that has to do with late-season games in Arrowhead Stadium. Carr just isn’t a good cold-weather quarterback. Unfortunately, Sunday is going to be a beautiful day in Kansas City. Sunny days aside, I would not expect a repeat of last year’s Week 5 performance. Without Darren Waller, the Raiders’ passing offense looks boring. Josh Jacobs’ yards per attempt has fallen in each of the three years that he has been in the league. This Raiders team outperformed expectations early in the year, but this is Week 14 — otherwise known as the time of year when pretenders fall by the wayside as contenders prepare for the postseason. Kansas City still has a lot to figure out on offense — especially in the passing game: the drops needed to stop five weeks ago. But as long as Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback — and the defense keeps playing lights out — I don’t see any way the Chiefs lose at home. Chiefs 21, Raiders 9
Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)
The Raiders’ rollercoaster has cost them this season. The Chiefs’ defense will be too much. Chiefs 21, Raiders 12
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
This is a game that the Chiefs can lose — but only by finding new and creative ways to beat themselves. Those expecting the Kansas City offense to pick up where they left off in Las Vegas last month will be disappointed. Andy Reid will not give Gus Bradley an opportunity to make adjustments to the much-criticized Cover 3 scheme that Mahomes shredded on Sunday Night Football in Week 10. With a quick turnaround looming, expect the Chiefs to attack the decimated Raiders linebackers with the running game and short passes. Expect Reid to be content to let the defense once again set the tone for this game — not digging too deeply into the offensive playbook until necessary. The Chiefs will try to shorten the clock as much as possible without sacrificing the win. And given the opportunity to face the same opponent twice within a month, this is the last game I will wonder if Josh Gordon will step up with his new team. Chiefs 27, Raiders 13
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
The Chiefs might very well be a defensive team now — but this week against the Raiders, the offense will have another opportunity to explode. Las Vegas simply doesn’t have the personnel to successfully slow down the Chiefs’ offense like others have done this season. While this might not truly be a get-right game for the Kansas City offense, Las Vegas just won’t be able to totally slow them down at Arrowhead in December. On the other side, the defense should be set up to have another successful outing. Chiefs 31, Raiders 17
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
What about this matchup favors the Raiders? The Chiefs’ defense has become one of the better units in the league, with a pass rush and secondary that have come on strong — and are complementing each other. The best weapon on the Raiders’ offense (Waller) will miss this game with an injury. The Chiefs’ offense hasn’t yet returned to their elite form, but they’ve still done enough to beat better defenses than the one they’ll face this week. The only matchup on the field that might have favored the Raiders was Maxx Crosby versus Andrew Wylie, but there’s a chance that reinforcements (in the form of Lucas Niang or Kyle Long) could change things up. Now focused on getting ready for the postseason, the Chiefs are on a mission. This division rival will be a speedbump on the road. Chiefs 35, Raiders 10
Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)
For the Chiefs to still have a shot at the first-round bye, this game is essentially a must-win. For the Raiders’ playoff hopes to remain alive, they must win. For those reasons, I think both teams will come out emotionally ready to play — at least to a degree. Without Raiders tight end Darren Waller on the field, the Chiefs should be able to commit to stopping the run — and attacking Derek Carr aggressively with their blitz packages. I expect the offense to jump out to an early 10-14 point lead — and that is when Steve Spagnuolo will relentlessly challenge Carr to make plays under pressure. That turns him into a bad quarterback, period. This is just a brutal matchup for the Raiders right now. By Sunday night, I think they will be thinking about the offseason — that is, if they aren’t already. Chiefs 29, Raiders 15
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
Just three weeks ago, the Chiefs played their best offensive game of the season against the Raiders — winning by four scores. And that was with Las Vegas’ best player — tight end Darren Waller — in the lineup. I expect more of the same in this game, with the offense thriving against Gus Bradley’s defense while Kansas City’s now-healthy defense continues its strong play. Perhaps the game gets out of hand fast — and given the short week ahead, Andy Reid will be able to bench his starters. Chiefs 33, Raiders 10
Ethan Willinger (@ecwillinger)
I’ll be interested to see what adjustments the Raiders make in this game — but I don’t foresee them being impactful enough to overcome the Chiefs. In the first matchup, Kansas City emphasized getting the ball out of Mahomes’ hands quickly to limit the impact of the Las Vegas pass rush. No matter whether Gus Bradley rolls with his typical Cover 3 scheme — or conforms to the prevailing wisdom of using Cover 2 against Kansas City — the Chiefs can use a similar game plan to dice up the Raiders. Defensively, Kansas City should continue to roll — especially with Darren Waller sidelined. The second time around, the Raiders keep it closer — but the Chiefs still win handily. Chiefs 31, Raiders 17
Which team wins Raiders (6-6) at Chiefs (8-4)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Raiders in a close game
Raiders in an easy win
Raiders in a blowout
|14||14||Ron Kopp Jr.||7||5||0.5833||35.8|
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.
Among the staff in Week 13, Stephen Serda’s 27-14 prediction led the way with 10 points of error. It was Steve’s first win of the season. Bryan Stewart took second place with a 28-16 pick that was off by 14 points. Five different staffers had picks with 16 points of error, while three more had 22 points of error. With so many predictions clustered together, the standings barely changed from the week before.