The Kansas City Chiefs will take the field at Arrowhead Stadium in an attempt to push their overall record to 11-5 and their home record to 8-0.
To do that, they will have to beat a tough Oakland Raiders team that is hungry to push their season record to .500 for the first time since 1947.
This is a tough game to predict because you have to wonder if the Chiefs aren’t looking forward to the playoffs. Kansas City coach Todd Haley has said that the the Chiefs will be playing to win and has indicated that he will likely play his starters the whole way.
What I am wondering about is how much effort the coaching staff put into this week’s game plan. I can’t help but wonder if Haley has half his staff preparing game plans for potential playoff opponents. Every extra second of preparation in the NFL is an advantage so you have to believe that Haley has coaches already going through tape of the NY Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lastly, injury concerns could force Haley’s hand in this game. The Chiefs coach may intend to play his starters the entire game Sunday but what will happen if a key Chiefs player goes down to injury midway through the contest. If, say, Jamaal Charles were to have to leave the game, might that spook Haley into doing damage control and sitting his players?
All of these things make this game hard to predict. With that, we are going to give it a go anyway. Staff picks are after the jump.
Patrick:Chiefs 24, Raiders 17
This is going to be a good test for Matt Cassel. The last time these two teams played, the Raiders played man coverage most of the game and loaded up the box to stop the run. Cassel and the Chiefs were not able to make the Raiders pay for the single coverage and thus Oakland was able to contain KC’s run game and keep things close.
The Raiders secondary is excellent so if Cassel and Bowe have really taken big steps forward, they should have more success beating the single coverage today at Arrowhead.
Keep in mind that this game is an excellent tune up for a possible playoff matchup against the NY Jets. Both Oakland and NY are teams that rely on strong secondaries and a power running game. Neither team has spectacular QB play. If the Chiefs can perform well against the Raiders, they should have a good shot at taking down the Jets should they come to Arrowhead next week.
I think the Chiefs get the win but it will be closer than anyone would like.
Jeremy: Chiefs 28, Raiders 10
Chiefs defense beats up an inept raider offense. This game means so much more to chiefs than the raiders. Raiders give up in the third quarter.
Merlin: Chiefs 35, Faiders 21.
Raiders try to put up a fight in this blood rivalry, but fall far short.
Big Matt: Chiefs 70, Oakland 3
Randy: Chiefs 35, Raiders 10
We won’t lose at Arrowhead.
Nick: Chiefs 27, Raiders 6
KC gets ahead early and blankets Ford because McFadden is out of the mix or hurt.
Victor: Chiefs 37, Raiders 6
It will be 24-3 by halftime as Cassel & Co. again start fast as the defense keeps getting them right back on the field, and the Chiefs coast through a second-half victory lap.
Alright Addicts, those are our picks. What are yours?