Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs compete for AFC West title

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19: Amari Cooper
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19: Amari Cooper /
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Kansas City Chiefs

After starting off the season 5-0 and looking like the team to beat, the Chiefs have lost 6 of their last 7 games. The only win came against a pitiful Denver Broncos team who has lost their last 8 games. Losing to teams like the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and the New York Jets goes to show the downhill slide of this Kansas City team.

Quarterback Alex Smith struggled for a long stretch as he missed wide open targets and failed to read defenses before the snap. Smith got back on track against the Jets last week putting up 366 yards and 4 touchdowns in the air and 70 yards on the ground. Unfortunately, the defense fell flat on their face and couldn’t stop the Jets in any situation.

The Chiefs have failed to get much going in the run game with once star rookie running back Kareem Hunt much due to limited carries only averaging 12.6 carries per game since the bye week. Since week 6 when the decline started, Hunt has had 4 games with 11 or fewer carries. In that 7 game stretch, Hunt has had only 3 games where he didn’t average more than 4 yards per carry. The little bit of hope is that Hunt’s highest yards and average per carry in this time frame came against the Raiders who the Chiefs will be hosting on Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs offense came out last week and took to the air against the Jets and looked explosive doing so. The only problem was that the defense couldn’t get off the field and the offense only had the ball for 17:11. The offense is going to have to adjust this week with the defense being without cornerback Marcus Peters due to suspension.

The defense is already in shambles and going out to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday without Peters will be a tall task for the defense who looks defeated much of the time. The offense will have to try and control the clock by running the ball and keeping the Raiders offense off of the field if they want any chance of winning this game and keeping their playoff hopes alive.

Luckily, the Raiders defense is nothing to brag about and the Chiefs tend to have the weapons to tear it apart. In the last showing earlier in week 7, Smith put up 342 yards in the air and threw for 3 touchdowns while Hunt ran the ball for 87 yards and caught 4 passes for 30 yards. The defense was a huge problem against Oakland and it might be worse this time around if the Chiefs can’t keep the Raiders offense off of the field.

Depending on which Alex Smith we receive on Sunday if this game does prove to be a shootout, Smith showed last week that he can still throw the ball downfield to score with 4 touchdowns on passes 20 plus yards in the air. Either way, the offense is going to have to carry this struggling defense without two of their best secondary members in Marcus Peters and safety Eric Berry.