The Kansas City Chiefs and currently Oakland Raiders will battle for the division lead going into week 14.
The last time the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders faced off, we saw one of the worst end-of-game collapses by K.C. this season. The Chiefs allowed a 1- yard completion on 4th and 11 and had 2 costly penalties inside their own 10-yard line that ultimately helped give the Raiders the win.
Perhaps the biggest and more interesting thing in this matchup is the suspension of Marcus Peters. After his meltdown in New York the Chiefs suspended him for one game. Recently signed Darrelle Revis will likely take over for him as the Chiefs left cornerback.
Now let’s get into the offensive and defensive matchups for the week. First we’ll take a look at the previously mentioned Revis and his matchup with Amari Cooper.
Darrelle Revis vs. Amari Cooper
The last time the Chiefs saw Cooper, the Raiders WR went for a mind boggling 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. Since then, Cooper has only managed 143 yards and 2 touchdowns in 4 games played. Cooper missed week 13 with a concussion, but has since cleared concussion protocol. He was held out of Wednesday practice with an ankle injury. At the time of writing this Cooper had been reported as “hopeful” to return on Sunday.
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Revis played just 36 snaps last Sunday against the Jets under a snap count, but should be a full go this week if he’s feeling good. In those 36 snaps Revis was in coverage for 19 snaps. During those 19 snaps Revis gave up 3 receptions for 29 yards and allowed a 106.9 NFL rating. Not very impressive for his first outing, but Revis still managed to outperform teammates Terrance Mitchell and Steven Nelson who both gave up over 50 yards and allowed an NFL rating of 116.7 individually. However, Revis did give up two missed tackles in coverage which was more than anyone else on the team. Considering Revis’s age and time since his last officially game though it’s not too surprising. Hopefully he’ll look better with another week of preparations and getting re-acclimated to the game.
Cooper as mentioned before absolutely torched the Chiefs for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. But outside of that performance he’s been far less than impressive. Cooper currently leads the league in drops despite being 23rd in total targets. Overall Cooper is 30th in the league in QB rating when thrown at with a 72.7 rating, compared to his 101 rating just last season.
This could be a great matchup for Revis still trying to get back into game shape. Cooper is still dealing with a lingering ankle issue and has been an under performer all season long. I’ve got Revis winning this matchup allowing no more than 30 yards to Cooper.
Tyreek Hill vs. Dexter McDonald
Back in 2016, Hill had zero games with over 100 yards receiving. In 2017, Hill now has three and may be poised for another. In week 13 against the Jets, Hill had the best receiving game of his career with 185 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 receptions.
After much criticism in the media over the Chiefs’ use of Tyreek Hill as more of a decoy and over-usage in screens. We finally got to see more of Hill flying down the field, and boy, was it a sight to see. Hill absolutely torched Rashad Robinson and Morris Claiborne of the Jets for 79 and 40 yards respectively.
This week Hill will be facing the third former Kansas starting cornerback in the AFC West, Dexter McDonald. Of anyone on the Raiders, McDonald may have the best chance of them all to keep up with Hill. He had the 11th highest SPARQ score at the 2015 combine for cornerbacks, highest on the Raiders. Stats wise McDonald looks less impressive. On his own team, he’s 3rd in QB rating allowed and1st in yards per coverage snap. In the league he ranks 102nd and 50th in each stat respectively.
On the other side, Hill currently ranks first in QB rating when targeted, and 7th in yards per route run in the NFL. McDonald will have the play his best game ever to really have any chance at containing Hill—that is if Reid/Nagy actually call plays for Hill downfield and Smith throws it to him.
The battle for destiny
The winner of this matchup will control their own destiny to the division crown. If the Raiders win then the week 17 matchup between the Raiders and Chargers may end up deciding the division. This is not where the Chiefs thought they would be after week 5 of the season.
Coming off a win against the hot Houston Texans. The Chiefs were looking forward to finally beating their recent achillies heel in the Pittsburgh Steelers. But fate was not on their side and the Chiefs lost to the Steelers and 5 out of their next 6 opponents. You can blame Alex Smith, Andy Reid, Bob Sutton—whoever you want. The defense, offense, and special teams have all played good, bad, and ugly at times. Injuries, playcalling, and execution issues on all sides have helped lead to an overall inconsistent team.
After returning to form early against the Jets, the Chiefs instead fell apart one more time. This may truly be final chance to show this season isn’t lost. Some fans have already given up, and I don’t blame anyone. It’s been incredibly frustrating watching this team continue to fail to live up to even the lowest expectations. It’s been hard to even find the reason to write this article when the feelings of pessimism are so strong.
If the Chiefs lose this matchup their season will be all but completely lost. If they win then perhaps this team may be closer to the 2011 Giants than the 2012 Chiefs. Only time will tell now.
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