Chiefs vs. Raiders: Antonio Brown’s lingering impact and 9 other questions
My Prediction: Chiefs 42, Raiders 20
I honestly have to stop and give the Raiders a little bit of credit—and a bit of critique. They played a huge role in the Brown situation turning out the way it did. They are a rebuilding franchise—with little-to-no cultural support—and they decided to add one of the most publicly difficult players of the last few seasons to that locker room.
On top of that, it was clear from the outset that nobody in that front office or on the coaching staff made a point to set expectations with Brown when he finally came to the team. They exacerbated that lack of ground-setting by bending over backwards once Brown started acting out. These are tough situations, with million dollar athletes who have been worshiped their entire adult lives. However, a coach like Gruden and a GM like Mike Mayock should presumably have the clout to manage a difficult player. That’s not how it looked on the outside.
That said, I admire the resilience of the players. After all their hard work, they were overshadowed by someone who didn’t have any desire to work hard—at least, with them. Yet, they came out and really dominated an important game from start to finish against the Denver Broncos. I’m not sure this means a lot for them in terms of where they’ll finish their season, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Based on everything to this point, I expected them to fall apart and they didn’t.
In the end, it’s not going to matter. Other than a few hiccups here and there, Reid has had the Raiders number the last several years. In two meetings last year, the Chiefs scored 75 points and held the Raiders to 36 points. I expect them to keep pace with both, except add a garbage time score or two by the Raiders.