AFC stock reports: Critical matchups, hot streaks, and pretenders fall short in Week 13
A closer look at how the AFC action from Week 13—seed changes and critical matchups—will affect the Kansas City Chiefs going forward.
After a desperately needed bye week, the Kansas City Chiefs immediately took care of business. Facing off against the Oakland Raiders for the top position in the AFC West, the Chiefs improve by sweeping their divisional opponent. Head coach Andy Reid continues his dominance off the bye week improving his record to 18-3 after defeating Oakland 40-9. Since 2015, Reid is 25-3 against AFC West opponents, 12-2 against the Raiders since 2013.
Another record that continued is Derek Carr‘s playing in cold weather. Coming into Sunday’s matchup, Carr was 0-4 in games where the temperature was below 40 degrees, 0-7 under 45 degrees. Those aren’t the only stats that highlight Carr’s struggles against the Chiefs. He’s now 0-6 playing at Arrowhead Stadium and has thrown 2 or more interceptions against Kansas City in 3 consecutive games.
It was another success for the Chiefs defense once again dominating the Oakland offense for most of the day. The only bright spot for Oakland was rookie running back Josh Jacobs running 17 times for 104 yards. He becomes the first Raiders rookie to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Carr threw 20 for 30 for 222 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. One of those interceptions came at the hands of rookie safety Juan Thornhill who took it 46 yards for a touchdown. The secondary played well throughout the game consistently giving Carr trouble.
The Chiefs offense had its fair share of ups and downs throughout the afternoon. If you were expecting a breakout, mistake-free game for the offense this week, you might have been disappointed. One thing to keep in mind is the high winds with random gusts that affected many of the intermediates to deep throws from both offenses. There were multiple examples of this throughout the game as Mahomes barely missed his guy downfield.
It seems that some of the issues going into the bye week like dropped passes and struggling offensive line play has not been resolved. While tight end Travis Kelce caught five passes for 90 yards on the day, he had multiple drops as well. Mahomes often made the line look worse than it was on several occasions with his deep drops and rolling to either side, but there are clear concerns on the line as well.
Following back to back losses by 31 points, the Raiders are now two games behind the Chiefs. With Kansas City holding the tiebreaker, it will be a miracle for the Raiders to gain much ground in just four games left in the season.