NFL 2017 Week 14: Oakland Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs preview and prediction

The AFC West is a hot mess right now, with three teams at 6-6. Who will take a big step toward the playoffs with a win?


Oakland took on the Eli Manning-less New York Giants last week and won 24-17. Marshawn Lynch opened up the scoring with a 51-yard run, but they didn’t find the endzone again until the fourth quarter when DeAndre Washington went in from nine yards out and then Derek Carr found Johnny Holton to seal the win.

Kansas City’s season took yet another downward turn as they lost 38-31 in New York to the Jets. After taking an early 14-0 lead things looked good but the defense quickly showed it couldn’t stop a nose bleed as the Jets came roaring back. Several late penalties during a goal line stand ended with frustration boiling over and the Jets taking a late lead that would end up being their winning margin.

Must-win

With the Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers all tied at 6-6 and the wildcard spots seemingly beyond any of them, winning this game is imperative for the playoff hopes of these teams. Both these teams still have a game against the Chargers left on their slate, but a win for Oakland in particular would make life very hard for the Chiefs as the Raiders would hold the head-to-head tie breaker over them.

Hot seats

Both of these head coaches are in trouble as things stand. The Raiders were meant to be a powerhouse this season and have been anything but, with wildly inconsistent performances on offense and the worst defense in the NFL they have struggled all year. Jack Del Rio has come under a lot of fire for the failures.

Conversely, the Chiefs season has really been two. A 5-0 firs season and a 1-6 second season. The epic collapse has already led to Andy Reid giving up playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, and should the Chiefs miss the playoffs after their fast start Reid could find himself out of a job.

Two terrible defenses

Oakland rank dead-last in defensive DVOA despite Khalil Mack continuing to be a monster this season, meanwhile the Chiefs continue their tumble down the rankings and are now sitting at 28th.

Both units have stars, but both are struggling to cover for their weaknesses and can not force turnovers for love nor money. That should mean we see a shootout on Sunday.

Matchup to Watch: Michael Crabtree vs ???

With Amari Cooper still in the concussion protocol at the time of writing it looked for a moment like it would be Michael Crabtree who drew the Chiefs #1 corner Marcus Peters. And then Andy Reid suspended his best corner for the game. This comes due Peters leaving the field after hurling a referee’s flag into the stands. Without him the Chiefs are left with very few options to cover Crabtree. They signed Darrelle Revis but he was quickly benched last week after an awful game.

Fantasy Tip: Raiders WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Last week, with both Cooper and Crabtree unavailable, it was Patterson who led the way with 97 yards. If Cooper can’t go then look for Patterson to continue seeing targets.

Betting Tip: Stay away

Neither side should be seeing your money in this one. Both teams are far too volatile to wager with confidence. The Chiefs are four-point favorites, but this game should be avoided.

Prediction: Chiefs 30 – 20 Raiders

It’s hard to predict what we will see from either team, but the Chiefs offense seemed to find its feet with Matt Nagy calling the shots, and that should be enough to see them to a much-needed win.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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