Both Oakland and Kansas City sit at the bottom of the AFC West with hopes of climbing to the top. With San Diego and Denver tied for first place at 3-3, nothing is out of reach.
Week 8 brings us this match-up between the Raiders and the Chiefs; as Kansas City attempts to gain ground, while the Raiders are looking for a little more separation.
After watching the ups and downs that both teams have gone through thus far, I'll make a few predictions as to what we can expect from this divisional showdown.
Running Away With The Game
This game features two of the best backs in the league in Jamaal Charles (Kansas City) and Darren McFadden (Oakland). While McFadden has gotten off to a relatively slow start, Charles has burst back on to the scene after returning from injury.
Charles has rushed for 591 yards, averaging just over 5 yards per carry. With the addition of Peyton Hillis and Shaun Draughn, Kansas City is toting the third best rushing attack in the NFL. However, the Raiders' rush defense is no slouch. They're ranked 13th against the run, but will definitely have their hands full with the Chiefs.
My prediction: The Chiefs rush for over 200 yards.
No Huddle, No Problem
The Raiders found themselves trying to overcome a 10-point, fourth quarter deficit last week against Jacksonville. After being down by as many as 14 points, Oakland managed to pull off an overtime victory. It was due in part to the success of their no-huddle offense.
The Raiders scored two touchdowns and a field goal when running their no-huddle offense last week. Both of the Raiders wins came while Carson Palmer orchestrated fourth-quarter comebacks.
What was the greatest common factor, you ask? Yep, the no-huddle offense.
Although Dennis Allen (Raiders Head Coach) likes the success of the no-huddle, he's not ready to make the leap. Allen is not willing to commit full-time, however, he notices the difference it makes.
My prediction: Before the game is over, we'll see Oakland utilize the no-huddle successfully.
Turnovers Are Costly
Although Kansas City has one of the more prominent running games, the offense has turned the ball over 17 times in only six games. In case you were trying to do the math, that's almost three times per game. 2.83 turnovers per game, explains why a team would have a record of 1-5.
The Chiefs made the most of their bye week, electing to replace current starting quarterback Matt Cassel with Brady Quinn. Quinn has thrown two of his own interceptions on the season, but will still be given the opportunity to run the show for the Chiefs.
If Kansas City can't protect the ball, playing at Arrowhead won't be advantageous to them.
My prediction: Oakland capitalizes off of mistakes made on the part of the Chiefs. The Raiders score twice off of takeaways.
With the emergence of Oakland's no-huddle offense, the momentum of the big comeback win, and the defense preparing to stop the run, they seem to be in good shape; while the Chiefs are in search of answers and starting a new quarterback. I know that Kansas City thinks that they're on the right track, but I may have to go with Oakland at Arrowhead.
Raiders win; 24-13