Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, December 12, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are coming off a dominating win over a division rival, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos’ offense looked utterly inept against the Chiefs’ defense. At the beginning of the season, the Chiefs’ defense looked to be the reason that they were no longer a Super Bowl contender. Yet with the defense playing better, the Chiefs are back in the hunt to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl.
While the defense has got back on track, the Chiefs offense is not the explosive juggernaut that we have become used to. In the past five games, they've only gone over 22 points once, when they visited Las Vegas. The Chiefs absolutely steamrolled the Raiders in that game, 41-14. The Chiefs will be looking to get their offense back on track against a Raiders defense that has struggled for the last decade.
The Chiefs’ defensive woes have been fixed by moving DT Chris Jones Jr. back to the middle and the resurgence of OLB Frank Clark as a pass rusher. The increased pressure on opposing quarterbacks has made life easier on the Chiefs’ secondary and the Chiefs are now getting defensive stops on a regular basis. If the offense gets back to where they were to begin the season, this Chiefs team is the best in the AFC.
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Las Vegas Raiders
In what comes as a surprise to no one, the Raiders are once again a disappointment to their fans. The Raiders have made the playoffs once since 2002. They jettisoned the coach who led them to the playoffs, Jack Del Rio, in favor of Jon Gruden, who set the franchise back years with his inept mismanagement of the team.
Gruden traded All-Pro Khalil Mack for draft picks and then utterly whiffed on those picks. Gruden essentially traded Khalil Mack for Josh Jacobs (who is an average running back), Damon Arnette (who was recently released from the team after sending messages threatening to kill people with his AR-15 on Instagram), and Bryan Edwards who has 25 catches for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns this season.
Raiders fans would probably be upset if they weren't used to the team constantly screwing up every opportunity they have to improve. The Raiders were rocked by the mid-season loss of Henry Ruggs, who killed a woman and her dog traveling 158 miles per hour on the city streets of Las Vegas. The Raiders being involved in a tragedy of this magnitude once again illustrates their inability to choose players with the character befitting a professional athlete.
Once again the Raiders season is essentially over. Their playoff hopes were dashed when they lost to the Washington Football Team and their old coach Jack Del Rio, who is the defensive coordinator for the Football Team. The Raiders were outplayed, outcoached, and outhustled. The Football Team has much less talent than the Kansas City Chiefs, so the outlook for the Raiders in this game is bleak.
Raiders Defensive Line vs. Chiefs Offensive Line
The Raiders’ only hope in this game would be to shut down the offensive output of Patrick Mahomes. Since the Raiders' secondary isn't very good, their best strategy would be to get pressure through the pass rush of Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. The Raiders also need their line to step up and do a better job of stopping the run.
If the Raiders are able to get pressure they could be able to slow the Chiefs down and cover the 9.5 points of the NFL odds. If the offensive line is able to protect Mahomes and give him time, Mahomes will carve up the Raiders’ soft secondary and coast to another easy victory.
I can't back the Las Vegas Raiders against any competent team right now. The Raiders always come out soft and have problems looking like they care about winning football games. The Chiefs are on a roll and are back to their winning ways. In a battle of a well-coached and well-managed franchise versus a perennial disappointment, we will take the stronger team. Lay the points. Take the Chiefs.
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