Chiefs To Get Back On Track Against Raiders

The Kansas City Chiefs suffered their first defeat of the 2017 NFL season, losing at home at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Chiefs were undone by the brilliance of Antonio Brown, with his late touchdown taking the game away from Andy Reid’s men.  For the first time of the season, Alex Smith and the Chiefs’ offense were held in check.

They had been the highest-scoring unit in the NFL heading into the contest. However, Pittsburgh were able to limit the running ability of Kareem Hunt and the downfield passing of Smith to scure the victory on the road.

Kansas City benefited from losses inside the AFC West to maintain their stranglehold of the division. The Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders were dealt surprising defeats, with both teams still in desperate pursuit of the Chiefs.

The Raiders were given hope by the return of quarterback Derek Carr. The 26-year-old was expected to be sidelined for six weeks with a back injury. However, he missed just one match and returned against the Los Angeles Chargers.

He was not at his best in the contest at the Coliseum as he made a few tentative throws. The Raiders’ defense failed to prop up their offense, allowing the Chargers to secure a victory on the final play of the game as Nick Novak kicked through the posts.

Jack del Rio’s men now face a huge task on their hands to get back into race for the post-season. The Raiders cannot afford to lose another contest in the division, with the prospect of dropping to 2-5 in their campaign.

We’ll now break down the contest, using the latest betting odds.

Oakland Raiders

Carr needs to provide a spark

Credit: AP Photo

The Raiders were handed a boost heading into the contest against the Chargers when Carr returned to the fold. The quarterback was expected to be sidelined for six weeks when he suffered a back injury against the Denver Broncos. However, after missing just one match, he made a comeback, but was still suffering the affects of his issue. Although the 26-year-old completed 70% of his passes, Carr threw two interceptions to just one touchdown.

Carr needed the support of his defense in the contest, but it was not forthcoming as the Chargers drove the length of the field to secure the win. Novak’s late kick condemned the Raiders to their fourth loss of the season. Oakland lost only four matches in the last campaign and have already hit that mark this term. As a result, there is pressure on Carr and his team-mate to come out firing against the Chiefs to get back on track.

Running back Marshawn Lynch has not provided the impact many expected after securing a trade move. He has only rushed for 257 yards on 70 carries along with two touchdowns. The 32-year-old has not produce the form he displayed during his time with the Seattle Seahawks. Del Rio needs the running back to find his form to help his side gain control of matches as well as easing the pressure on Carr as he gets back to full fitness.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper has endured a terrible start to the term. He looks far away from the player that was named to the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons. The 23-year-old has recorded just 18 receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown. Cooper needs to rediscover his play from 2016 against the Chiefs to get his team firing on offense.

Kansas City Chiefs

Smith needs to find his rhythm again

Credit: Getty Images

The Chiefs were knocked out of their rhythm by the Steelers in their first defeat of the term. Smith and his offense were moving down the field with ease in their opening five matches. However, their old foes – Pittsburgh – were able to limit their production. The 33-year-old had a completion percentage of just 55.9, highlighting the Chiefs’ difficulty moving the ball with consistency. Smith had trouble connecting with tight end Travis Kelce, who was held to four catches for 37 receptions.

Hunt was held to his lowest production of the season, rushing for just 21 yards. The rookie has been a revelation early in the campaign, but showed the first signs of struggle in the NFL as the Steelers were able to stop his surging runs. He will have the opportunity to bounce back against the Raiders. With the possibility of Chanderick West being sidelined for the contest, a lot will be expected of the 22-year-old.

Defensively, Kansas City were suspect against Ben Roethlisberger, who had struggled in his last match. They were unable to contain Brown in the passing game, with the receiver notching 155 yards and a touchdown. Marcus Peters had a rare poor outing, while Le’Veon Bell was able to rush through Kansas City’s defense for 179 yards on the ground. Bell’s ability to control the contest for the Steelers was one of the major factors in the game.

The Chiefs have to raise the standard of their rush defense against Lynch and the Raiders. There’s enough quality on the defensive line to reverse their fortunes, which could be vital in handing Reid’s men their sixth win of the campaign.

Betting Options

The Raiders cannot afford to lose this contest as it would present an almost impossible task to haul themselves back into contention in the AFC West. However, the foundation of their recent success – their offense – has struggled in their four-straight defeats. Carr’s back injury has made life extremely challenging for the club to respond to the pressure. There is talent around him, with Cooper, Lynch, Jared Cook and Michael Crabtree. Those players will have to rise to the occasion to deliver the victory otherwise matters could get out of hand in Oakland.

Kansas City were poor against the Steelers, who have had their number in recent years. However, Reid’s men have had the same hold over the Raiders, defeating them twice last season. As a result back the Chiefs at odds of -119   with 888Sport to claim the win. Smith and his offense should bounce back even without the prospect of playing without Tyreek Hill and West. Take the Chiefs to cover the -6 spread at odds of +130   with Betway with the potential to be reinvigorated on offense.

The visitors’ offense will be looking to bounce back from their meagre total of 13 against Pittsburgh. Expect a high-scoring affair – therefore take the over on 51.5 points to be scored by the two sides combined at +155   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Kansas City Chiefs To Beat Oakland Raiders
Thursday 19th October 2017 20:30 ET (Friday 20th October 2017 01:30 BST)
Odds: -119

Kansas City Chiefs To Cover -6 Spread
Thursday 19th October 2017 20:30 ET (Friday 20th October 2017 01:30 BST)
Odds: +130

Total 51.5 Points To Be Scored
Thursday 19th October 2017 20:30 ET (Friday 20th October 2017 01:30 BST)
Odds: +155

Alex Smith
Derek Carr
Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders

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