After pulling off a surprising win in Week 1, the Oakland Raiders will try their luck in Week 2 against the hated Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is set for 4:05 EST on Sunday, September 15 at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California. Fans in local markets will be able to watch the game on CBS.
The Chiefs are currently listed as 8-point road favorites with an over/under of 52 points. Click here to check out betting odds and game previews for all of the Week 2 NFL games.
Somehow, the Raiders managed to put all of the Antonio Brown related distractions aside and earn a 24-16 win over the Broncos in Week 1. Derek Carr looked as good as he ever has, as the Oakland marched down the field on their way to taking a 14-0 halftime lead. From there, the Raiders did enough to hang on for the Monday night win.
It was certainly a pleasant surprise for Jon Gruden and company to begin the season with a win, especially after the team parted ways with their biggest offseason addition. However, the Raiders don’t have much time to celebrate. They’ll get a quick dose of reality with three of their next four games against teams that were in the playoffs last year, starting with a home date against the rival Chiefs.
Kansas City, meanwhile, picked up right where they left off at the end of 2018. The Chiefs knocked around the Jaguars in a 40-26 road win in Week 1. Patrick Mahomes had another ho-hum afternoon, connecting on 25 of his 33 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Even with Tyreek Hill going down with an injury, Sammy Watkins stepped up and caught three touchdown passes.
Of course, the Chiefs continue an early-season schedule that has them on the road in three of their first four games. Last week’s game went off without a hitch, and there’s no reason to expect this week to go any different aside from the fact that Kansas City is facing a bitter rival.
These two franchises have been going at it ever since they were put in the same division in 1960. The Raiders have managed just one win against the Chiefs in the last four seasons. However, Kansas City suffered a controversial loss in Oakland two years ago and the Raiders kept things close when they hosted the Chiefs a year ago. Knowing that this will be the last time the Chiefs visit Oakland, the Raiders will want to make sure they get the last laugh on their home field.
Admittedly, the Raiders were impressive in Week 1. But it was just one game, and I’m not ready to buy into Oakland being a viable team just yet, even at home in another rivalry game. The Chiefs are still the class of the league, and they’re capable of blowing out just about any team they face. The safest pick in just about any Kansas City game this season is eating the points and picking the Chiefs to cover.
Obviously, the absence of Hill is far from ideal for the Kansas City offense. But the Chiefs were far from their best last week against Jacksonville and they still scored 40 points. Tight end Travis Kelce only had three catches while Damien Williams wasn’t much of a factor. However, LeSean McCoy had a nice debut with his new team and Watkins stepped up as the no. 1 receiving target, something he’s capable of being as long as he stays healthy. Even if the playmakers change a little from week to week, Mahomes should still have the Kansas City offense humming.
In fairness, the Oakland defense had a good performance in Week 1. But the Raiders played more of a bend-but-don’t-break style on that side of the ball. That may not work against the Chiefs, who will push the issue and force you to break. Kansas City scored 75 points against the Raiders over two games last season. Even if the Oakland defense has improved a little since then, it’s still likely that the Chiefs are going to find the end zone more than a couple of times on Sunday.
If the Raiders hope to keep this game competitive, it’ll be up to their offense to match Mahomes and the Chiefs. As mentioned, Carr was sharp last week and off to a promising start in 2019. But the Oakland offense was efficient rather than explosive. They were counting on Brown to bring that element to their offense, but that’s obviously out the door now. The Raiders will have to maintain long drives and manufacture points in any manner they can. That kind of strategy doesn’t usually play well in a shootout.
Ultimately, the Chiefs force teams out of their comfort offensively because of the pressure on them to keep pace with Kansas City’s high-powered offense. Despite an impressive performance last week, I don’t think the Raiders are built to win like that. If we’re being honest, eight points isn’t that much to cover when you can score like the Chiefs can. I like my chances with Kansas City being able to cover on the road.