After a 1-5 start, Kansas City is one of the hottest teams in the league, winning their last five in a row. They hold the edge in the wild-card race right now, and this is the perfect time for the 5-6 Raiders to get back into the race themselves, after squeaking past the Titans on the road last week.
The Chiefs have turned their season around with solid defense, and minimizing offensive turnovers. Alex Smith frequently gets saddled with the “game manager” pejorative, but he hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 220 attempts, and injuries to running backs haven’t stalled their “next man up” approach. Charcandrick West has filled in well since Jamaal Charles’ season-ending injury in Week 2, and Spencer Ware put up 150 yards against someone after West pulled a hamstring.
Since their dominating performances several weeks ago against the Chargers and Jets, the Raiders continue to be victimized by running backs and tight ends. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce is currently leads the league with 11 TDs, so the defense has their work cut out for them. Sack monster Justin Houston is questionable, and the weather forecast is rainy, so a ground-and-pound game from Latavius Murray might be just the thing to get Oakland back into wild-card contention. The Chiefs are resurgent, but this game is definitely winnable for the Raiders.