The Kansas City Chiefs are set to travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders Saturday afternoon in hopes to hold on to that number-one seed. What should the Chiefs expect from a Derek Carr-less Raiders on Saturday?
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are ready to battle divisional rivals Raiders. In the last matchup, it was a close game and Kansas City was able to pull away with a victory in that Monday Night showdown. With Derek Carr being absent in this matchup and the Chiefs prepping to face off against backup QB Jarrett Stidham, should KC be on upset alert Saturday afternoon against the 6-10 Raiders?
Mahomes has eclipsed over 5000 yards this season, the second time he did it in his career when he won MVP in 2018, his first season as a starter. He has a chance to beat Peyton Manning’s record if he puts up over 400 yards passing on Saturday. This could very well happen because Mahomes has previously put up monstrous numbers against the Raiders. In this upcoming matchup, Hardman coming back off of IR, one of the Chiefs’ best red zone threats could help with the issues they have been having lately on the offensive side of the ball. In these past couple of weeks, there have been multiple possessions in which the Chiefs have stalled out and it has come on short-yardage situations.
Although Hardman gets a lot of slack for not being on the same level as Hill in this offense, his best attribute on this team is being able to get yardage on those jet sweeps and quick screens out in the flat. With Toney beginning to come along in the offense and McKinnon being the best receiving back on the Chiefs, Mahomes will comfortably have one of his most reliable weapons back out there on the field. Expect Hardman to be limited in this game coming back from injury, but the Chiefs did activate Ihmir Smith-Marsette off the practice squad due to Skyy Moore being out with a hand injury.
With Derek Carr being out Saturday, you would expect this to be an easy matchup for the Chief’s defense. Well, they can’t go into Saturday’s game expecting it to be a cakewalk because backup QB Jarret Stidham had a strong performance in last week’s matchup against the 49ers, one of the best defenses in the league. He was able to throw for 365 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Stidham was able to march the Raiders down the field to force OT, but eventually, lose in OT after throwing an interception.
Although Stidham threw a late game-changing interception in that matchup, as a backup it gives them a lot of confidence going forward, especially against a young secondary the Chiefs have. How can the Chiefs make it a tough afternoon for Stidham after his marvelous performance against the 49ers?
The Kansas City pass rush will be the reason the defense executes the game plan on Saturday against the division rivals Raiders. Chris Jones and the front four will have to make it a rough outing for Stidham and that offensive line. KC usually plays backups well and once the offense starts finding the rhythm and making the opposing offense one-dimensional, that always plays in favor of the Chiefs’ defense. Nick Bolton and Willie Gay have been one of the best LB duos in the NFL this year and Bolton’s stats have been quite impressive being his first year as the starter on the defense and leading the way.
Sneed has been one of the highest-graded CB this season, totaling numbers that have not been seen yet at that position. He is the only DB in the league to count two or more interceptions, two or more forced fumbles and two or more sacks. We should expect the same to happen Saturday, as he will once again be trailing the best WR, which is Devante Adams for the Raiders. There have been a lot of complaints the past weeks about the defense, but they are what you call a bend don’t break defense.
The Chiefs’ offense will have to save them by not committing turnovers in enemy territory, putting the defense in a terrible position to defend. That should not happen this weekend as they are trying to close out the season with the No.1 seed and hold onto that first-round Bye.
The starters should be out by the 4th quarter with both sides of the ball executing on all cylinders. Arrowhead Live is predicting a 42-14 blowout to end the season for the Chiefs and go into the playoffs on a positive note. Patrick Mahomes will throw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, while the Chiefs force 3 turnovers on the day, ending the Raider’s season in a major disappointment.