The Oakland Raiders will play their most important game of the season up to this point. Here are five reasons the Raiders will beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Oakland Raiders will take their 6-6 record into the final quarter of the 2017 NFL season. They will have to face their arch rival on the road in the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City will be at 10:00 a.m. PT, 1:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 10.
Along with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Raiders and the Chiefs are in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West. It has not been a fun year for any of the four teams in the division, especially the Denver Broncos, but somebody has to win this division, right?
Oakland has gone 4-2 in its last six games, including two wins in AFC West play. The Raiders have already beaten the Chiefs this season and could be looking at a season sweep of their arch nemesis with a big road win on Sunday.
Though the Chiefs are the home favorite in this one, here are five reasons the Raiders will not just cover the spread, but improve to 7-6 with big win over the Chiefs on Sunday in Kansas City.
Is it safe to say that the defense is improving under John Pagano?
The Raiders are 2-0 in their last two games since firing former defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. John Pagano has stepped in and his defense has been key in the Raiders’ last two victories. To be fair, these two wins have come against two of the five worst teams in football, so we may have to pump our brakes on this team’s overall defensive improvement.
That being said, we might have to wait another week or so before we really get a solid understanding of how Pagano’s defensive strategy is impacting winning. Not to say that the Chiefs are one of the worst five teams in football record-wise, but they sure a playing like one in the last two months.
Pagano and company could definitely take advantage of a Chiefs team that is out of sorts on Sunday. He is getting great play out of his pass rush, the run defense has been underrated for most of the year. Even the secondary is starting play better of late. You know that Pagano has been on the defensive backfield to be accountable all season. It’s starting to work out, sort of.
No, the Raiders don’t have anything close to the level of a defense that can win games for them should they make the playoffs. However, Pagano has his defense playing well enough to beat a struggling team like Kansas City on the road and perhaps be in line to win the AFC West to ring in the new year.