Week 16 brings a tough matchup for the Las Vegas Raiders, as they head to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs. For the ninth season in a row, the Chiefs have dominated the rest of the division, but they have stumbled a bit as of late, and could be ripe for the taking on Christmas Day.
For the Raiders, the roller coaster of a season has left them on the brink of elimination in a wide-open AFC, but they can turn some heads by going into Kansas City and pulling off the unlikely victory. Interim head coach Antonio Pierce is coaching for the full-time job down the stretch of the 2023 NFL season, and this would certainly help bolster his case.
With that said, let us dive into some bold predictions for this AFC West battle in Week 16.
Raiders at Chiefs 2023 Week 16: Bold predictions
Raiders defense forces two Patrick Mahomes turnovers
Patrick Mahomes has looked human in recent weeks, mostly due to the fact that he is throwing to a pretty sub-par group at wide receiver. Still, he is the best quarterback in the game right now, and has incredible success against the Raiders, so he is likely to have another big game on Monday in this AFC West rivalry.
Still, the Raiders defense has been much more opportunistic as of late, and with how well the pass rush has been, they could force Mahomes off his mark. Mahomes is going to take chances against this upstart Raiders secondary, and in the end, Jack Jones and company could come away with a few turnovers in this one.
Josh Jacobs runs for 125-plus yards and two scores
To beat the Chiefs, the Raiders are going to need to run the ball effectively and keep Mahomes and the Chiefs high-powered offense off the field. To do so, they will have to feed Josh Jacobs the ball early and often, and he should be good to go after missing the Week 15 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jacobs ran the ball well in the first meeting this season between these two teams, and I would expect that to continue on Monday afternoon. The Raiders run game will be paramount if they want to go into Kansas City and win, especially with the current weather forecast in that area at game time.
Raiders keep their slim playoff hopes alive
The Raiders are double-digit underdogs in this one, but could they actually go into Arrowhead Stadium and pull out a win? The Chiefs have looked beatable as of late, and there are some real definiciencies on their roster as they look to lock down the AFC West title late in the season.
For Las Vegas, the defense has been playing on another level right now, and the team is finally getting healthier down the stretch. If they can somehow pull off a win on Christmas Day, their slim playoff chances will be kept alive for at least another week.