Chiefs opponent preview, Week 11: Scouting the Raiders

Talon Graff
·6 min read

The Chiefs handled business in a 43-16 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 7. However, the defending Super Bowl Champions had to use overtime to get a victory against the Chargers in Week 2 and lost to the Raiders in Week 5. The AFC West has been no picnic for Kansas City so far. Andy Reid’s successful record following bye weeks is well documented and the whole ‘victory lap’ storyline seems to have the Chiefs even more motivated to avenge their only loss of 2020.

Chiefs vs. Raiders history

Photo by George Rose / Getty Images

This rivalry dates back to the original AFL when the Chiefs and the Raiders were both members of the inaugural 1960 season. The two teams split the games that year with the Dallas Texans winning the first-ever meeting 34 to 16 but less than a month later the Oakland Raiders returned the favor 20 to 19. Sixty years later Kansas City leads the all-time series 67-54-2. The Raiders have beaten the Chiefs twice in the last 12 meetings and Las Vegas handed the Chiefs their only loss of 2020.

Marquee additions / losses

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

This originally appeared in our Week 5 scouting report

Raiders Additions

Raiders Losses

  • LB Tahir Whitehead

  • S Karl Joseph

Raiders coaching scheme

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

This originally appeared in our Week 5 scouting report Jon Gruden enters his third season as the head coach for the Raiders. This being his second stint with the organization, he has yet to reach the heights of his original run with the Silver and Black. Las Vegas has looked like an improved team in 2020 and is currently 6-3. Coach Gruden has an attention to detail that is rarely matched. His offense is complex and precise. The offensive coordinator is Greg Olson who was the quarterback coach on Gruden’s staff in Tampa during the 2008 season. The two reunited with the Raiders when Olson was hired by Gruden in 2018 to lead his offense. He is actually in his second stint as the coordinator after spending the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Gruden and Olson share many commonalities when it comes to offensive philosophy. It is a run-first offense that uses multiple tight end packages. They are also one of the few NFL teams who still utilize the services of a traditional fullback. They prefer speedy receivers to get a jump on play-action-biting defensive backs. They drafted Henry Ruggs in the first round to be a deep threat in the offense. They brought in veteran tight end Jason Witten to form a trio with Darren Waller and Foster Moreau. The star and most vital position in the offense is running back Josh Jacobs. Paul Guenther was also hired by Gruden in 2018 to be the defensive coordinator. Guenther’s defense has been playing well below their potential with the types of players they added. Linebacker Cory Littleton doesn’t appear to be completely comfortable in his new scheme quite yet. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins is also struggling to make a big impact. This is something to keep an eye on as the Vegas defense might be playing for their coach’s job in this game with the Chiefs.

Key players for the Raiders

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

This originally appeared in our Week 5 scouting report

QB Derek Carr

The former Fresno State Bulldog is off to one of the best starts of his career. He has 2,156 yards, sixteen touchdowns, and two interceptions through nine games. While Ruggs has gotten off to a rocky rookie season, he had his best career game against the first matchup with the Chiefs. Carr has built trust in other receivers Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor. His favorite target has been his tight end, Darren Waller.

HB Josh Jacobs

The second-year running back has been the workhorse of the Raider offense so far. He is second in the league with 182 carries and has rushed for exactly 700 yards and has scored eight rushing touchdowns. He will be leaned on to try and maintain possession and wear out the Chiefs’ defense.

TE Darren Waller

Darren Waller almost has twice the amount of targets as the guy right behind him in the stat book. He also leads the Raiders in every receiving category except touchdowns in which he has four. They have two solid backups in Foster Moreau and Jason Witten but Waller is the most dangerous ariel weapon.

DE Maxx Crosby

The Las Vegas pass rush has been spotty in 2020 but a bright spot has been defensive end Maxx Crosby who leads the team with six sacks while the next guy has 1.5 sacks. Crosby was drafted in the fourth round of 2019 and so far has turned out to be a more promising player than the 2019 first-round defensive end, Clelin Ferrell.

S Johnathan Abram

Abram missed almost his entire rookie season after suffering a season-ending injury in Week 1 of his 2019-rookie campaign. He has come back and is playing a big role in the Raider defense. He plays with a confidence and a swagger that is fitting of the traditional Raiders defense. He plays fast and is due to his playing style he is always on the verge of an injury. He is a big name to watch out for.

Key matchups for Week 11

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Chiefs Defense vs. the Big Play

The Raiders' offense was able to hit multiple big plays in their Week 5 win and scored a 59-yard touchdown and a 72-yard touchdown. In order for the Chiefs to prevent that, they must play assignment sound defense and limit the big play. Charvarius Ward can take a big step in the right direction if he is able to lock down one of the Raiders receivers.

Josh Jacobs vs. Chiefs Goal-Line Defense

The defense of Kansas City held Jacobs to a 3.4 yards-per-carry average but allowed a 7-yard score and a 2-yard score. Chris Jones and the rest of the defenders must do a better job of getting off the field in short-yardage situations. The Raiders were 50% on third down conversions but converted both of their fourth-down attempts in Week 5. K.C. needs to be stingier in Week 11.

Chiefs OL vs. Raiders DL

The Raiders have not had a lot of success in getting to the quarterback but Mahomes was sacked three times in the lone loss which is tied for the most in a single game this season. Mitchell Schwartz is out again but it looks like Mike Remmers is a possibility so the Chiefs offensive line must rally around and continue to play at the level they have been in recent weeks.

Overview

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The race for the AFC's top seed in the playoffs is red hot and the two front runners are currently the one-loss Chiefs and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders are right in the thick of the playoff race as well while currently in second-place within the AFC West at 6-3. A heated rivalry that has old-school vibes reverberating from its roots seems to have been stoked and re-illuminated. "Sunday Night Football" in Las Vegas should be an entertaining matchup.