Chiefs vs. Raiders: Preview, Key Matchup and Prediction

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IDecember 11, 2012

Brady Quinn and the Chiefs will be looking to return the favor this week against divisional rival Oakland on the road.
Brady Quinn and the Chiefs will be looking to return the favor this week against divisional rival Oakland on the road.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In a inter-divisional matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs will head west to Oakland to take on the hated Raiders in Week 15.

Both teams are really struggling as they head into this game, with the Chiefs coming in as losers of nine of their last 10 games and the Raiders having dropped six straight contests.

KC will be looking to win in Oakland for the second straight season, while the Raiders will be trying to keep the Chiefs in the cellar of the AFC West.

Kansas City will also be trying to avenge a loss in the two teams' only other matchup this year, when the silver and black dominated the Chiefs from start to finish in a 26-16 thrashing back in Week 8 at Arrowhead Stadium.

That game was only the second game of the Brady Quinn era for the Kansas City Chiefs.

While Quinn is still the starting QB for KC's offense, they will likely not pose much of a threat in the passing game on Sunday, since Pro Bowl wideout Dwayne Bowe is out for the rest of the season with a rib injury.

However, the running game is a totally different story.

Running back Jamaal Charles is fresh off of a 165-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Browns last week, which gives him 1,220 total rushing yards for the year, good for fifth in the league.

Charles could have a field day this weekend as he will be going against one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL this season.

On the other side, KC's secondary could have their hands full with a solid Oakland passing attack that is led by veteran signal-caller Carson Palmer.

Fourth-year tight end Brandon Myers and sophomore receiver Denarius Moore are his two favorite targets, as the pair have combined for over 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this year.

They average around 277 yards per game, which is good for seventh in the league, and should be able to build off of that against a weak group of defensive backs that the Chiefs will be throwing at them this weekend.

On the defensive side of the ball, both teams are ranked near the very bottom of the league in points given up per game, as the Chiefs are yielding around 27 points per week and the Raiders are allowing about 31 points to their opponents each time out.



Key Matchup: Jamaal Charles vs. Oakland's Front Seven

Jamaal Charles is one of the most electrifying backs in the league and the Raiders should be well aware of this by now. The outcome of this game will likely hinge on who wins this matchup between Charles and Raiders' defensive front seven.



Prediction: Raiders 17, Chiefs 10

I see this game being another tough, grind-it-out game that we have been accustomed to seeing in many of the recent Chiefs/Raiders battles over the years. I just don't see KC having enough offense in this one to pull out the upset on the road this week.