Having snapped their three-game losing streak last week by walloping the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs today travel to Oakland in hopes of beating the Raiders and clinching a playoff berth. The Chiefs’ turnaround story from last season to this is incredible, with head coach Andy Reid still part of the coach-of-the-year discussion. Conversely, the only “turnaround” the Raiders have heard is the constant turning around of momentum, as they’re currently mired in a three-game losing streak of their own and are looking desperately for the latest swing to get them another win. You can watch Chiefs vs Raiders game live online free using the links below.
Just over two months ago, these teams met at Arrowhead Stadium with Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback for the Raiders. The Kansas City defense, now ranked just 20th in the league, managed to sack Pryor nine times and ultimately willed the Chiefs to a 24-7 victory that was still in question until late. The Chiefs defense has fallen off since then, which is good for the Raiders considering Pryor has been replaced at QB by Matt McGloin, who’s only managed one win for Oakland in their past four games.
McGloin’s record as Oakland’s starting quarterback could get a boost for two other reasons as well. First, many people have wondered whether the Chiefs will rest some starters, including defensive ones, if the Dolphins lose and thus help KC clinch their playoff spot. Going against a second-string defense is a boon to any quarterback. Second, Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster has been ruled out today with an ankle infection and will watch Chiefs vs Raiders game from the sideline. While bad for KC, this bodes well for the Raiders defense as well as their special teams unit. So far this season, McCluster has returned two punts for touchdowns.
But the Chiefs, who had the league’s worst record last season (2-14), have been an inspirational story all season long. For a time, in fact, they were one of only a handful of undefeated teams and were basking in the glory of a worst-to-first Cinderella story. When the Chiefs and Raiders last played in October, the Chiefs had one of their worst offensive games of the season yet still came away with a victory. Amazingly, the Raiders have spent the two months since that game allowing even more yards and more points. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and running back Jamaal Charles should both be able to exploit this trend, which is a large reason ESPN experts have picked Kansas City across the board to win today’s Raiders game.
Alex Smith hasn’t put up monster numbers this season, having completed 275 passes for 2,873 yards and 18 touchdowns. Nor has be been particularly efficient, nabbing just the #23 spot in overall QBR. Yet here his Chiefs are, one win from clinching a playoff spot after having the league’s worst record one year ago. The Chiefs QB has been fortunate that running back Jamaal Charles has cleaned-up some of Smith’s messes, having taken a lot of heat off Smith by rushing 238 times for 1,161 yards and 10 TDs. The tandem has proved effective through 13 games, and they’ll need to tag team it once again today in Oakland to send the Kansas City crowds back home into a pre-postseason tizzy.
Kansas City has only lost one road game this season (Denver), and they’re coming off one of their best performances of the season last week, so they should put on a show today in Oakland. You can watch Chiefs vs Raiders game live online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 4:05pm EST / 1:05pm PST NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.