The Raiders go into their game with the Chiefs today having won six straight in Kansas City. Normally that type of Arrowhead Stadium history would give the 2-3 Raiders inspiration as they try to claw their way to a .500 record. The only problem: the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs have an undefeated record and are looking to prove their 5-0 standing isn’t a fluke. With Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith poised to to work more miracles in spite of his mediocre season stats, this should be a good game to watch. Here’s a preview of what to expect if you catch the game on FOX or watch Raiders vs Chiefs online streaming free live using one of several different methods.
After having the league’s worst record in 2012, the Chiefs became the first team in the NFL’s 94-year history to start 5-0 after losing 14 or more games the previous season. One of the reasons the Chiefs have that record going into today’s 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific kickoff is because QB Alex Smith has been working both the ground and the air. The Chiefs have the NFL’s 20th-ranked passing game, which isn’t anything to write home about, but their ground game ranks 12th and is led by running back Jamaal Charles. Charles has five consecutive games with 100 or more yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, the best such stretch by a running back since O.J. Simpson pulled it off in 1975. For the season he’s averaging 4.3 yards per carry, but that’s amazingly second to — guess who — QB Alex Smith, whose season average is 4.9 yards.
Not surprisingly, the Raiders’ rushing game is even stronger, as they own the league’s ninth-ranked rushing attack. Like the Chiefs, the Raiders ground game so far has been led by their quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, whose gone for 229 yards and a 6.2-yards-per-carry average. Although his stat line and the team record won’t reflect it, Raiders QB Pryor has been remarkably efficient this season, as ESPN’s Colin Cowherd found that Pryor is the second-ranked QB in the league for passes over 15 yards. And he’s second only to Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who’s having a banner year.
In addition, Pryor has completed 72.7% of his passes inside the pocket, fourth-best in the NFL, according to ESPN.com. Granted, there may have been some motivation for the uptick in performance, as rumors were swirling that the Raiders would pickup former Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman if Pryor didn’t deliver in Week 5. Pryor did, Freeman signed with the Minnesota Vikings, and that was that. It’ll be interesting when you watch Raiders vs Chiefs online streaming free live or on FOX whether the pre-rumors Pryor mopes his way to another loss, or whether the new-and-improved Pryor continues his forward push.
First-year Chiefs head coach Andy Reid may have his defensive hands surprisingly full planning for today’s game. In fact, ESPN’s Paul Guitierrez says “the Chiefs [may be] a different team with a new coach and a new quarterback. But the Raiders are reborn as well, and there’s a reason Oakland has won six straight in Kansas City.” He then predicts that “Terrelle Pryor keeps the Chiefs guessing long enough to hand them their first loss of the season.” However, every official ESPN prognosticator predicts the Chiefs will head into the home locker room victorious for the first time in seven tries against the Raiders.
Coach Reid and the Chiefs are one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 NFL season, and they could remarkably end the day 6-0. If you can’t catch the game on CBS at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific, you may be able to watch Chiefs vs Raiders online streaming free live on CBS’ website or you can definitely see it on DirecTV with the NFL Sunday Ticket package (membership fee required, but the streamed feed itself is free for subscribers).