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The Kansas City Chiefs got the 2019 season off on the right foot with a convincing win at home over the Jacksonville Jaguars with the reigning MVP leading the charge. It was a commanding performance that saw star quarterback Patrick Mahomes push through a foot injury to guide the Chiefs comfortably in Week 1 action.
The Oakland Raiders were able to put the Antonio Brown situation behind them by edging the4 Denver Broncos on the second of a double header on Monday night football. The Raiders displayed a strong level of balance that helped lift them past Broncos.
All of this sets up what will be must-watch football on Sunday afternoon between these two AFC rivals looking to stay undefeated through the first two weeks of the season.
Chiefs offense continues to roll
The Chiefs got their 2019 season off on the right track with a strong performance against the Jaguars cruising a 40-26 win on the road that largely behind the play of their offense. Reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes led the charge offensively behind his arm as he completed 25-of-33 passes for 378 yards with three touchdowns and a 143.2 passer rating. Mahomes was able to accomplish this despite suffering a sprained ankle midway through the game. However, the Chiefs did lose star wide receiver Tyreek Hill for the next few weeks due to a clavicle/sternum injury that puts the team without their most explosive down-the-field threat in the passing game.
Eric Bienieny talks about Mecole Hardman stepping up at the WR position.
“Since we’ve been here, we’ve always had the ‘next man up’ approach. We coach our starters to be starters, but we also coach our guys who are backing up those guys to be starters, too,” Bieniemy said. “It’s his job now to make sure we don’t lose anything with him being out there. He understands the responsibility and the accountability to his teammates, the people in that room and to Tyreek, as well. Our guys get that, they understand that, and they live on that. So, we’re looking forward to him getting out there and making the most of the opportunity he’s being presented with.”
This did open things up for veteran wideout Sammy Watkins to step up with a career-best outing as he notched nine catches for a career-high 198 receiving yards and three touchdowns. This made him just the fourth player to notch at least 175 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a single game, which put him alongside Hugh Taylor (1947), Frank Clarke (1962) and Irving Fryar (1994). This also saw them set an NFL record with 22 straights games where they notched at least 25 points.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 10, 2019
With Hill out of the mix for the next few weeks, it will need Watkins step up to a prominent role in the role in the passing game. This will also see star tight end Travis Kelce in a more expanded role as he has been a huge target for Mahomes over the last year as he’s coming off a career-best campaign while he notched three catches on eight targets for 88 receiving yards in the season opener. Meanwhile, former Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy was a huge factor in his first game with the team as he notched 81 rushing yards on 10 attempts while securing his only target for 12 yards. McCoy could see him be a big factor in the offense with another week of working with the team in practice may lead to more comfort and knowledge of the Chiefs’ offensive scheme. Kansas City will have an intriguing challenge against Oakland’s defense, but without the services of rookie safety Johnathan Abram, it may lead to them targeting the Raiders’ secondary to a greater degree and could lead to a more comfortable win on the road.
Raiders looking to maintain their momentum
In the days heading into the season opener against the Denver Broncos, there was plenty of outside noise seeping into the Raiders’ direction regarding star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was eventually cut by the team on Saturday morning after ongoing off-the-field drama. Despite all that chatter, the Raiders were able to push that aside by putting forth a strong collective performance at home by moving past the Broncos 24-16. Oakland was in control of the contest all the way through with Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr leading the way with a highly efficient performance by completing 22-of-26 passes for 259 yards, a touchdown, and held a 121.0 passer rating. Carr was highly effective with his passing and he quickly found veteran wide receiver Tyrell Williams as his primary target in the passing game as the two hooked up for six catches for 105 receiving yards and a touchdown. Williams stepped in firmly into the top receiving option role in the offense following the departure of Brown. Meanwhile, tight end Darren Waller put up a strong outing as he had seven catches for 70 receiving yards.
"This is what it's like to be a Raider! This is what it's like!"@derekcarrqb's intensity was on a whole other level Monday night. Watch his full Mic'd Up feature on YouTube: https://t.co/Oqh8KWwX2c 🎙️ pic.twitter.com/IH6WihO7tS
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) September 11, 2019
However, what brought a great deal of balance to their offensive attack was the play of rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who had 85 rushing yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns along with one catch for 28 receiving yards. His presence in the backfield has brought an element to the team that they have lacked over the last few years with a dynamic option in the running game. He will need to be crucial in the offense as it will allow for the Raiders to keep up offensively with the Chiefs, who possess arguably the most explosive unit in the league. If they hope to have any hope of securing a win at home over Kansas City, they will need to have a strong offensive showing on Sunday afternoon. This will especially need to be the case with Abram out and cornerback Gareon Conley still recovering from a neck injury even he is able to play in Week 2 action.
- Raiders are 15-36-1 ATS in their last 52 games following a ATS win.
- Raiders are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last five games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game.
- Chiefs are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games in September.
- Chiefs are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Chiefs are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 road games.
Updated on Sep 15 at 10:35am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The line has stayed true at Kansas City -7, with the Chiefs grabbing 72% of the bets. The sharps are clearly on the side of the Raiders.
Injury / Weather Report
Kansas City’s Impact Injury Report
Out: WR Tyreek Hill & WR Felton Davis III, LB Darius Harris, and DB Morris Claiborne
Oakland’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: Punter Darius Harris, LB Vontaze Burfict, DT Corey Liuget
Out: WR J.J. Nelson, OG Gabe Jackson, DB Isaiah Johnson, and Backup QB Nathan Peterman
Gametime Weather: Partly cloudy with temps in the upper 60s.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Raiders are coming off an impressive win in the season opener over the Broncos, but they are set to face the most explosive offense in the NFL. It also doesn’t help that Oakland will be without Abram and Conley will certainly be less than 100 percent if he plays in the Week 2 action. All of this seemingly leans more heavily towards favoring the Chiefs on the road.
Prediction: Kansas City -7
Full-Game Total Pick
That said, the Chiefs should be in store for yet another strong offensive performance on the road. The Raiders should also be able to take advantage of Kansas City’s porous secondary that has continued to show cracks even against a rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew in Week 1. This all has the billing for a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Over 53.5