The Silver and Black has reached the playoffs just once since 2003. Could a sweep of the Chiefs propel the Raiders to the postseason?
Dating back to Week 12 of the 2019 season, and including a three-game postseason sweep of the Texans, Titans, and 49ers, Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs own an imposing 17-1 overall record. Of course, one of those wins 31-20 triumph over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV in South Florida. The club has played exceptional complementary football for basically a calendar year.
But the Chiefs did stop their toes just once and it was at home back in Week 5 when the rival Raiders came into Arrowhead Stadium and came away with a 40-32 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champions. Now the clubs meet again on Sunday evening at Las Vegas In a pivotal showdown in the AFC West.
Kansas City has been exceptional when it comes to owning the division and handling the Raiders, Broncos, and Chargers in a steady fashion. Dating back to 2015 and the start of their current five-year playoff run, the club owns a 65-24 regular-season record, including a 29-4 mark vs. their AFC West foes.
Back to that aforementioned 18-game stretch by the Chiefs. In those contests, Kansas City has allowed 327 points (18.2 average) and 34 offensive touchdowns. That’s quite an improvement from the team’s 6-4 start in 2019, when they surrendered 239 points (23.9 average) and 28 offensive TDs in 10 outings.
But it was the Raiders with quarterback Derek Carr, running back Josh Jacobs, and Jon Gruden’s attack that rolled up 490 total yards and those 40 points. The Las Vegas’ offense scored five offensive touchdowns – three in the air. Carr, who was picked off once, struck for scoring passes of 59 yards to Nelson Agholor and 72 yards to rookie Henry Ruggs III. And after falling behind 14-3 in the second quarter, the Raiders owned a 40-24 edge with 5:26 to play.
This has always been a great rivalry. And if the Raiders can somehow make it two in a row over the Chiefs, the modern version of this longtime series may get very interesting all over again.