There are still a few weeks left in the 2016 NFL season, but arguably the most important game, when it comes to playoff positioning, will take place this Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The 10-2 Oakland Raiders travel to take on the 9-3 Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The winner of this game doesn’t necessarily own the AFC West, but they’ll be in charge of their destiny moving forward. Here’s how the Raiders can beat Kansas City in Week 14.
Oakland Raiders Week 14 Keys To Victory
Control the Clock
The last time these two teams played, the Chiefs won 26-10 and they did so by controlling the clock. Kansas City had the ball for almost 37 minutes of the game and they choked Oakland’s offense out. In a shootout, there isn’t a single team in the NFL that can hang with Derek Carr and company. This season, Carr has set the record for most game-winning touchdown passes in a season, and there are still four games to go.
However, Kansas City won’t try to win a shootout against the Raiders. Rather, they will try to have long, safe drives ending in points. They’ll do their best to wear out the Raider defense while keeping their own defense refreshed with Oakland’s offense off the field. If the Raiders want to beat Kansas City, they’ll have to control the clock.
Contain Spencer Ware
In Kansas City’s 26-10 win, Oakland’s secondary kept Alex Smith and the Chiefs passing attack under control. None of Kansas City’s receivers broke 50 yards and Alex Smith failed to score a touchdown. However, Kansas City was able to move the ball on the ground, and they were able to do so with ease.
They had 183 total rushing yards and scored on the ground twice. However, as stated before, Kansas City dominated the game by chewing clock. The Chiefs can’t control the clock if they aren’t moving the ball.
Last week, the Raiders struggled with the rushing attack of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were able to rush for over 200 yards and three touchdowns. LeSean McCoy in particular was difficult for Oakland to stop. The Raiders will have to tighten up their run defense if they want to stop Kansas City.
Win the Turnover Battle
The turning point in the first game between these two teams was a Marcus Peters interception in the first quarter. The Raiders were up 7-0 at the time, but after the interception the Chiefs scored 14 points and Oakland never recovered. Oakland can’t leave possessions on the field or give Kansas City exceptional field position.
The Raiders need to play perfect football in order to comfortably win this game. Oakland has had to come back from double digit deficits in each of the last two weeks against the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers, but eventually their luck will run out.