The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs find themselves at the bottom of the AFC West.
The good news is, one of them has to win in Week 8 (unless there's a tie, which would be a truly ominous sign for both squads).
The Raiders (2-4, 0-2 AFC West) just beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in an overtime thriller.
The Chiefs (1-5, 0-1 AFC West) have lost three straight games and currently sport (gasp) Brady Quinn at quarterback.
Here's a look at the AFC West showdown on Sunday.
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
When: Sunday, Oct. 28 at 4:05 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Line: Chiefs -2, Over/Under 41.5 (via Bovada)
What's At Stake?
Why, the AFC West, of course!
Both the Raiders and the Chiefs are on the bottom of the AFC West so far. The Raiders hold a 2-4 record (0-2 AFC West) and the Chiefs hold a 1-5 record (0-1 AFC West).
While the Raiders are coming off a win, Kansas City has dropped its last three games against the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Heading into the second half of the season, this is a big game for both squads.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
TE Richard Gordon - Hamstring - Questionable
RB Taiwan Jones - Knee - Questionable
CB Shawntae Spencer - Foot - Doubtful
OT Khalif Barnes - Groin - OUT indefinitely
DE Glenn Dorsey - Calf - Questionable
RB Peyton Hillis - Ankle - Questionable
WR Devon Wylie - Hamstring - Questionable
QB Matt Cassel - Concussion - OUT
What They're Saying
The no-huddle offense has clearly made an impact for the Raiders. It worked for them in their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, it worked for them against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 and it worked for them when it was employed in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Head coach Dennis Allen said after the 26-23 overtime victory over the Jaguars last week, via Raiders.com:
With the no-huddle, we were able to wear them down a little bit more and they were less fresh and our guys, it seemed to increase our focus offensively. And we executed better offensively.
In Kansas City, head coach Romeo Crennel has benched former starting quarterback Matt Cassel in favor of...wait for it...Brady Quinn.
Quinn didn't seem to help matters in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, going 22-of-38 for 180 yards and two interceptions.
Nonetheless, it looks like Crennel is sticking with Quinn.
Crennel said, via the Kansas City Star, "I want (Quinn) to be the starting quarterback without having to look over his shoulder. There’s going to be no quick hook or anything like that.’’
Raiders Player to Watch: Carson Palmer, QB
It's natural to always put the spotlight on star running back Darren McFadden, but, while the Chiefs' run defense has been bad this season, the pass defense has been downright horrid.
Palmer has an opportunity to do damage with the no-huddle offense against a Chiefs pass defense that has allowed 8.9 yards per attempt (31st) and 13 passing touchdowns. That includes allowing Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman to pass for 328 yards and three touchdowns (one interception) in Week 6.
Chiefs Player to Watch: Brady Quinn, QB
Despite facing a poor Buccaneers pass defense in Week 6, Brady Quinn still managed to implode. It won't matter who the Chiefs have in the backfield if he can't step up against the Raiders.
The Raiders have been better against the pass than Tampa Bay (allowing 7.2 yards per attempt, 16th in the NFL). Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan averaged 6.7 yards per attempt while throwing one touchdown to three interceptions against them in Week 6.
Quinn better improve in a hurry.
Key Matchup: Chiefs Passing Game vs. Raiders Pass Defense
I find it hard to believe Quinn will get much going against the Raiders after struggling against the Bucs, but perhaps a bye week will help.
Yes, Kansas City is averaging 4.8 yards per carry this season (fourth in the NFL), but the running game tends to be limited when opponents are stacking the box and not respecting the quarterback.
Prediction: Raiders 24, Chiefs 17
I'm a bit perplexed about the Chiefs being favored.
Yes, Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to play, but that hasn't stopped the Chiefs from dropping all three games at home this season.
I think the Raiders are on to something with the no-huddle and will use it more prominently in a big game for them.
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