Let's call it like we see it.
Offensively, the Chiefs have been atrocious this season. Factor in the team losing Dwayne Bowe this week and things could get ugly. That isn't a testament to the prowess of the equally struggling Oakland Raiders defense, either.
When two teams are struggling as badly as they are, they tend to come out and play inspired football down the stretch. It says a lot about the character of a team to keep battling and fighting until the final whistle in Week 17.
Which one of these struggling teams will put together four quarters of football and come away with a win in California on Dec. 16?
Take a look at some predictions and analysis of this Week 15 matchup.
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
When: Sunday, Dec. 16, 4:25 p.m. ET
Spread: Oakland -3 (via Covers)
The Raiders should be able to add to their win total with a convincing win over the Chiefs in Week 15. Kansas City will be without Dwayne Bowe, arguably its biggest impact player on offense.
The Chiefs will be limited in what they can do offensively and won't be able to keep up with veteran Carson Palmer and the wide array of speedy options he has to throw the ball to.
Over/Under: 44 (via Covers)
No Dwayne Bowe for the Chiefs will make it hard for them to move the football. Oakland's defense may be bad, but it's aggressive. It should be able to disrupt the Chiefs enough to keep things interesting if it can put pressure on and get to Brady Quinn.
Still, the last time these two teams played the game fell under the 44 points prescribed here. Don't expect the game to get over 44 points. Both of these teams are bottom dwellers for a reason.
Injury Report via CBS Sports (as of 12/13/2012)
Kansas City Chiefs
|RB||Cyrus Gray||Shoulder, neck||Probable|
|S||Tyvon Branch||Neck, ankle||Questionable|
|DT||Richard Seymour||Hamstring, knee||Questionable|
Fantasy Big Plays
Chiefs: RB Jamaal Charles
Charles is currently the eighth-highest scoring fantasy running back despite playing on one of the league's most anemic offenses. He seems to be catching stride down the stretch, recording double-digit fantasy points in each of the past five weeks.
Oakland has proved to be susceptible to big running plays on the ground this season. That's putting it mildly. Charles broke out an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game in Week 14. The explosive back could have one or two of those against the porous Raiders D.
Projected Stats: 21 carries, 155 yards, 1 TD
Oakland: RB Darren McFadden
Run DMC has missed some games this season, as usual. But it hasn't been the injuries that should concern fantasy football players. Sure, he tweaked his ankle last week and that's always a concern. But, even when healthy he has failed to get into a groove this season.
The shifty and quick back has only rushed for over 100 yards twice this season. He's also only gotten into the end zone twice as well. Luckily for him, and his fantasy owners, his last 100-yard performance was in Week 8 against the Chiefs.
Kansas City is giving up 17.4 fantasy points to opposing backfields and just let rookie Trent Richardson score 21 points last weekend.
Projected Stats: 26 rushes, 133 yards, 1 TD
Key to Victory
Run the football
Kansas City has the league's fifth-best rushing attack, averaging 149.2 yards per game. But, in these team's Week 8 matchup they failed to get Jamaal Charles involved in the game plan. He finished with just five carries in the game.
If the Chiefs have any chance of winning they will need to feed Charles early and often in order to take advantage of the susceptible Raiders defense.
There is no reason to think the Chiefs, without Bowe, will be able to mount any type of significant resistance this time around as opposed to in Week 8. Oakland is not a good football team, by any means, but it will be good enough to sweep the season series with the lowly Chiefs.
Look for a sloppy game with several turnovers and a one-sided feel that strongly favors the Raiders.
Final Score: Raiders 24, Chiefs 13