The Oakland Raiders (4-1), who are off to their best start in 14 years, look to extend their winning streak to four games on Sunday when they host AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) in a Week 6 matchup at Oakland Coliseum. Oakland hasn’t won four straight games since their 2002 season, which was the last time they reached the postseason and the Super Bowl.
But Oakland’s won their four games by an average of three points, and opponents are averaging 27.4 points per game. The Raiders are edging their opponents behind a solid overall effort by quarterback Derek Carr and an offensive line that is opening up lanes for the running game.
Carr has 11 touchdown passes to only two interceptions and leads the league with two fourth-quarter comebacks and two game-winning drives. But he will have to overcome his struggles against the Chiefs' star-laden defensive backfield. In four career games, Carr has completed just 56.4 percent of his passes for 873 yards and has been intercepted four times.
The Chiefs have had their struggles this season, and are coming off a disastrous 43-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers before their bye week. Offensive coordinators Brad Childress and Matt Nagy have overseen a unit that is 21st in average yards per game (338.5).
But the Chiefs will get a lift with the return of star running back Jamaal Charles. The 29-year-old has played in just six games since the 2014 season, after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee. Spencer Ware has done a solid job filling for Charles, racking up 284 rushing yards and a touchdown to go along with 199 receiving yards off of 11 receptions.
Charles has thrived against the Raiders, with nearly equal success coming on rushing and passing plays. In 11 career games, Charles has caught 37 passes for 416 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 499 rushing yards and five scores.
The Chiefs are expected to employ a two-back system against a vulnerable Oakland rush defense. The Raiders are 28th in the league in average rushing yards allowed (121.5), and the 4.9 yards per carry they allow is tied for second worst in the NFL.
The Raiders' offense has been bolstered by their No. 9 rush offense (119.2 yards per game), but they may be without one of their top rushers. Latavius Murray missed practice for the third straight day on Friday due to a toe injury. The 26-year-old has averaged 4.2 yards per carry, but rookies Jalen Richard (7.0 yards per game) and DeAndre Washington (5.3 yards per game) are more than capable of picking up the slack if Murray sits.
Game Time: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EDT
Betting Odds: Kansas City -1
Over/Under: 47 points
Prediction: Kansas City over Oakland, 23-20