Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs need a big comeback effort off their bye week
The second round of bye week teams returns to action Sunday and for the Kansas City Chiefs, there is little concern over how focused players may have been during their break.
When teams win big before their bye and local radio, newspaper and social media spend 12 days stroking the already inflated egos of pro football players, chances are they’re going to come back feeling fat and sassy, and before they know it the team is down 14-0.
The most recent example was a few days ago in Detroit. Philadelphia was back from a break in Wentzylvania following a 34-3 blowout win over the Steelers. It took 14 minutes for the Lions to build a 14-point lead and although Philly fought back, the deciding plays were a Ryan Mathews fumble in the final three minutes followed by a Carson Wentz pick. All this from an Eagles team that had not turned the ball over yet this season.
Cap Stat: The past 23 teams off a regular season by that won by more than 30 before their break are 8-14-1 ATS.
Kansas City is another story. The Chiefs were demolished 43-14 by the Steelers before their bye and to top it all off, the game was on national television. Pittsburgh was playing with a vengeance from the aforementioned loss to Philly and now, let’s see how strong the fire burns inside these Chiefs.
KANSAS CITY AT OAKLAND
KC HC Andy Reid is 2-1 SU/ATS following a regular season bye with the Chiefs. That brings his all-time NFL record in this spot to 16-2 SU and 13-5 ATS. For totals, Reid is 4-13-1 O/U off a break. Given the way Oakland is playing, the Reid reputation is what’s keeping this line from being Raiders -2.5 or even -3. The Raiders are fifth in scoring (28.4 PPG), third in yards per play (6.2) and third in the red zone, converting 78.6-percent of their chances. They’re doing this with a host of injuries to the O-Line, inexperienced backs and virtually no one at tight end. RB Latavius Murray (toe) is doubtful this week and TE Clive Walford (knee) was limited in practice.
Kansas City has its own issues, starting at RB where Jamaal Charles will look to increase his workload following a seven-yard debut against the Steelers. Spencer Ware leads the team with 483 all purpose yards but he’s also fumbled three times. Charcandrick West hasn’t done anything and QB Alex Smith is yet to unleash his new passing attack. KC ranks 29th in the league with a 5.9 yards per pass average and that’s low even by Smith’s standards.
The KC defense has battled through some injuries and should start to look better as players get back up to speed. They’ve done a good job making adjustments, allowing 3 and 7 third quarter points to San Diego and Pittsburgh — but that was after giving up 21 and 29 during the first-half.
It’s the Chiefs offense, scoring zero third quarter points in three of four games, that has me concerned. This team needs to start stronger and if they can keep the ball out of of Derek Carr’s hands during the first-half, they’ll be in good shape to win this game straight-up.
STAT PACK: CHIEFS, RAIDERS
Teams like Oakland off a hard fought, high scoring divisional game are just 10-32-2 ATS when facing another division foe back-to-back and the totals are 17-26-1 O/U. Kansas City has huge 1-19-2 O/U record following a game where they were outrushed by more than 60 yards and I think their success here will hinge on Charles or Ware’s ability to chew up some real estate.
KC swept this series in 2015 and have now won three-straight over the Raiders. The Chiefs won 34-20 in their road game vs. the Silver and Black last year and the past three at the Black Hole have all sailed over the total. These teams are 4-1 O/U in their past five overall but since 2005, the record is 6-15-1 O/U. At O/U 47, this game marks the highest posted total for a game in either city since 2005. Getting +3, I would lean harder on KC but at 47 I think the value is on the total.