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Chiefs -9 Battle The Raiders Thursday Night to Kick Off Week 12

Despite starting the season with two straight losses, and after dropping three of their first five, the Kansas City Chiefs have quickly become one of the hottest teams in the NFL in recent weeks. They’ve moved their way up to the top five in power rankings from ESPN, and they currently sit at 18/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. On Thursday night, the Chiefs will help to kick off Week 12 of the NFL season as they play divisional foe Oakland.

The last time that the Chiefs lost was in Week 5 against San Francisco. They then had a bye week, which they followed up with a big 23-20 win over San Diego. At that time, the Chargers were atop the AFC West, but things have certainly changed over the course of the last month.

After beating the Chargers, the Chiefs would go on to beat a Rams team that was able to knock off Denver last weekend. That win was then followed by two more victories against the Jets and the Bills in back-to-back weeks. What may have been the most impressive win of their current five game streak came last weekend, when they beat the Seahawks 24-20.

Because the Chiefs rank second-to-last in the league with just 186 passing yards per game, they’ve relied heavily on Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis in their backfield. Charles currently has 692 yards and 8 touchdowns on 133 attempts, and Davis has 421 yards and 5 touchdowns on 111 attempts. Together, they are the biggest contributing factors to a Kansas City offense that ranks fourth in the league with 141 rushing yards per game.

On defense, the Chiefs may be even more impressive. They currently rank 1st overall with just an average of 201 passing yards per game against. That’s certainly not a good sign for a Raiders team that ranks 26th in the league behind Derek Carr’s 213.4 passing yards per game average.

The Raiders, who have yet to win a game on the season, also rank dead last in rushing at just 63 yards per game.

If there is anything to be said about this matchup on Thursday night, it’s that the Chiefs need to be sure that they don’t overlook the Raiders. Sure, Oakland has yet to win a game on the season, but divisional matchups always have to be accounted for. In addition, the Chiefs are coming off a huge win against Seattle, and next weekend they’ll play against Denver in primetime. This is certainly the definition of a trap game, and the Chiefs will have to make sure that they do everything they can to avoid falling off their current hot streak.

After the Chiefs play the Broncos, they’ll then head to Arizona to play the Cardinals. There is no question that the Chiefs are in the middle of a stretch right now that is probably the hardest of their season. The good news is that they have momentum on their side, as well as a few big wins already under their belt.

The Chiefs are currently tied at the top of the AFC West with the Broncos at 7-3. If they can grab a win on Thursday, and the Broncos win against Miami on Sunday, it could make for a very interesting showdown in Kansas City next Sunday. Be sure to check back with sportspicks.com after Week 12’s games, for more insight and information into Week 13 and the remainder of the NFL season.