Can Raiders go 7-0 at Arrowhead?

10/13/2013 12:00 AM

10/08/2014 10:50 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For all the hard times the Raiders have endured, Arrowhead Stadium has been their personal playground for the last half-dozen years.

They have won in Kansas City in each of the last six seasons by margins small and large, all of which will have little or no bearing on how the Raiders fare today in their AFC West showdown.

If the Raiders want proof that a reversal of fortune is possible, they need look no further than across the line of scrimmage.

Kansas City, 2-14 last season including two losses to the 4-12 Raiders, is the first team to lose that many games and start 5-0 since the Detroit Lions in 1980.

Although it's a new coaching staff led by former Eagles coach Andy Reid, it's an old Chiefs formula – play error-free offense, take the ball away on defense. The team with the fewest mistakes wins. Kansas City leads the NFL in turnover ratio at a Marty Schottenheimer-like plus-10.

"These guys are playing extremely well," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "They play well at home, and I think we all understand what the challenge is going to be in facing them."

It's been a rough opening for the Reggie McKenzie/Allen regime, having won six of 21 games. The Raiders are coming off a 27-17 win over a San Diego team that came in putting up big offensive numbers and with a 2-2 record. It was Oakland's most impressive win since the start of the 2012 season.

Taking down the Chiefs at Arrowhead, one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL, would enter a new realm. The last time the Raiders beat a team with a winning record was Nov. 27, 2011, when they beat the then-7-3 Chicago Bears, improving to 7-4 before stumbling to an 8-8 finish under Hue Jackson.

"If you want to be a team that's looked at as a challenger, a playoff-contending team, you're going to have to beat good teams," Allen said. "We use these types of games as a measuring stick to see where we're at."

Raiders free safety Charles Woodson, playing in his first Chiefs-Raiders game since 2005, is looking forward to it.

"They're 5-0 and riding high. This rivalry is one of the longest-standing in the league," Woodson told SiriusXM Radio. "Kansas City has always been one of my favorite places to play, so it's going to be fun going to Arrowhead and see if we can get the job done.

"We feel good about where we're at. We think we can get a lot better, and this could make a statement for this team going forward."

A formula for a Raiders win would likely include more takeaways against stingy quarterback Alex Smith (they had five against San Diego) and a strong running game to offset the Chiefs' ability to rush the passer and force turnovers through the air.

The Raiders are hopeful that running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings, both limited in practice during the week with hamstring strains, can get some things done on the ground in support of playmaking quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

"If I have the sidekick D-Mac with me, we'll be good to go," Pryor said. "Definitely with the 1-2 punch with Jennings and Marcel (Reece) doing a little bit that would take a great load off me and the (defense) will be guessing."

McFadden, who gained more than 100 yards in each of the wins over Kansas City last season, downplayed any success the Raiders have had at Arrowhead or that he has had against the Chiefs.

"It's something we don't really think about," McFadden said. "Those stats don't really mean anything as far as us going there and winning."

Long snapper Jon Condo, who joined the Raiders after their last loss in Arrowhead in 2006, has bought into Allen's tunnel-vision mantra.

"It's the next game on the schedule," Condo said. "With them being 5-0 and us being 2-3, obviously we have some catching up to do. That's how we're looking at it."


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