Sunday Night Football Week 10 Preview and Prediction: Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs

Ben Gretch is back previewing and predicting Week 10's Sunday Night Football matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.
Ben Gretch
Sun, November 14, 9:00 AM EST

Sunday Night Football Week 10 Preview and Prediction: Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, November 14, 2021

Game Time: 8:20 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBC

  • Key Stat: Patrick Mahomes has five games in 2021 with fewer than 6.0 passing yards per attempt, including each of his past three. Prior to 2021, he had done that just twice in 46 regular season starts.

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Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs Preview

The Chiefs have been one of the league’s biggest storylines in 2021, as no one can figure out what is going on with Patrick Mahomes and the passing game. Of course, that’s mildly inaccurate; we know the two-deep shells they are facing at a high clip are impacting their ability to throw deep. And we know Travis Kelce had a stinger a few weeks ago, and he doesn’t seem 100% healthy. And yet, the extent to which they have been unable to adjust has still been striking.

Over the past five games, Mahomes has had a YPA under 6.0 four times. He’s only done this seven times in the regular season in his career; before 2021, he’d done it just twice in 46 starts. Obviously, teams have tried to run two-deep shells against Mahomes in the past. The first thought everyone has is the Super Bowl hangover and the Buccaneers creating a blueprint, but that’s just hard to believe given what the Bucs did so well was rushing the quarterback with four, which isn’t something every defense can do.

The Raiders do rush the quarterback well, though. Per Evan Silva at Establish The Run, Las Vegas leads the NFL in QB hit rate and is second in YPA against. Their defense has had issues in the past, but it’s a different unit than the one that helped create two shootouts when these teams met in 2020. Both of those games last year went over 65 points.

One major issue for the Chiefs as they’ve struggled to get the ball downfield is an ability to consistently run. Clyde Edwards-Helaire will miss his fifth straight game, so they won’t have any major changes in the backfield. The Raiders will likely have a change in their offense, though, with recently-signed DeSean Jackson set to debut as their new downfield threat. How much he’ll play in his first game with the team is an open question, though. Derek Carr has notably posted his two lowest average throw depths over his past two games, and those figures have been far lower than anything across his first six (5.7 and 5.8 over the past two; never lower than 8.0 over the first six).

The NFL is a copycat league, and it’s not just the Chiefs and Mahomes that have had trouble passing vertically in the past few weeks; we’ve seen the Bills stumble for similar reasons as Josh Allen’s aDOT has fallen, and we’ve seen it with Carr, too. Both the Chiefs and Raiders have consistently been pass-first teams, but both have found their biggest success when they can stretch the field vertically and open things up underneath.

I keep waiting and perhaps hoping for these offenses to figure things out because, from an entertainment perspective, that’s ideal. But the over/under is high in this matchup, and both teams have shown the lowered passing aDOT trend recently. The Chiefs’ past four games have averaged just 32.8 total points, and that makes little sense for a team that throws as much as Kansas City with a quarterback like Mahomes and a subpar defense. I don’t think this game will be egregiously low-scoring, but I do think we have to play the recent trends with the under 52.

Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs Picks

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Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch
Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.
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