The Raiders have all the pieces that they need to go deep in the playoffs, and I do not believe that they must duck the Chiefs on their way to playoff glory. The issue that makes The Raiders easy fodder for the Chiefs is where these two teams play. Kansas City gets eight games in one of the hottest, coldest, and loudest stadiums in the NFL. The Raiders play in another hostile stadium, but they are still more talented. That leaves them with more potential wins, and they will still be a wild card even if they lose their division.

The Chiefs are not that good

I did not say the Chiefs are bad, but I did say that they are not so good as to have a stellar record and waltz into the playoffs. Let us assume that the Chiefs can beat the Raiders at Arrowhead, that means the Chiefs then have to win in Oakland. I do not see that happening. They are in flux considering Alex Smith just saw the team draft his replacement, and while he is a good player, he is not a great player. Derek Carr is just better, and the Raiders have a better defense. There is a talent gulf there we have not accounted for.

The Raiders have that defense

I expect the Raiders defense to improve, and I believe that Khalil Mack will be so good that he can anchor their defense, and I think that it would be interesting to see how much the people around him improve because of what he can do.

He is the only person to make all-pro at two different positions at the same time, and he could easily play like that for a decade. That kind of talent makes a team better, and I believe that the Raiders will get better as a result.

The Chiefs are silently rebuilding

The Chiefs are silently rebuilding in my opinion as they plan to send Alex Smith off into the sunset.

They have drafted his replacement, and they have a team that is good enough to support a rookie quarterback if they want to put him in there. The team only has an advantage because they play at Arrowhead, but I do not think that is even enough to beat back a Raiders team that is very talented.

Mark Davis saved the Raiders

Mark Davis has saved the Raiders all by himself simply by allowing Reggie McKenzie to run the player personnel division of the team.

They have drafted well many times over, and they have spent their money wisely. They got Marshawn Lynch to come back to Oakland, and they have built a deep roster that everyone in the Oakland area should be proud of. I want to see the Raiders beat up on the Chiefs because I want that Patriots-Raiders AFC title game.