Chiefs vs. Raiders: Can Oakland break through Thursday night?

The Oakland Raiders, 0-10 so far this season, are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. Might the Raiders win their first game?

Gregory Bull/AP
Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack, right, stands over San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers while celebrating his sack of Rivers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in San Diego.

Coming into Thursday night's NFL encounter, the Oakland Raiders have yet to crack the win column during the 2014 campaign. On paper, playing the Kansas City Chiefs – winners of five straight – doesn't bode well for the Raiders to stop their 16-game losing streak which dates back to November of last year, when they beat the Texans in Houston.

The Raiders haven't had a 100-yard rusher in any of their games this season. The closest they've come was Darren McFadden's 80 yards on 14 carries in a 31-28 loss to the San Diego Chargers on October 12.

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr has thrown for 300 yards in a game once, racking up 328 yards in a 23-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns back on October 26. His touchdown pass to interception ratio currently stands at 13 to 9.

The Raiders are last in the NFL in total offense, averaging 15 points and 276 yards per game. They are the fifth-worst scoring defense in the NFL, tied with the New York Jets, giving up just over 26 points per contest.

From a historical standpoint, Oakland's worst season was 1962 – their third season in existence in the American Football League – where they won once in a 14-game schedule. More recently, they went 2-14 in 2006.

The last NFL team to go winless was the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16.

In the Raiders' favor is the fact that seven home teams in the prior ten Thursday night games this season have won. As a matter of fact, one of Oakland's four victories last season technically took place on a 'Thursday Night NFL Special Edition' that occurred on Sunday night, Oct. 6, when the Raiders defeated the Chargers. The game had to be pushed back due to an Oakland Athletics American League baseball playoff game the day before in Oakland.

Other than that, just about everything else works in favor of the Chiefs: more effective quarterback, dynamic running back, and a defense which has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season. But they still have to play 60 minutes Thursday night and, as we have seen time and time again, anything can happen under the bright lights of prime-time NFL football.

The game will be on the NFL Network at 8:25 p.m. Eastern time.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.