At the end of last season the Raiders didn't win a single game away from Oakland. They have flipped the script somewhat this season, with a better record on the road (4-3) than they have at home (3-5). Those road wins have come in Cleveland, San Diego, Tennessee, and Denver. And they put 35 points on the Steelers in Pittsburgh. So, what's the secret?
"I don't know (why we're playing so well on the road). I'm not sure," said Derek Carr. "I know that the way we've traveled has been very professional. I know that our mindset and our focus has been to go into someone else's place, you gotta strap it on and be ready, you know, as we've learned. So, I'm not sure what the formula is, but I know whatever we've been doing has been doing some good things for us, so hopefully we can continue to build on that too."
Carr himself has actually performed better on the road than at home in many areas. Though he has a slightly higher completion percentage at home (62%) than on the road (59%), he has thrown more touchdown passes on the road (16) than at home (15) and far fewer interceptions on the road (2) than at home (10), making his passer rating 18 points higher on the road (102.3) than at home (84.3).
In the Raiders' season finale they will put that record to the test in Kansas City where the Chiefs are 5-2 this season.
Arrowhead it known for being a loud venue. Though essentially zero stock should be put into their supposed noise record from a couple seasons ago, there is no doubt the 'sea of red' offers up plenty of decibels to make life difficult for the opposing offense.
"They've gotta have poise in the noise," Jack Del Rio said of his team." You're gonna have noise. For us, we've been pretty solid at the way we've traveled -- a businesslike approach -- so I think that's what it takes to go in there and play well in a hostile environment. They're as loud as we let them be. If we play well, they won't be quite as loud."
The Raiders have had their issues with penalties this season, including things like false starts and delay of game penalties which can be compounded by a loud crowd. It can also make changing plays at the line quite difficult. Not only will they be facing a red hot Chiefs team that is on 9-game winning streak, but also battling those kinds of self-inflicted wounds.
Though if their performances in Denver and Pittsburgh are any indication, the Raiders have shown they are well equipped to handle such environments this season.