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Raiders 2016 pre-camp season preview: Kansas City Chiefs week 6, 14

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Two AFC West opponents in consecutive weeks, both at home. Let’s take a look at the 2016 Chiefs.

To start their division play, the Raiders see back to back home games against AFC West opponents in the Chargers and Chiefs. In doing so, they could be facing their top competitor for the division crown, making this game a big one.

Chiefs 2015 numbers:
Record: 11-5
Offense rank: 27
Defense rank: 7

Much like last year’s AFC division winner and eventual Super Bowl champion Broncos, the Chiefs were led by the strength of their defense. Their offense merely hung around and gave them a fighting chance. The result was their first playoff win in a very long time. Then again, it was against the weakest playoff team in the league (Texans), so it’s not exactly a monumental accomplishment.

That defense has some strong players on it led by Justin Houston though he may miss the first meeting between the these two teams. He is recovering from a torn ACL and if he’s placed on the PUP list, the Raiders won’t face him. They also won’t have to face Sean Smith as he will be wearing Silver & Black. There’s still the likes of Tamba Hali, Dontari Poe, Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry, and Marcus Peters to worry about though, so they won’t be getting too comfortable.

Alex Smith is a lackluster game manager whose running backs and tight ends usually lead the team in receiving. The team went an entire season without a wide receiver catching a touchdown until Jeremy Maclin came on board last offseason to finally break the curse. But they still have Jamaal Charles and that goes a long way.

For the updated look at the Chiefs heading into training camp we put you over to the very capable hands of Arrowhead Pride.

Notable free agent additions: RT Mitch Schwartz, WR Rod Streater

Notable free agent departures: CB Sean Smith, S Tyvon Branch, QB Chase Daniel

Trades:

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: The Chiefs could end up having one or two starters (G Parker Ehinger, CB KeiVarae Russell) the first year with a bunch of role players or those replacing someone else down the line. DT Chris Jones, WR Demarcus Robinson and WR Tyreek Hill could have a regular role on the team in the first year too.

Biggest offseason addition: RT Mitch Schwartz

Biggest storyline heading into training camp: In the short-term, it will be replacing Justin Houston, who is likely to miss part of the season coming back from February ACL surgery. In the long-term, can the Chiefs take the next step on offense? They’re on the doorstep after a divisional round loss last season to the Patriots. What they lacked was explosiveness on offense. RT Mitch Schwartz will help solidify the line while Jamaal Charles’ return hopes to add that explosiveness that was lacking last season.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: How old is too old on defense? Key players like Tamba Hali (32) and Derrick Johnson (33) are up there in age. No Justin Houston early on or Sean Smith, now with the Raiders.

Notable injuries heading into training camp: RB Jamaal Charles and CB Phillip Gaines are coming back from an ACL tear early on last season. They should be ready. Justin Houston is likely to miss part of the regular season after he’s coming off of ACL surgery.

Also see the previews for:

Week 1 at New Orleans Saints
Week 2 vs Atlanta Falcons
Week 3 at Tennessee Titans
Week 4 at Baltimore Ravens
San Diego Chargers week 5, 15