When Derek Carr arrived at Oakland training camp, he quickly tried to dampen the high expectations around the team by pointing out that the Raiders shouldn't be considered the AFC West favorites. They hadn't even beaten Kansas City the past two years.
Heading into the first meeting of the year with the Chiefs (5-1) at home on Thursday night, Carr and the Raiders (2-4) are searching for a win of any kind after losing four straight games for the first time in three years.
"You want to go out there and beat one of the best teams in football," Carr said. "We have them coming to our place on a short week. So all the challenges are there. Everything is pushing our back against the wall, but one thing I know we're going to do is we're going to come out on Thursday night and fight."
Little has gone right the past month for the Raiders, who have failed to score more than 17 points or gain more than 300 yards in any game during their skid. That has turned a team expected to be a Super Bowl contender into a last-place squad.
No one played better than the Chiefs the first five games as quarterback Alex Smith led a dynamic offense that got a big boost from game-breaking rookie running back Kareem Hunt .
That ended last week when Kansas City was held to 6 yards on 16 plays in the first half and lost to Pittsburgh 19-13 . But with a short week and a long trip , the Chiefs had little time to dwell on that loss.
"You don't even have time to let it marinate or sink in, to be honest," Smith said. "You just have to let it go. It's such a short week when you throw in travel. I mean you don't even have time to really even get into (Sunday's) game. You just have to go. The next one is more important."