Can the Raiders keep things respectable against the Chiefs?

The Raiders, playing at home, opened as 15-point underdogs to the high-scoring Chiefs this week. Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- What's to keep the Kansas City Chiefs from dropping a 70-spot on the Oakland Raiders this weekend?

I'm being serious. Kind of.

When you crunch the numbers, there's a reason the Raiders opened as 15-point underdogs, a nearly unheard of point spread for a home team.

On a micro level, the last-place Raiders (2-9) are giving up an NFL-worst 6.5 yards per play, while the Chiefs are averaging an NFL-best 7.0 yards per play.

On a macro level, the first-place Chiefs (9-2) have the top-ranked offense in the AFC, averaging 434.3 yards per game, while the Raiders are 26th in the league in total defense, allowing 390.0 yards per game. While Kansas City's 36.7 points per game ranks second in the NFL, Oakland is giving up the third-most points per game in the league, at 29.7.

Then there's this, with the Chiefs coming off their bye: Andy Reid-coached teams are 16-3 in weeks following a bye. Those 16 victories are tied for most since 1990 with Bill Belichick, who is 16-9. Still, Reid won his first 13 such games and is 3-2 with the Chiefs.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who is in his first season back on the sideline after nine years in the broadcast booth for ESPN's Monday Night Football, is a respectable 7-5 in his career against teams coming off a bye. But he has not been in that situation since Week 9 of the 2007 season.

Finally, the Raiders have surrendered a league-high 18 plays that have gone for at least 40 yards. The Chiefs have 13 plays of 40-plus yards, tied for second-most in the NFL, as the Green Bay Packers have 15 such plays.

It all paints a bleak picture for Oakland, which is in the running with the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers for the top pick in the draft. But that's why they play the games, right?

The Raiders haven't allowed more than 42 points in a game this season, and the most they've ever allowed was 56 to the Chiefs in 2013. The most the Chiefs have scored this season is 51 points in a Week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Where can the Raiders potentially find success against the Chiefs?

Obviously, by keeping the ball away from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has thrown for 3,628 yards and a league-leading 37 touchdowns ... in 11 games.

That would mean Oakland's offense would have to win the time of possession, big time, as the Raiders did early in the season. They would also have to replicate their first-drive-of-the-game success that has disappeared later in games.

"We've just got to do what we know, do what we do in practice," running back Doug Martin said after the Raiders' 34-17 loss at the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, a game in which Oakland took the opening drive 81 yards in 12 plays and closed it out with a 1-yard TD plunge over the top by Martin.

"We've got to be detail-oriented, doing your own job and not doing too much, staying calm throughout the whole series. It's tough ... we did it one time on that first series, but we've got to do that on a consistent basis."

True, as The Associated Press noted, the Raiders' 34 points on the opening drive of the game make for the fifth-best such number in the league. But in averaging just 1.32 points per drive after that, the Raiders are third-worst in the league.

"Well, it's a credit to our guys for starting fast each half," Gruden said Monday during his weekly news conference. "We take a lot of pride in that. We had a couple offensive pass interference penalties that really slowed us down and put us behind in the stakes [in Baltimore]. We didn't have the ball very often in the second half, quite honestly. After the touchdown drive to make 20-17, I think we had a three-and-out.

"Then when we got the ball back, we were down by 10. We didn't have many possessions in the second half. I think that would help, quite honestly. I have to do a better job. I'll just leave it at that."

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has responded well to Gruden's opening script. His passer rating of 128.6 trails only that of Mahomes and the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees. The rest of the game? Carr has a rating of 88.8.

Not having Marshawn Lynch at running back (injured reserve) or Amari Cooper at receiver (traded to the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 22) and dealing with little pass protection at times (Carr has been sacked a career-high 35 times), with rookies at both tackle positions in Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker, have contributed to the offense's falling off.

"I look forward to someday," Gruden said, "where we have a lot of pieces in place, and we have some continuity, and everybody is used to playing with one another."

The Chiefs offer another opportunity for the Raiders on both sides of the ball. But can they keep Kansas City from running away with the game?