Suddenly filled with confidence and bravado after their big home win over the Broncos, the Oakland Raiders have one goal left in what has been a season of discovery; A victory in Arrowhead Stadium over the Kansas City Chiefs. Draft slots placement be damned, these players are having fun and playing with pride and passion.
The greatest compliment you can give a coach is his team is playing hard. Rookie offensive tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker have been criticized loudly and rightfully so. On Monday night, they completely shut out Von Miller — he didn’t even record a tackle. Bradley Chubb got mauled over in the end zone on a gun run by Parker, a run which Jalen Richard followed right off his hip and into the promised land.
The Raiders defense pitched a shutout through the first half and it would continue through Broncos first seven possessions. All without both starting cornerbacks Gareon Conley (concussion) and Daryl Worley (shoulder).
After a thrilling victory, Jon Gruden referenced the Chiefs, about how “we [the Raiders] don’t like them and they don’t like us” adding “Let’s go beat Kansas City’s ass.”
It’s time for Derek Carr and this Oakland offense to get the monkey off their backs. It’s time for Carr to get his first career victory in Kansas City, Missouri, in what will now be his fifth attempt.
Carr has taken his lumps early and often. The wins haven’t been there for the team this year but it isn’t indicative of the type of season he’s had. With a patchwork offensive line, and a revolving door out wideout,
Despite the challenges, Carr needs just 136 yards in the game to break the 4,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. He also needs just 15 completions to break Peyton Manning’s record for the most completions (1749) thru the first five years of his career.
As a whole the pass defense has been a much improved unit and is ranked 14th with 3543 yards given up. Karl Joseph, Erik Harris, and Conley have been the answer for db coach Derrick Ansley and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. The Raiders have surrendered a league-low 283 completions on the season and are 12th with 13 interceptions. They have allowed a 300-yard passer only three times all year. Pat Mahomes was just shy of throwing for 300 yards in their first meeting with the Chiefs.
Losers of two-straight, the Chiefs now have matching 11-4 record with the Los Angeles Chargers. A win by the Chiefs Sunday and they would maintain home field advantage over the AFC by mere division winning percentage points over the Chargers.
A Raider victory against the Chiefs, in combination with a Charger win, would mean the Chiefs lose the division and would be sent on the road into the wildcard round, where the Chiefs have finished one and done in the playoffs for four times in seven trips since 2000. Not to mention breaking that losing streak would be a great foundation to build upon heading into the offseason.
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