The week 17 matchup between the Raiders and Chiefs means very little to the Raiders but the Chiefs have a lot to play for this week.
Just four weeks ago the Raiders gave the Chiefs everything they could handle in a closely contested 40-33 loss at home. If it weren’t for three Raiders fumbles the outcome could have been much different.
“You just put the Kansas City Chiefs tape on. They realize that Kansas City is leading the division and has a chance to lock up home field,” said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. “They’ve got a very talented football team. Best record in football, I believe. We also know that if we didn’t turn the ball over three or four times the last time, we were right there with them in the fourth quarter. I think we are excited to finish this season with as much authority as we can. I’m really proud of the way our guys have been playing.”
The Raiders are 3-3 in their last six games and will be looking to take some momentum into the offseason with a good performance against the Chiefs.
“I just think it’s that they know the scheme better on both sides of the ball, and they are playing fast,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
The Chiefs have lost two straight, but are still leading the AFC and have Patrick Mahomes who threw four touchdowns in their last meeting and who Jon Gruden said would have his vote for MVP if he had one.
“We know what they’re capable of doing. We know what’s at stake for them. We know what the point spread is,” Gruden said Friday. “If we want to dabble in all of those negative thoughts, then we can do that. We just have to go out there and keep playing hard. I think we’re getting better. I think we played better football over the last month of the season. Hopefully we can go out there and perform at the highest of our abilities.”
The current level of play for both teams aside, Arrowhead Stadium is one of the most difficult places to play and is known as one of the loudest stadiums in the league. Derek Carr is 0-4 in his career in games there. In those four games Carr has averaged 186 yards passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions while completing only 53 percent of his passes.
Having already clinched a playoff spot, a win for the Chiefs would mean home field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Raiders are looking for added incentive, how nice it would be to spoil things for their bitter rivals.