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Raiders-Chiefs Week 17: Playoff ramifications

Raiders can spoil Chiefs’ Christmas celebration

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Andy Reid, Antonio Pierce
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

There is much at stake for both the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs when they meet on Christmas Day (kickoff is at 10 a.m. PT) at Arrowhead Stadium.

For the Raiders, it’s all about the job push for interim head coach Antonio Pierce, who is 3-3 after taking over for the fired Josh McDaniels in Week 9. If Pierce can lead the Raiders over the Chiefs —- the Chiefs are 10-1 over the Raiders in the Patrick Mahomes era and have lost to the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium once the past 10 years — it would go a very long way in Pierce’s case to be the head coach in 2024.

So, the game is extremely important for Pierce and his roster, which is fully behind the coach and has sky-high confidence (and rest) coming off of a record-setting 63-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night. Yet, this game is extremely important for the host Chiefs as well.

The Chiefs are 9-5, but have lost three of five games. Yet, they can clinch their eighth straight AFC West title with a win over the Raiders. The Chiefs can also clinch the division with a tie with the Raiders and a Denver loss to New England on Sunday.

So, expect a wild Arrowhead Stadium on Monday.

As far as the 6-8 Raiders’ playoff chances, The Associated Press reported that they have just a 32 percent chance of making the playoffs if they win out and beat Kansas City, Indianapolis and Denver to end the regular season.

UPDATE:
The Raiders will be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss Monday.

So, there’s a lot at stake in this game.