DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6) AT OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-7)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. TV: NBC, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter).
SERIES HISTORY: 12th regular-season meeting. Raiders lead series, 6-5. The Cowboys have won the last two, 31-24 on Thanksgiving in 2013 and 24-7 in 2009.
Dak Prescott (4)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Cowboys and Raiders meet in what amounts to a mid-December playoff game. Dallas could win out to reach 10-6 and still be left out of the postseason. The Raiders need a win to remain a game behind the Chargers-Chiefs winner in the AFC West.
The Cowboys have recovered from a three-game losing streak with blowout wins over the Redskins and Giants.
Dallas, with running back Ezekiel Elliott still a week away from returning from his six-game suspension, will again depend on the tandem of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith. In Elliott’s absence, Morris has averaged a solid 4.4 yards per carry, and Smith had 160 yards from scrimmage in last week’s 30-10 win over the Giants.
The Cowboys will rely heavily on their two signal callers, quarterback Dak Prescott and middle linebacker Sean Lee, who are both coming off career days.
Prescott threw for 332 yards against the Giants, and Lee, who came back after missing the better part of four games, had 18 tackles.
The Raiders’ offense, which was held to 104 yards in the first three quarters against Kansas City, will need to find some answers. Derek Carr, who threw for just 211 yards last week, will try to exploit a Dallas defense that has struggled against prolific offenses.
To that end, Oakland right tackle will need to slow Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who is second in the league with 13.5 sacks.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
–Raiders RT Marshall Newhouse vs. Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence has 13.5 sacks and would have a few more if not for obvious holding penalties not being called. Lawrence called out the officials, so they might pay attention to this matchup. Newhouse is going to have his hands full. The Raiders have allowed just 21 sacks this season and Newhouse has been a big part of the protection of Derek Carr.
–Cowboys TE Jason Witten vs. Raiders SS Karl Joseph and LBs Nick Morrow and NaVorro Bowman. Witten had just one catch against the New York Giants, but it was good for a 20-yard touchdown, and he has put up 52 catches this season. Tight ends have given the Raiders fits for years; during the preseason, Witten torched the Raiders for six catches and 74 yards in the first half. Joseph will get his turn at strong safety; but, given the shallow routes Witten has run most of the season (8.8 yards per catch), he will get plenty of Morrow and Bowman as well.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
–Out: LB Justin Durant (concussion), DE David Irving (concussion), CB Orlando Scandrick (back)
–Questionable: WR Brice Butler (foot), T La’el Collins (back), DT Maliek Collins (foot), TE James Hanna (knee), LB Sean Lee (hamstring, back), T Tyron Smith (back)
–Out: WR Amari Cooper (ankle), DE Mario Edwards (ankle), S Obi Melifonwu (hip/injured reserve), TE Clive Walford (concussion, neck)
–Doubtful: CB David Amerson (foot)
–Questionable: DE Denico Autry (hand, ankle), G Jon Feliciano (concussion), S Keith McGill (knee)
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Cowboys RT La’el Collins. He will have his hands full against Raiders DE Khalil Mack. He held his own against him in the preseason in one of his first tests at right tackle after playing left guard for the first two years of his career. He will have to do it while battling a herniated disk in his back. He held up well the past two weeks against the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Ryan Kerrigan.
FAST FACTS: Dallas QB Dak Prescott passed for a career-high 332 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, last week. … RB Alfred Morris has 352 yards from scrimmage in his past four games. … WR Dez Bryant aims for his third game in row with a touchdown catch. He has 58 touchdown catches since 2012, most in the NFL. … TE Jason Witten aims for his third game in a row with a touchdown. … DE DeMarcus Lawrence ranks second in the NFL with 13.5 sacks, a career high. He has eight sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his past six road games. … LB Sean Lee tied his career-high with 18 tackles and had an interception last week. … S Jeff Heath had a career-high 10 tackles and an interception in Week 14. He aims for a third straight game with an interception. … Oakland QB Derek Carr has 1,851 passing yards (308.5 per game), 12 touchdowns and three interceptions in his past six games vs. NFC teams. In his past 10 home games, he has 21 touchdowns vs. five interceptions. … RB Marshawn Lynch has 507 yards from scrimmage (101.4 per game) and two rushing touchdowns in his past five games vs. Dallas. He has eclipsed 100 yards from scrimmage in two of the past three games. … WR Amari Cooper has four touchdown catches in his past three home games. … WR Michael Crabtree has six touchdowns in his past six home games. … TE Jared Cook had a touchdown catch in Week 14. He ranks fourth among AFC tight ends with 621 yards. … DE Khalil Mack had a sack last week and aims for a fifth straight game with a sack.
PREDICTION: With the offense humming again after three straight games under 10 points, the Cowboys appear to have momentum. Dallas is still without running back Ezekiel Elliott, but linebacker Sean Lee is back and will cause problems for a Raiders offense that was ineffective for more than three quarters last week.
OAKLAND – The Oakland Raiders were a trendy preseason choice to wind up in the conference championship game, but they are in desperate need of a victory to keep from falling out of contention in the AFC West. Riding a four-game losing streak, the struggling Raiders face a daunting task when they host the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
Oakland plugged a void this week with the signing of four-time All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman, a tackling machine who moves across the Bay after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers on Friday. “A lot of experience, a lot of leadership, a lot of physicality,” star outside linebacker Khalil Mack said of Bowman. “You’re talking about a guy that, all you’ve got to do is turn the ball back to him. He’s going to be there. And that’s what we’re ready to do.” Kansas City became the last team in the NFL to lose, dropping a 19-13 decision at home to Pittsburgh on Sunday, but it has won five in a row against the Raiders. I think the positive is we’ve got a short week to try to get this bounce back and get this taste out of our mouth, if there is a positive,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network. LINE: Chiefs -3. O/U: 47
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (5-1): Kansas City averaged nearly 33 points through its first five victories, but its offense was bottled up while its 27th-ranked run defense was shredded for 194 yards. Kareem Hunt rushed for a season-low 21 yards but had five receptions for 89 yards to become the first rookie in league history to amass at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his team’s first six games. Multi-threat receiver Tyreek Hill injured his neck in Sunday’s game and it was feared he might have a concussion, but the team pronounced him good to go. Smith threw for 246 yards and a TD last week, failing to post a 100-plus passer rating for the first time.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2-4): Derek Carr returned to the lineup after missing one game with a fractured bone in his back, but had another mediocre game and has four interceptions in his past three contests after tossing only six picks in the entire 2016 season. The vertical passing game has been a staple in Oakland since the franchise’s inception, but deep threat Amari Cooper has a combined nine receptions for 51 yards during the four-game skid. Marshawn Lynch has not provided the expect jolt to the ground game, rushing for two TDs and an averaging 42.8 yards rushing. Only three teams in the league have fewer than the Raiders’ 11 sacks.
1. Smith is 9-1 with 19 TDs and four interceptions in his last 10 games versus Oakland.
2. Carr has lost five in a row to the Chiefs, but he has 14 TD passes in his last six home games.
3. Hunt, the league’s leading rusher, has 885 yards from scrimmage — the third-highest total ever by a rookie through six games.
PREDICTION: Raiders 23, Chiefs 22
OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-1) AT DENVER BRONCOS (2-1)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Sports Authority Field at Mile High: CBS, announcers Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter).
Oakland Raiders: QB David Carr
SERIES HISTORY: 114th regular-season meeting. Raiders lead series, 61-50-2. The Broncos won the most recent meeting 24-6 in Denver in Week 17 of last season with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr out with a broken fibula. Backup QB Matt McGloin started and was injured and was replaced by QB Connor Cook. The loss cost the Raiders the AFC West division title, and they lost the following week 27-14 to Houston in the wild-card round with Cook at quarterback.
KEYS TO THE GAME: For the Broncos, it starts with eliminating their own mistakes. Denver has six turnovers in its first three games, and opponents have cashed in on those giveaways, turning them into four touchdowns and a field goal that account for nearly half (31 of 64) of the points surrendered by the Broncos so far this season. Defensively, the Broncos will first try to contain Oakland’s running game. Even though Raiders playmakers Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have caused problems to plenty of foes, the Broncos have generally been successful at containing them. If they can limit mistakes and force the Raiders to pass the football, they’ll have control of the game and a good chance to be 3-1 at their bye.
Look for the Raiders to challenge their offensive and defensive lines after getting pushed around by Washington. There won’t be a lot of complicated schemes — just beat the person in front of you. The Raiders defensive line did little against the Redskins in terms of pressure and although Washington didn’t get a lot of yards on the ground, the Raiders were softened up by aggressive play. The Raiders offensive line, the highest paid in the NFL, had a rare off day. Look for Todd Downing to call a game that will allow the line to assert its dominance after a stinging setback.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
–Raiders WR Michael Crabtree vs. Broncos CB Aqib Talib. Talib angered Crabtree in last season’s second game by tearing off the chain around his neck, an act clearly designed to get in the receiver’s head. Crabtree is coming off a one-catch game against Washington after which Josh Norman called him out for popping off in pregame about having big numbers. Whether Crabtree did this or not, only Norman knows. Crabtree never talks to the media. But the Raiders wideout caught 12 passes on 13 targets in Week 1 and 2, and was totally taken out of the game by Norman in Week 3. Look for Talib to attempt something similar.
–Broncos LT and RT Garett Bolles and Menelik Watson vs. Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack. Watson had his steadiest game last week against Buffalo, but he has allowed six sacks this season, and the Raiders will surely test their 2013 draft pick who departed in free agency. Bolles has been solid in his first three games, although he struggled at times against Buffalo as he played the entire game one week after suffering a lower-leg bruise. Mack has seven career sacks in six games against the Broncos.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
–Questionable: CB Gareon Conley (shin), WR Michael Crabtree (chest), S Keith McGill (foot)
–Out: QB Paxton Lynch (right shoulder)
–Questionable: WR Cody Latimer (knee)
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Running back C.J. Anderson’s 32-yard run in the second quarter at Buffalo was his longest gain since Dec. 28, 2015, when he sprinted 39 yards into the open field with a touchdown against the Bengals. Anderson has three runs of at least 20 yards this season; he had just one run of 20-plus yards last year. The upgrades to the offensive line and Anderson’s commitment to being in better condition — which led him to take up distance cycling in the offseason — have helped him rediscover his burst.
FAST FACTS: Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch has 75 touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2007, which marks the second-most touchdowns in the league during that time. … Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders has three touchdown catches in his past five home games. … Raiders S Reggie Nelson has 35 interceptions in the past 11 seasons, which leads all active players. … Broncos LB Von Miller has compiled five sacks, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass break-up in his past seven games. Miller also has recorded 16 sacks in his previous 16 games against division opponents and will try to keep up that ratio on Sunday.
PREDICTION: The Raiders stand a much better chance to win with Derek Carr under center instead of Matt McGloin, per last meeting. However, look for home-field advantage to be a difference-maker in a narrow game.
OAKLAND – (Wire Service Report by The Sports Exchange) – The Oakland Raiders are expected to file the necessary paperwork in the coming weeks to relocate the NFL franchise to Las Vegas. After many years of trying to get a new stadium in Oakland, the Raiders have made a firm decision on their future, according to NFL media reports.
The city of Oakland has made no progress to keep the team and has not come up with a stadium proposal the league and the Raiders believe is credible, sources told Rapoport.
The Raiders need 23 of the 31 other franchises to approve the move. A relocation vote on the Raiders is not expected before the annual league meetings in March. Raiders owner Mark Davis was in talks with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson last year about financing a Las Vegas stadium for $1.9 billion.
Houston 27, Oakland 14
When: 4:35 PM ET, Saturday, January 7, 2017
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON — The Houston Texans had earned their standing as the top-ranked defense in the NFL, competing against quarterbacks that ran the gamut from exceptional to ineffective. Oakland starting a rookie signal caller opposite the Texans on Saturday and that provided another opportunity for them to showcase their might.
Behind a defense that smothered Raiders quarterback Connor Cook throughout, the Houston Texans cruised to a 27-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders in an AFC wild-card playoff game at NRG Stadium.
Cook, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State, looked every bit like a third-stringer pressed into emergency duty, completing 18 of 45 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. With starter Derek Carr (leg) and backup Matt McGloin (shoulder) out, Cook was the lone option. The Texans, who led the NFL in total defense for the first time in franchise history, showed Cook no mercy.
“We make it difficult on a lot of quarterbacks,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “I think the guy (Cook) has a future in this league. He completed some passes and had some nice plays. We have a good scheme and more importantly than that, we have a bunch of good players. Guys that play good team defense.”
Making their first postseason appearance since the Super Bowl following the 2002 season, the Raiders did not eclipse 100 total yards until their first possession of the fourth quarter, doing so on a 10-yard pass from Cook to tight end Mychal Rivera that also marked their first third-down conversion following an 0 for 11 start.
During an eight-possession stretch bracketed by their two touchdowns in the first and fourth periods, the Raiders punted eight times, produced just three first downs, and amassed 28 net yards on 28 plays. The Raiders finished 2 of 16 on third downs and averaged just 2.9 yards per play.
“It was his first start, on the road, in a playoff game, against the No. 1-ranked defense,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said of Cook. “It was a tough draw for him.
“We had hopes that we would be able to do enough around him so he wouldn’t have to do as much.”
OAKLAND RAIDERS (12-3) AT DENVER BRONCOS (8-7)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Sports Authority Field at Mile High. TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson.
SERIES HISTORY: 113th regular-season meeting. Raiders lead series, 61-49-2. The Raiders have won two in a row. In last meeting in Denver, Raiders won 15-12 as Khalil Mack had five sacks of Brock Osweiler — all of them in the second half. The most historic meeting between these two teams was on Jan. 1, 1978, when the Broncos defeated the defending champion Raiders 20-17 to win their first AFC championship.
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Raiders, who have clinched a playoff berth, can secure the AFC West division and lock up a first-round bye with a win or with a loss by Kansas City. Oakland can earn the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and a New England loss.
With Derek Carr lost to a broken leg, Matt McGloin will step in at quarterback. The Raiders will hope to succeed with the kind of game plan that was so successful in the first meeting, when they rushed 43 times for 218 yards.
Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will both see action for Denver. No matter who takes the snaps, though, the first task remains the same: Protect the quarterback. Denver’s offensive line didn’t allow any sacks last week, but it permitted plenty of pressure, forcing Siemian to throw before he wanted time and again. If the Broncos can’t keep Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin out of their passers’ faces, the offense will again struggle.
Denver’s struggling run defense must do a better job containing Latavius Murray and Oakland’s ground game; the Raiders are one of five teams to rush for at least 150 yards at Denver’s expense.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
–Broncos OTs Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung vs. Raiders edge rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Mack and Irvin have combined for 18 of the Raiders’ 25 sacks; no other players on their roster have more than 2.5 sacks. Okung hasn’t allowed a sack since November and has finally looked comfortable after struggling at midseason, but Stephenson has consistently allowed pressure, with Dee Ford whipping around him to affect multiple Siemian throws last week.
–Raiders QB Matt McGloin vs. Broncos pass rush. Even with DeMarcus Ware sidelined, the Broncos will try to generate a pass rush that makes McGloin uncomfortable. Although McGloin has a low sack rate — one every 30.6 pass plays — he has 11 career interceptions and will throw some passes up for grabs. If the Broncos can generate enough pressure to force him into quick throws and poor decisions, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. could finally be in position to make plays they haven’t made often as opposing quarterbacks avoid throwing at them.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
–Out: QB Derek Carr (ankle), T Austin Howard (shoulder)
–Doubtful: S Karl Joseph (toe)
–Questionable: WR Amari Cooper (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), DT Stacy McGee (groin), G Kelechi Osemele (ankle), RB Jalen Richard (shoulder), LB Perry Riley (hamstring), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)
–Out: TE A.J. Derby (concussion), S T.J. Ward (concussion), LB DeMarcus Ware (back), CB Kayvon Webster (concussion), DE Derek Wolfe (neck)
–Questionable: LB Brandon Marshall (hamstring)
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman. In the past two weeks, he finally began playing like the contributor the Broncos expected him to be when they selected him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. With more playing time because of concussions suffered by Virgil Green and A.J. Derby, Heuerman played 29 snaps last Sunday and was second on the Broncos with three receptions for 32 yards. With a 17.1-yard average on his seven receptions this year, Heuerman has been effective finding gaps in deep zone coverage.
FAST FACTS: The Raiders have clinched their first playoff berth since 2002. Raiders RB Latavius Murray ranks fifth in the NFL with 12 rushing TDs, the most by a Raider since 1990. He rushed for 114 yards and three TDs in the last meeting. … Oakland WR Amari Cooper ranks fourth in the AFC with 1,110 receiving yards. He is the ninth player in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons. … Raiders DE Khalil Mack has 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his past 10 games. He is the first Raider with 10 sacks in back-to-back seasons since Derrick Burgess in 2005-06. … Broncos QB Trevor Siemian passed for 283 yards and two TDs in the last meeting. Rookie QB Paxton Lynch passed for 223 yards and a score in his last home start. … Broncos RB Devontae Booker ranks fourth among NFL rookies with 555 rushing yards. … Denver WR Demaryius Thomas leads the team with 86 catches and 1,036 yards. He needs four catches to become the third player in NFL history with five consecutive seasons of 90 receptions, 1,000 yards and five TD catches.
PREDICTION: This game will be determined by the running game, and the Raiders have enough ground beef to keep the pressure off McGloin and secure that first-round bye.
Kansas City 21, Oakland 13
When: 8:25 PM ET, Thursday, December 8, 2016
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
KANSAS CITY – (Wire Service Report by Sports XChange for Digital Sports Desk) – Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has been playing football for a couple decades now between high school, college and the NFL. Never had Smith ever heard the sounds coming out of the Arrowhead Stadium stands on Thursday night.
The Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 21-13 in a victory that left the long-time rivals tied for first place in the AFC West with matching 10-3 records. One of the key plays for Kansas City came in the second quarter, when the Raiders punted the ball to K.C.’s rookie sensation Tyreek Hill. The punt hung high and by the time Hill got his hands on the ball, he was driven backward and lost four yards on the return. However, a penalty flag was thrown on Oakland’s Taiwan Jones for going out of bounds on coverage. It’s a 5-yard penalty and the Chiefs forced the Raiders fine punter, Marquette King, to kick again.
That’s when the chant started from the 75,000-plus sitting in Arrowhead: “Tyreek, Tyreek, Tyreek.” The sound rolled across the stadium, bouncing off the building’s upper deck. On the second punt, King drove the ball to the Kansas City 22-yard line — a 54-yard kick. Hill grabbed the ball, tucked it under his arm and proceeded to run through the Oakland coverage team for a 78-yard touchdown, and a 21-3 first-half lead for the Chiefs.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen what happened tonight,” said Smith. “I’ve never seen a stadium chanting a guy’s name like that and then he houses it (touchdown return). It gave me chills on the sideline. The whole stadium is chanting his name and then he answers. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen, for sure.”
It was just part of a typical Chiefs-Raiders game they’ve been playing for 57 years now. The Chiefs jumped to that 18-point lead on Hill’s return score, and never changed the scoreboard after that. Oakland’s offense struggled all night, and was able to get only one touchdown and a couple field goals.
“Everything about tonight was unusual, and frustrating,” said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who saw his team’s six-game winning streak halted by the poor offensive performance. “Obviously we played awful and it wasn’t good enough.”
Although they won the game, the Chiefs suffered a big loss as the defense’s leading tackler, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, left the field with a ruptured left Achilles. The season is over for the 34-year old Johnson, who missed 15 games in the 2014 season with a torn right Achilles.
“It’s a sad deal,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on losing Johnson. “We had a letdown after it happened. But Justin (Houston) and Eric (Berry) got them going again. That would have been the last thing D.J. wanted, would be a letdown.”
The Chiefs controlled the game in the first half thanks to Hill, with his punt return score and a 36-yard touchdown pass from Smith. Running back Charcandrick West also contributed a 3-yard scoring run.
KANSAS CITY – (Wire Service Report by Sports XChange for Digital Sports Desk) – When the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs got together for their twice yearly meetings over the last 57 years, there’s always been a certain edge to the competition. Generally what has been on the line is pride, reputation and honor. Every once in a while the payoff is even larger. The latter is the case Thursday night when the Raiders visit Arrowhead Stadium to play the Chiefs. Kickoff is set for 7:35 p.m. in what is predicted to be a frigid evening, with temperatures in the high-teens and a wind-chill factor that will make it feel like 10 degrees.
“Honestly I love the cold,” said Oakland quarterback Derek Carr. “I played in the Mountain West Conference and you play in a lot of different places whether it’s Wyoming or Reno or Air Force or Colorado State, obviously cold places. I’ve had my fair share of those games; you treat it like any other game whenever you talk about weather. If you let it affect you, it will, so you just go out there with the right mindset.”
The weather conditions just may help the 9-3 Chiefs cool off the hot 10-2 Raiders. The battle is for control of the AFC West, where Oakland is the leader and the Chiefs sit a game behind. But Kansas City won the first game between the teams 26-10 back in October in Oakland. Since that game the Raiders have not lost, racking up six consecutive victories by an average margin of nine points. Carr has become the first player in NFL history to throw five game-winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter or overtime in a season.
“Both teams know each other,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. “They’ve made changes defensively that have made them better on that side of the ball. They’re playing very good all the way around in the different phases. They were a little down on the defensive side early on but they’ve picked up in that area. They’re flying around and making plays.”
Other than a two-point loss to Tampa Bay just over two weeks ago, the Chiefs have continued their winning ways, taking six of the last seven games. With their 11-1 record to close out the 2015 season, Kansas City is 20-4 in their last 24 regular-season and postseason games. Both teams won last Sunday, with the Chiefs beating the Falcons in Atlanta by one point and the Raiders coming from behind for a victory over Buffalo.
The short preparation time is the bane for all players and coaches, especially the Chiefs, who have had two straight road games, including the trip to Denver when they played a full 75 minutes. The Raiders will be sore, tired and cold.
“The number one thing is recovery,” said Carr. “In a week like this, there’s some tough things that come with it, but like Coach Del Rio says, ‘Nobody cares.’ Nobody cares, at the end of the day you have to go play.”
The Raiders have a half-dozen victories this season that came with strong fourth-quarter comebacks. It’s a mentality that’s changed around Oakland with Del Rio in charge.
“We’re learning how to win games at whatever cost it takes,” said Carr. “Whether it’s Khalil (Mack) stripping somebody or Tay (Latavius Murray) running the ball in or Seth (Roberts) catching another game-winner, we’re just learning how to win games. I think that the more experience we have at doing that, the more situations we’re in we’re going to be able to look back and said, ‘We’ve done this before’.”
The first game between these teams was a 16-point victory for the Chiefs. That day the Raiders did not have Murray, who was out with an injury. He should be on the field Thursday evening. That K.C. victory was built on ball control and security.
They’ll need more of the same to slow the Raiders locomotive.
“The positive is you get a few days off afterwards,” said Reid. “Getting ready is a bit of a scramble drill, but you do it and you move on. It’s hardest on the players, especially the later you get in the year.”