RAIDERS (7-8) VS. CHIEFS (10-5)
1:05 p.m., Sunday, O.co Coliseum
TV: FOX (Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver)
Radio: 95.7 (Greg Papa, Tom Flores, Lincoln Kennedy); 98.9 (Spanish)
Chiefs by 7 1/2
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Derek Carr vs. the Chiefs secondary. The last experience for the Raiders’ second-year quarterback against Kansas City wasn’t pretty, with Carr throwing three fourth-quarter interceptions, including one Tyvon Branch returned for a touchdown. Josh Mauga and Marcus Peters also had interceptions with long returns to set up short touchdown drives. The good news for Carr is less than a full month later he gets a chance to see the Chiefs again and redeem that rough outing.
STATS TO LIVE BY
The Raiders have moved down to No. 22 overall in total defense, allowing 365.3 yards per game. That’s significant for a team that spent much of the year in the league’s bottom three. Over the past six games, Oakland has surrendered just 300.3 yards per contest. … The Chiefs are second in the NFL in turnover margin at a remarkable plus-15, a major reason they have won nine in a row and are playoff bound. The Raiders are even in the turnover category on the season.
MILESTONES IN MIND
Plenty of milestones are within reach for the Raiders. DE Khalil Mack could match the franchise’s single season sack record with one more. Carr needs 207 yards to become the third Raider to pass for 4,000 yards. He also is three touchdown passes shy of Daryle Lamonica’s franchise record of 34. With six completions, Carr would move ahead of Andrew Luck for the most completions by a player in their first two NFL seasons. WR Michael Crabtree needs 112 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the second time in his career and give the Raiders two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time. Also, if Carr gets to 4,000 passing yards, it would be the first time the Raiders would have ever had a 4,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rushers and receivers in the same season. Beyond the individual goals, the Raiders can finish 8-8 for the first time since 2011 with a win and would also complete a road sweep of their AFC West opponents.
WOODSON’S SWAN SONG
This will be it for Charles Woodson. The 254th game of his NFL career will take place in the same stadium as his first, a game he said he remembers “probably more than any other game.” He has a few milestones of his own he could reach before he hangs it up. One more interception would be his 66th, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the NFL’s all-time list. That would give him six interceptions on the season, which would be the most of any of his 11 seasons with the Raiders (he had five as a rookie in Oakland, then topped that total four times while with Green Bay). A defensive touchdown would give him the NFL record of 14, breaking his current tie with Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper.
The Chiefs have played the past four games without standout linebacker Justin Houston, who has a hyperextended knee, and were without fellow pass rusherTamba Hali last week with a broken thumb. Hali didn’t participate in practice at all this week, while Houston sat out Wednesday and Thursday and was a limited participant Friday. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said they both were fighting to return to practice, but both are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
THE WEATHER FACTOR
It could be worse. Much, much worse. The late afternoon kickoff means at least half this game will be played after sunset and it’ll be chilly with a game time temperature around 31 degrees dipping to as low as 24 by the time this one ends. But at least there’s no snow in the forecast.
If your fantasy league is still going on in Week 17, find a new league. For those daily league folks, still no Raiders to express full confidence in this week. Amari Cooper has a good history of bounce back games and Jack Del Rio thought the extra time would be enough for him to be “feeling as well as he had in a long time.” That remains to be seen.