|1:25 PM PT2:25 PM MT3:25 PM CT4:25 PM ET21:25 GMT5:25 2:25 PM MST4:25 PM EST3:25 PM CT1:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:� , December 30, 2018|
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri Weather: 45°, Clear Attendance: 77,550
Raiders vow to bring it against Chiefs
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
- Over the last 30 seasons (since 1989), the series between the Raiders and Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium has been defined by streaks. The Chiefs won 10 straight between 1989 and 1998. The Raiders won three in a row from 1999 to 2001. Kansas City won five consecutive from 2002 to 2006. Oakland had six straight victories between 2007 and 2012. The Chiefs have won five in a row since 2013.
- The Raiders have lost seven straight seasons in Week 17, the third-longest active losing streak in the NFL and the longest losing streak in franchise history in season finales. Oakland's last Week 17 win came in their 2010 finale (1/2/2011) at Kansas City, a 31-10 triumph.
- The Chiefs have a chance to break the record for most combined (own + opponent) points in a season. Currently, Kansas City games have seen a total of 948 points - if the Chiefs and Raiders combine to score 64 points on Sunday, the record of 1011 combined points (2000 St. Louis Rams) will be broken.
- In the first 10 weeks of the season, the Chiefs were 9-1 while the Raiders were 1-8. Since Week 11 though, it's Oakland which has the better record, with the Raiders going 3-3 and the Chiefs going 2-3.
- Derek Carr hasn't thrown an interception in 325 attempts, the third-longest streak in NFL history. Only Aaron Rodgers this season (402) and Tom Brady in 2010-11 (358) have longer streaks.
- Travis Kelce has 1274 yards receiving in 2018, 54 yards away from setting an NFL single-season record for a tight end. The current record holder is Rob Gronkowski who had 1327 yards with the Patriots in 2011.
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The Kansas City Chiefs take the field on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium with everything to play for and the Oakland Raiders seemingly have little to nothing on the line, but don't tell that to Jon Gruden.
"It's our archrivals and we want to win just like everybody else," the Raiders' head coach said. "Just because we're not going to the playoffs doesn't mean we're going to go out there and pack it in. We want to win. We want to play hard. We've got guys playing for jobs and we got a strong desire to compete and a real will to win here."
The Chiefs have two paths in the playoffs -- the easy way and the hard way. A win over Oakland clinches the AFC West for Kansas City along with home-field throughout the AFC playoffs.
A loss, however, means the Chiefs need a combination of losses by the Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots and Houston Texans to avoid falling to the No. 5 seed and a road trip in the wild-card playoff round.
Securing home-field advantage and ensuring the road to the Super Bowl runs through Arrowhead Stadium means much to quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
"We want to make sure that we're staying here the rest of the way out," Mahomes said. "We know that if we can come together and play like we know we can, then we can make a run at this thing."
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, however, doesn't want his team caught up worrying about playoff scenarios. His message to his team: "Let your personalities show and go play." That's the most important thing, he says.
"If you get caught up in everything, that becomes an issue and then you're not yourself," Reid said. "When you focus in on the game plan, go through the process of getting ready and then you're confident and you go play to the best of your ability. You allow yourself to do that by preparation."
Four weeks ago, the Chiefs beat the Raiders and won 40-33 in Oakland. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had a career-high 12 catches, 168 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Conversely, wide receiver Tyreek Hill turned in one of the worst days of his young career, catching one pass for 13 yards.
"Statistics, unfortunately, don't tell half of the story the way I see it," Gruden said. "We've got to do a lot better job on Hill and on Kelce and on their whole offense, because they scored 40 points and I think they left some out there."
The Raiders enter the weekend at huge underdogs to the Chiefs, but an upset would have monumental repercussions throughout the AFC playoff picture. A victory would hurt Oakland's position in next year's NFL draft, but Gruden prefers seeing his team finish the season on a winning note.
"We're going to field the best team we can possibly field and we're going to play and prepare as hard as we can to win the game," Gruden said. "I know it's going to be a daunting challenge with that crowd against that team, but we're going to compete the best we can."
The Raiders are 4-11 after beating the Denver Broncos 27-17 on Monday night in what might have been the final game for the team in Oakland. The Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020 and the team and city are bickering about a lease, this time a one-season deal to cover 2019.
But Gruden is more concerned at this moment about Mahomes. The second-year player leads the NFL with 48 touchdown passes, tied for fourth most in league history.
"Not to take anything away from (Drew) Brees or anybody else that has played at a high level. This guy is making throws that people haven't seen before and closing in on 50 touchdown passes in your first year as a starter. It's quite amazing," Gruden said. "He's taking care of the ball and he's won games for his team, so if I did have a vote (for MVP), I would probably stand here in front of these microphones and say, 'I vote for him.'"
Updated December 26, 2018