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Chiefs at Raiders Preview
11/20/2014
Jeff Mezydlo, STATS Senior Writer
(AP) -- Before the surging Kansas City Chiefs can worry about a primetime matchup against the team with which it shares the AFC West lead, they need to focus on extending the misery of the one at the bottom of the division.

The visiting Chiefs can record their sixth consecutive victory by sending the Oakland Raiders a 17th straight defeat Thursday night.

Kansas City (7-3) has allowed no more than 20 points each time during a five-game winning streak, giving it seven wins in eight contests. With Sunday's 24-20 victory over Seattle and Denver's stunning 22-7 loss at St. Louis, the Chiefs moved into a first-place tie with the Broncos.

Though Denver owns the tiebreaker from a 24-17 victory over Kansas City in Week 2, the Chiefs can get some revenge when the two meet under the lights at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 30.

"It feels good to know that we were able to bounce back after a poor start at the beginning of the season," linebacker Tamba Hali said. "But we have a lot of work to do."

Next week's matchup with the Broncos could lose some luster if the Chiefs somehow get caught looking past Oakland (0-10). The Raiders have gone a calendar year without a victory and are mired in the longest skid in the NFL since 2009, when St. Louis ended a 17-game slide and Detroit halted a string of 19 defeats.

The obstacles that come with the short Thursday turnaround for a road game add to the challenge, but the Chiefs appear well prepared to extend their longest win streak since starting 9-0 last season.

"You don't have quite as much time to think over things," coach Andy Reid told the team's official website. "Sometimes that could be a good thing, sometimes it could be bad. We have to get ourselves back and ready to go quickly, so we understand that."

Kansas City ranks eighth with 326.0 yards allowed per game and first with 201.6 through the air, and the Chiefs haven't allowed a 300-yard passing performance. They could be in for another dominant effort on defense Thursday.

Oakland is easily the worst offensive team in the league, averaging 276.4 yards - making it the only club with a mark below 300. The Raiders are averaging 15.2 points overall and have gained 227.0 yards per game in the last three, rushing for a combined 138 in that span.

Kansas City's Jamaal Charles, who rushed for a season-high 159 yards against the Seahawks, has run for 62 more on his own than the Raiders' 630 this season.

"They're a good football team, a well-coached football team, a physical team," Oakland interim coach Tony Sparano said of the Chiefs.

The Raiders have allowed 12 sacks, second fewest in the league, but the Chiefs are tied for third with 30 and are paced by Justin Houston, first in the NFL with 12.

"They've got a great front - a big, physical bunch of guys," Sparano said. "They get after you pretty good."

Sparano has been encouraged by the steady progress of Derek Carr, although the rookie has failed to reach the 200-yard passing mark in the past three contests. He went 16 of 34 for 172 in Sunday's 13-6 loss at San Diego.

"There's a lot for every quarterback to get ready for, especially with a talented defense like Kansas City has," said Carr, who has recorded two of his three passing games of more than 200 yards at home. "It just puts more on your plate and you just knock it out in the time that we do have."

With the Raiders struggling to run the ball, rookie Latavius Murray could get more carries after gaining 43 yards on four rushes against the Chargers.

Oakland is giving up 129.8 rushing yards per contest, 27th in the NFL, but Charles has been limited to 83 and 3.1 per carry in his last three games at the Coliseum. However, he caught eight passes for a career-high 195 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-31 win at Oakland on Dec. 15.

He's recorded seven of his eight rushing touchdowns in the last five contests.

"He's Jamaal Charles," Reid said. "He's a special player."

Teammate Alex Smith threw for 287 yards with five TDs and no interceptions in last season's victory at Oakland.

The Raiders will be down a pair of cornerbacks as they try to do better this time against Smith. Oakland pronounced TJ Carrie out for the second time in three weeks due to an ankle injury, while Carlos Rogers will miss his fourth straight game with a knee injury.

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•The Chiefs relied on their ground game and three fourth-down stops to defeat the Seahawks at KC on Sunday, 24-20. Jamaal Charles gashed the Seahawks -- who entered the week ranked fourth in rushing defense -- for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Knile Davis' four-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter provided the game's decisive points. After Davis' touchdown, the Kansas City defense stopped Seattle on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line, on fourth-and-one from the KC 36, and on fourth-and-18 from Seattle's 20-yard line to clinch the win. The Seahawks actually outrushed the Chiefs, 204 yards to 190; KC also lost two fumbles and had only 24:03 of possession time, but still managed to win.

•Sunday at San Diego, the Raiders held the Chargers to 300 total yards and 13 points, but failed to score a touchdown and lost, 13-6. Oakland allowed its lowest points in any game since Week 2 of last season, but nonetheless fell to 0-10 and lost its 16th consecutive game overall. Oakland penetrated the SD 20-yard line just once, settling for the second of two Sebastian Janikowski field goals to cut the deficit to 13-6 with 4:06 remaining. The Raiders got the ball for a last-ditch drive, but got no farther than their own 41-yard line before time expired. Derek Carr passed for 172 yards in a losing cause, and Oakland's 71 yards rushing were more than the team's total in its previous two games combined.

•After the Raiders had won eight of the previous 11 meetings between the teams, Kansas City swept last year's series, outscoring Oakland by a combined 80-38 score. The Chiefs won at Oakland in Week 15, 56-31; it was the first time in a Chiefs-Raiders matchup that either team scored at least 50 points, and the 56 stand as the most points ever yielded by a Raider team in a single game.

•On the heels of his 159-yard rushing effort last week, Jamaal Charles seeks consecutive 100-yard rushing performances -- something he has not managed since December 2012. Charles scored seven touchdowns in two games vs. Oakland in 2013 (four receiving, three rushing), the most ever by a Raiders opponent in a single regular season. Alex Smith had a perfect passer rating in the Chiefs' visit to Oakland last December, and his five TD passes in the game are a career high.

•Derek Carr's 62.4 passer rating last week was the lowest in his 10 starts; Carr's rating has been under 70 in half of his games, including each of the last three. Mychal Rivera has emerged as Carr's favorite target of late, and one of the NFL's more productive tight ends. In the month of November, Rivera has 17 catches and three TD receptions; both figures are tied for the most among tight ends this month.

•The Chiefs are 18-8 over the last two seasons, tied for fifth best in the NFL in that span. Oakland has won only four times since 2013; its 4-22 mark is the league's worst. This year's KC team leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 16; the Raiders rank last, with two.




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