Oakland Raiders fans look forward to something they haven’t seen since 2002, a playoff birth. Oakland is sitting atop the AFC West but they are not far ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders face off against the Chiefs tonight on Thursday Night Football with first place on the line. A win would keep the Raiders in the number one seed in the AFC, at least for another week. Losing tonights’ game would make the AFC West a little more interesting.
Derek Carr is playing some of the best football of his career while the Raiders’ defense is holding their own too. Carr has completed 300 of 458 passes for 3,375 yards and 24 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. He adds 54 yards rushing on 31 carries while gaining four first downs along the way.
Latavius Murray is looking to add to his impressive touchdown tally tonight. Murray is sitting at eleven touchdowns for the season with 553 rushing yards on 140 carries. He adds another 228 yards passing on 29 catches. Murray has yet to fumble the ball this season. His sure hands and talented skill set are part of the reason Oakland has only lost twice this year.
Amari cooper Makes it easier for Carr to be effective. Cooper will surely surpass 1,000 receiving yards tonight barring an injury. He sits at 981 yards with four touchdowns on 68 catches.
The Kansas City Chiefs are rolling on all cylinders at the moment as well and have the chance to overtake the surging silver and black. The first meeting between the two ended with the Chiefs winning 26-10 on the road. Now they are at home looking for their third straight victory and eighth out of their last nine.
Alex Smith has revitalized his career in Kansas City. This year he has completed 250 of 371 passes for 2,567 yards with 11 touchdowns and four picks. Smith has rushed for 53 yards and put up two rushing touchdowns this season. He is posting a 92.5 rating on the year.
Travis Kelce has been a first down machine as the go-to guy for Smith. He racked up 815 yards and three touchdowns on 65 catches. Kelce is 86 yards and three touchdowns away from new career highs.
Spencer Ware, in his third NFL season, is making noise. With four games left he has season highs in yardage(1,129), rushes(163), catches(27), and first downs(40). He has 734 rushing yards and adds 395 yards passing. Ware has three rushing touchdowns and two through the air. he is two touchdowns away from a career high in that department as well.
Oakland is 5-0 on the road this season but they are looking at a difficult task at Arrowhead Stadium. The temperature will be colder than they are used to playing in, which has not been an advantage for Carr in the past. In sub 50-degree weather Carr averages just over 50 percent passing and has failed to break the 200-yard mark. It’s a night and day difference in his performance when he plays in weather that’s not as cold.
Tonights’ Thursday Night Football game has some big playoff implications. The intensity will be ramped up and both teams will be looking to capitalize on the moment. Each team will be in the zone. The match will come down to the wire and will most likely be decided by which team has the ball last. Thursday Night Football will be one to remember .