The Oakland Raiders head back out on the road to wrap up the 2015 season with playoffs out of reach once again. That said, the Silver & Black can finish .500 at 8-8 for the first time since 2011 with a victory against the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Head coach Jack Del Rio and the Raiders hosted the Chiefs on Dec. 6, falling 34-30 after a late-game implosion where quarterback Derek Carr threw three interceptions in a span of nine minutes.
Carr must keep much better care of the football this time around should the Raiders hope to end the Chiefs’ nine-game winning streak. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s defense is allowing just 18 points per game, the second fewest in the league and they also rank seond in the NFL with 21 interceptions.
Carr must keep an eye on rookie cornerback and Oakland-native Marcus Peters, who has eight interceptions on his own.
It’ll be a tough test for running back Latavius Murray and the Raiders rushing attack as the Chiefs are allowing only 101.5 rushing yards per game. It’ll be a big boost for the Raiders offense if they can get Murray going, keeping the Chiefs defense on their heels.
Getting the rushing attack will also slow down the Chiefs pass rush, which is led by linebacker Justin Houston with 7.5 sacks. Tamba Hali has also contributed 6.5 sacks.
Veteran Charles Woodson will be lacing up the cleats in the Silver & Black one last time, taking on an efficient Chiefs offense. The offense is led by 11-year veteran quarterback Alex Smith, who has thrown for 3,330 yards, 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Veteran Jeremy Maclin has revitalized the wide receiver position in Kansas City, leading the squad with 84 receptions for 1,034 yards and seven touchdowns. Maclin is a speedy receiver that must be tackled quickly, or else he will hurt the Raiders secondary with yards after the catch.
Tight end Travis Kelce has also been a dangerous weapon and a favorite for Smith, who has found him for 71 receptions and 865 yards. Kelce is a dangerous receiver in the redzone, hauling in five touchdowns this season.
Kansas City lost Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles for the season with an knee injury, but backup running back Charcandrick West has picked up the workload and recorded 600 yards on 147 attempts. He has also added four rushing touchdowns. West is a shifty back like Charles, who can also haul in passes. He’s recorded 19 receptions for 216 yards and touchdown.
The Raiders will look into the offseason after Sunday, needing to make some necessary changes to the roster looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.