Watch CBS News

Raiders Visit Chiefs Hoping To Earn NFL Season Split

By Abraham Gutierrez

Historic Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking for Sunday's Week 17 finale between the 10-5 Kansas City Chiefs and their long time rivals, the 7-8 Oakland Raiders. The second and final meeting of the NFL season has an opening kickoff slated for January 3, 2016 at 1:25 p.m. PT and it cam be seen live on CBS Sports.

This game will also mark the 114th time the Raiders and Chiefs have met on the gridiron, with Kansas City leading the series 59-52-2 over Oakland. Their last meeting dates back to Dec. 6 (Week 13), when quarterback Alex Smith outperformed his counterpart Derek Carr, leading his team to a 34-20 victory on the road.

Kansas City Chiefs 2015 NFL Season

Heading into the final week of the NFL season, there's simply no team hotter than the Kansas City Chiefs. Tied (with the Arizona Cardinals) for the longest active win streak of 2015, Andy Reid's bunch comes in having won nine consecutive games.

In fact, one has to look all the way back to Week 6 to find the last time the Chiefs actually lost a game. Since then, they've recorded wins over teams like the Steelers, Broncos, Bills and others. KC is 5-2 at home, 5-3 on the road, 4-1 against AFC West foes and 9-2 versus intraconference rivals.

Chiefs On Offense

Chiefs' offensive coordinator is Doug Pederson, as he enters his third season at the helm of this unit employing Reid's version of the West Coast Offense. Under his command, Kansas City ranks seventh in the league in rushing yards (123.7) and ninth in points per game (25.5), however, they are 25th in total yards (330.7) and 28th in passing yards per contest (207.0).

Clearly, the Raiders defense will have to gear up for some old school smash-mouth football, as the Chiefs are one of the better running teams in the league. Not only are KC's running backs a threat at any point, but having a mobile quarterback like Smith (75 rushes, 437 yards, 2 TDs) makes them unique in their own way.

Chiefs On Defense

In charge of the Chiefs resistance is defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, who enters his third season at that position following a 13-year stint with the New York Jets. It comes as no surprise that this team shines on the defensive side of the football, as they apply pressure to suffocate opposing offenses.

Under Sutton's tutelage, Reid has the luxury of having one of the best defenses in all of football at his disposal. The Chiefs D enters Week 17 ranked second in points per game (18.0), ninth in total yards per contest (337.6), and is 12th in both, passing yards (236.1) and rushing yards per game (101.5). Much of this team's success can be credited to their ability to penetrate the backfield. This is evicence by the fact that the Chiefs' defense is tied for fourth in the league in total sacks, having recorded 41 total on the year.

Chiefs Players To Watch

Because of his ability to abandon the pocket and become a playmaker, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is the offensive player to watch. Through 15 games, the 11-year veteran has completed 293-of-446 pass attempts for 3,330 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions for a quarterback rating of 96.7.

On the opposite side of the rock, there are quite a few player to watch, particularly because they will be everything in their power to get to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Leading the team in sacks, the Chiefs hope to have Pro Bowlers Justin Houston (7.5 sacks, 30 tackles) and Tamba Hali (6.5 sacks, 47 tackles) back from injury, as they prepare to continue the positive vibes going with a win over the Raiders.

Raiders vs. Chiefs Outlook

Considering how the first meeting of the season between these clubs went, no one should be shocked about the fact that the Chiefs are favorites at home. Looking to sweep the season series, Kansas City is expected to defeat Oakland by a minimum of seven points. Meanwhile, this is expected to be a defensive struggle, evidence by the fact that the Raiders and Chiefs are projected to combine and score 44 points total.

Abe Gutierrez's (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to, and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers),, and other online publications.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.