By Fred Liggett
Whenever the Kansas City Chiefs play the Oakland Raiders it’s commonly referred to by Chiefs players and fans as “Raiders Week.” This week the Chiefs/Raiders rematch has been called many things but hearing the term Raiders Week has been pretty slim. The reasons for that are due to all the topics surrounding this Sunday afternoon match up.
The biggest topic has been the Chiefs attempt to earn the number one seed in the upcoming AFC playoffs. The Chiefs missed an opportunity to claim a division title plus earn the top spot in the playoffs two weeks ago at home against the LA Chargers. Then a road trip to Seattle turned out the same result thanks to a 38-31 loss. The Chiefs will try again against a division rival who has won two out of their last three games and appear to be finishing the season on a good note.
The Raiders topics heading into this division match up include coming off from an impressive 27-14 win on Monday night against Denver. The win gave the Raiders a 4-11 mark but still remain in last place of the AFC West. Then another topic came up this week of where would the Raiders play home games in 2019. Much talked about move by the team to Las Vegas starting in 2020 means the Raiders will have to find a temporary site for a year. NFL fans heard Santa Clara, California, home of the 49ers as a possibility but so is London England but the search continues.
The Chiefs have talked about many things this week in addition to a chance to earn a division title and lay claim to the top seed in the AFC Playoffs. Santa visits, Christmas presents, family time and the health of a number of players are all on that lengthy list. CB Kendall Fuller is expected to return to his starting position. Returning to practice but is expected to remain on the injured reserve at least for another week is OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff.
Thanks to having so much on the line in this final game of the regular season the Chiefs/Raiders game has been moved to a 3:25 p.m. kickoff time and a more visible spot in the CBS sports lineup. The Chiefs winning streak at home and against the AFC West division ended back on Dec. 13 with a last play loss to the Chargers. Expect the Chiefs to start another winning streak thanks to the team showing they have more to play for and remains better than the Raiders. The Chiefs provide some holiday cheer for their fans when this one is done. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.
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