Raiders, Chiefs meet in pivotal showdown of AFC West leaders

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs probably didn’t expect to be tied atop the AFC West and fighting for the playoffs a month and a half ago, when they were off to the hottest start in the NFL.

Then again, the Oakland Raiders probably didn’t either when they were off to a scuffling start.

But the two bitter rivals are in precisely that position as they prepare to face off Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

They are both 6-6 and tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the division lead, ready for a four-game sprint to the finish line.

“It’s that time of the year you’ve got to come out, you’ve got to play well,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, whose team has lost six of its past seven.

“This league is so competitive and every week is an important week. No different than this week here. Very, very important.”

Make no mistake: These are vastly different teams than the ones that met in October, when Derek Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns and the Raiders rallied for a 31-30 victory.

The loss was the second straight for the Chiefs following a 5-0 start, and seemed to deflate the entire organization.

They rebounded to beat the Broncos before their current four-game skid, which has been lowlighted by losses to the lowly Giants and Jets.

The Chiefs also will be without star cornerback Marcus Peters this time. Reid suspended him for this week’s game against his hometown team after a series of embarrassing incidents, including a temper tantrum last weekend in which he chucked an official’s flag into the stands.

“This is it. We’re in the fourth quarter of the season. Three out of the four are division games,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. “We can’t get ahead of ourselves. Right here, we have a …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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