Chiefs Hold Off Raiders 21-13 to Take AFC West Control
Dec 14 2016 by Dustin Murphy
The loss knocks Oakland out of first place in the AFC West, with Kansas City (10-3) now owning the head-to-head tiebreaker this season.
Oakland's pass protection, anchored by center Rodney Hudson, who was a prep star at B.C. Rain in Mobile, allowed the Chiefs to get only one sack in the game - by former Central-Phenix City standout Rakeem Nunez-Roches. The AFC West lead is on the line, in a game with playoff seeding implications. But the Pats are -111 favourites to win the AFC and the Raiders are +550.
Why watch: The Giants must win this game to have any hope of winning the division but can they beat the Cowboys for the second time this season? The Oakland Raiders won't be able to trade scores in this contest like they have pretty much all season. Any sluggishness seemed to disappear after halftime. That was evident in his stat line: 17-of-41 passing for 117 yards, no touchdowns and a 49.1 passer rating. Murray has yet to fumble the ball this season. Along the way, the Raiders found different ways to win games, often coming from behind.
Oakland hadn't lost since its 26-10 setback against the Chiefs on October 16, reeling off six straight victories. They even dropped nine and rushed only two from time to time.
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski did hit both of the field goals he had an opportunity to kick on Thursday night, which will prevent Oakland's special teams unit from receiving an "F".
Their division rival and opponent has been no less impressive this season.
"I feel very responsible for that, " he said, "because as the leader of the offense of the team, I feel sick to my stomach when we put something like that out on the film". They're still strong contenders to make the playoffs, but the chances of them maintaining home-field advantage through the postseason are now slim.
Running back Charcandrick West also contributed a three-yard scoring run. He had an interception in the first game, and then Thursday was ready on 3rd-and-1 from the Chiefs' 14 late in the game when Carr didn't hand off to Latavius Murray, but instead threw a fade to No. 4 receiver Andre Holmes. Oakland will sack Alex Smith at least four times throughout the game.
The Raiders didn't help their cause in that Week 6 loss, stalling out on good drives. Terrance Mitchell knocked away Derek Carr's pass intended for Seth Roberts on the next play.
All of that being said, what boldpredictions can be made for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Smith, who specializes in the short passing attack, has 11 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, throwing for 2,500 yards. But can they do it again?
When you add in rookie Jalen Richard's 29 rushing yards in six attempts, you have to wonder why the Raiders did not run the ball more, right? The Chiefs will have to find a way to get Mack blocked if they plan to have any success on offense on Thursday. This is a win for "fairness", but has been a loss for National Football League fans.