By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — After a dominating performance on both sides of the ball in a 24-13 victory over their cross-bay rivals the San Francisco 49ers at O.co Coliseum last Sunday, the Raiders look to take that momentum into Kansas City Sunday against their arch rival the Chiefs.
Oakland (2-11) earned their first win of the season with a 24-20 victory over Kansas City in Week 12 at the Black Hole and would like nothing more to take the season series from the Chiefs.
Raiders’ signal caller Derek Carr played more like a 10-year veteran than a rookie, completing 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers No. 2 ranked defense that gave up two touchdown drives of 80 yards and rarely pressured Carr.
Carr completely outplayed 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who didn’t fair too well against a Raiders defense that sacked Kapernick five times, two apiece by rookie linebacker Khalil Mack and defensive tackle Antonio Smith.
“This week it was preached to us just how important this game was,” Smith said after the game. “This week more and more of us became true Raiders, knowing what the heritage is about, knowing what this game was about, how important it was to this city.”
Safety Charles Woodson sealed the victory (and possibly San Francisco’s playoff chances) in style with a fourth quarter interception.
Kansas City (7-6), are coming off close 17-14 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona last Sunday, their third straight loss dating back to their first encounter with Oakland on Nov. 20.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 26-of-39 passes for 293 yards one touchdown and an interception. Running back Jamaal Charles finished with 10 carries for 91 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown run. Charles’ second touchdown (an 18-yard toss from Smith), gave Kansas City a 14-6 halftime lead only to see the lead slip away.
Oakland could have some trouble against a Chiefs team that is No. 5 overall in defense, and No. 2 against the pass and who are desperate to end their three-game losing streak and stay afloat in a tight AFC playoff race.
Players to Watch
Kansas City, OLB, Justin Houston.
Houston has been nothing less then stellar for Kansas City this season. With 16 sacks (a career-high), Houston is tied with Baltimore outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil for the most in the NFL. The fourth-year pro from Georgia recorded a sack the last time Oakland saw Kansas City.
Oakland, QB, Derek Carr.
There is no question that Carr is Oakland’s quarterback for the next five-to-10 years. That should be music to the ears of Raider Nation, who’ve had 18 different starting quarterbacks since Rich Gannon in 2003. Carr leads all rookies in touchdown passes (17) and passing yards (2,676).