Raiders head to Kansas City for season finale

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders look to spoil Kansas City’s chances at the AFC West crown when the Silver and Black travel to the Show Me State Sunday to take on the Chiefs in the season finale for both teams.

Oakland (7-8) can finish with a .500 record for the first time since 2011 with a win in Kansas City, where they have lost their last two trips to Arrowhead.

A .500 record would be great for Oakland, who have won a combined 11 games over the past three seasons.

Oakland is coming off a 23-20 overtime victory over the visiting San Diego Chargers in Week 16 behind Carr’s 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception performance.

It was Oakland’s last home game for the season, and potentially the last Raiders’ game in Oakland as the team is rumored to be heading to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.

The win for Oakland was great in what was safety Charles Woodson’s final home game. The 18-year veteran announced his retirement last week.

”Charles is one of the greatest players to ever put on a uniform,” coach Jack Del Rio said. ”He’s a great Raider. To be able to send him out the right way, to be able to cap off a special evening like this, our last home game of the year … I’m just really proud of the effort.”

Running back Latavius Murray carried the ball 19 times for 79 yards and a touchdown. The third-year running back from Central Florida leads the AFC in rushing with 1,035 yards and has become the bellcow for the Raiders.

Oakland’s defense had trouble generating a solid pass rush on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers for nearly three quarters, registering just one sack.

After starting the season 1-5, Kansas City (10-5) have been red hot winning their last nine in a row.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals have ever qualified for the playoffs after starting 1-5, until Kansas City clinched a playoff spot with a 17-13 home win against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.

The Chiefs are seeking a franchise-record 10th straight victory, but want more.

With a win over their hated rivals from Oakland, coupled with a Chargers’ victory over the Broncos in Denver, Kansas City could win the AFC West title for the first time since 2010.

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been what head coach Andy Reid and Kansas City have hoped and then some in his first season with the team.

Maclin, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl this season, is having a monster season with 84 catches (one shy of his career-high set last season in Philadelphia), 1,034 yards, and seven touchdowns.

Kansas City didn’t have a wide receiver catch a touchdown all of last season. Maclin has caught a touchdown in four of the last five games for the Chiefs, including a pair of touchdowns against Oakland in Kansas City’s 34-20 Week 13 victory at O.co Coliseum.

With Pro Bowl linebackers Justin Houston (hyperextended knee) and Tamba Hali (broken finger) sitting out last week, Kansas City failed to record a sack for the first time since Week 4.

Houston and Hali have combined for 14 of Kansas City’s 41 sacks this season, which are tied for fourth-most in the league this season.

Both players are day-to-day, but could suit up Sunday.

Kansas City have won four of the last five meetings, and forced the Raiders second-year signal caller into throwing three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.