Raiders return home to host divisional rival Chiefs Sunday at the Coliseum

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

After concluding a two-game road trip, the Oakland Raiders will return home this week to welcome in their divisional rival the Kansas City Chiefs at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Sunday’s Week 13 meeting between these two AFC West foes will mark the first of two meetings in four weeks, with the Raiders wrapping up the season in Kansas City in Week 17.

The two teams split last season’s series, with Oakland winning 31-30 in thrilling fashion on Thursday Night Football last October in Oakland. Kansas City won 26-15 at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 14.

Kickoff for the 116th meeting is set for 1:05 p.m. PT, with Kansas City leading the all-time series 61-52-2.

Last week, the Raiders (2-9) lost on the road to the Baltimore Ravens 34-17. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 16-of-34 passes for 194 and one touchdown. For the second-straight week, the Raiders scored a touchdown on their opening drive, a 1-yard score by running back Doug Martin, his first in Silver and Black. Martin rushed for 51 yards on 11 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and also added three catches for 21 yards.

Tight end Jared Cook tied his career-high with his fifth touchdown grab of the year in the third quarter of the game. Cook finished with two catches for 32 yards and the score.

On defense, the Raiders recorded two interceptions in the first half in back-to-back weeks as the safety tandem of Marcus Gilchrist and Reggie Nelson each recording a takeaway. Both players have two interceptions this season for the Raiders.

Kansas City holds the AFC’s best record at 9-2 and sit atop the AFC West. The Chiefs are coming off their bye week but lost their most recent game, 54-51 to the Rams in Los Angeles on Monday Night Football.

The Chiefs have on of the league’s most prolific offenses, ranking second in points per game (36.7), third in total yards per game (434.3) and passing yards per game (318.5) and second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a big reason why the Chiefs put up astronomical numbers every game.

In his first full season as the Kansas City’s starter, Mahomes leads the NFL in touchdown passes (37) and is second in passer rating, a blistering 117.9.

With pass catchers like third-year wide receiver Tyreek Hill (65 catches for 1,106 yards and team-leading 11 touchdowns) and sixth-year tight end Travis Kelce (team-leading 67 catches for 914 yards and 7 touchdowns), to go along with second-year running back Kareem Hunt (181 rushes for 824 yards and 7 touchdowns), its hard for teams to stop the Chiefs when they are rolling.

Hunt is also tough to defend in the passing game, with 26 catches for 378 yards and seven touchdown catches this season.

Outside linebacker Dee Ford is one of the NFL’s most disruptive pass rushers. Ford leads the Chiefs with nine sacks and five forced fumbles. Fellow outside linebacker Justin Houston has four sacks and three forced fumbles.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will face another tough test when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kansas City returns home to take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14.

Carr, Cooper, and Mack among seven Raiders selected to Pro Bowl

Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, right, pressures San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND, Calif — Quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and defensive end Khalil Mack headline seven Raiders (the most since 1991) selected to the AFC team for the 2017 Pro Bowl, the league announced Tuesday.

The 2017 Pro Bowl will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, Jan. 29. Oakland’s seven players selected were the most selected from one team, with the Atlanta Falcons second with six players selected to the NFC squad.

Oakland (11-3), who clinched their first trip to the playoffs since 2002 with a 19-16 win in San Diego Sunday, hope that none of their players play in the NFL’s All-Star Game as they could be preparing to play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LI on Sunday, Feb. 5 in Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium.

Carr is having  career-year and is one of the favorites for the NFL’s MVP Award, throwing for 3,705 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. The third-year signal caller has a 95.2 passer rating while engineering the NFL’s third-ranked scoring offense at 26.9 points per game.

Cooper is just finding his way in the league in only his second season out of Alabama, surpassing the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the second straight season with 1,038 receiving yards this year. Cooper recorded 1,070 receiving yards in his rookie season last year.

Mack, who had his streak of consecutive games with at least one sack snapped at eight in San Diego, is tied for fourth in the league with 11 sacks. No matter what sports page or blog you read, or sports talk show you watch and listen to, Mack’s name is mentioned as a strong candidate to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele, and center Rodney Hudson were selected from the AFC’s best offensive line that has only gotten Carr sacked a league-low 15 times this season. This is Penn’s second Pro Bowl nod, while this is the first selection for both Hudson and Osemele.

Safety Reggie Nelson  earned his second straight nod with his team-leading four interceptions.

The Raiders sent six players to last year’s game, with Mack, safety Charles Woodson, and fullback Marcel Reece being voted on the first ballot before Carr, Cooper, and running back Latavius Murray were selected as alternates.

The Silver and Black host the Indianapolis Colts (7-7) on Christmas Eve in Oakland’s final regular season home game.