The AFC West showdown between the Kansas Town Chiefs and the visiting Oakland Raiders on Sunday already loomed as a possible shootout.
The drama of a three-way tie atop to the department plus Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peter’s suspension and the damage standing of extensive receiver Amari Cooper makes this Week 7 rematch compelling.
Oakland scored a wild come-from-behind 31-30 win within the first assembly this season because of a landing on an untimed down after time expired.
“It was once a heck of recreation, very entertaining, for sure for the fanatics,” Raiders trainer Jack Del Rio mentioned. “It was once a tightly contested ballgame, lot of manufacturing from each side and we had been in a position to scratch out a win.”
The fortunes of the 2 golf equipment swing viciously since that October evening in Oakland. The Chiefs entered the sport with a Five-1 file, construction a commanding divisional lead. The Raiders entered the sport 2-Four on a four-game shedding streak and observing their postseason aspirations slip away.
Now each golf equipment stand atop the AFC along side the Los Angeles Chargers. The groups face each and every different over the season’s ultimate month, making a round-robin of types for the department identify.
Chiefs trainer Andy Reid tries to downplay the speculation of a make-or-break recreation, however he left little question the significance of Sunday’s midday matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.
“You were given to return out, you were given to play neatly, you were given to do the issues the place you come back out,” Reid mentioned. “That’s how this league is. We love to mention it’s week-to-week but it surely actually is. We are saying it however this league is so aggressive and each week is a very powerful week. It’s no other than this week right here. It’s very, crucial.”
Del Rio mentioned groups perceive the necessary of late-season divisional video games.
“You love to assume as a trainer you carry that depth each week however I feel guys that you just’re taking part in two times a 12 months and you understand somewhat bit higher, there’s somewhat little bit of herbal tenancy to ratchet it up,” Del Rio mentioned.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith concurs.
“Those are laborious fought video games,” Smith mentioned. “They’re shut and so they come right down to the smallest of items. You scratch and also you battle for all the ones little issues. You await it almost certainly being a identical scenario, coming right down to the top of the sport and who could make the play.”
Each groups could have incentive to seek out larger ferocity this week with absences taking a toll. Reid suspended his All-Professional cornerback Peters for the sport following his outburst all over Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the New York Jets. Peters picked up an legit’s penalty flag and heaved it into the gang earlier than leaving for the locker room with greater than two mins closing.
Cooper’s availability stays a query mark for the Raiders. He overlooked Sunday’s 24-17 victory over the New York Giants with a concussion.
He exited the league’s concussion protocol this week, however stays at the sidelines with an ankle damage. Cooper torched the Chiefs for 11 catches and 210 yards with two ratings in Week 7.
The Chiefs performed that recreation with out cornerback Steven Nelson, who overlooked the primary seven video games with a core muscle damage. The membership additionally added veteran nook Darrelle Revis, who made his Chiefs debut Sunday towards the Jets.
Del Rio stays cautious of the Chiefs protection even with out Peters.
“Clearly anytime a participant is going down whether or not it’s an damage, whether or not it’s one thing like this, you deal with it the similar and I’m certain they’ll,” Del Rio mentioned. “You move directly to the following participant. They’ve were given just right avid gamers. It’s actually the Raiders as opposed to the Chiefs and all of us have to regulate in response to other guys being to be had or no longer.”
Oakland additionally has a weapon little-used of their remaining day out towards the Chiefs. Operating again Marshawn Lynch rushed handiest two times for 9 yards earlier than incomes a disqualification from the sport. He rushed at the box after Peters earned a flag for pointless roughness for a success on quarterback Derek Carr.
“I feel he’s executed a pleasing task for us,” Del Rio mentioned. “We’re happy to have him. He’s been actually efficient, went over 100 yards remaining week, which was once the primary time at the 12 months. We love the way in which he’s running at it.”
The coaches won’t need to admit the significance of a unmarried recreation, however Smith admits the importance given the logjam atop the AFC West standings and the Raiders’ previous win in Oakland.
“That is it, we’re within the fourth quarter of the season,” Smith mentioned. “3 out of the 4 are department video games. Those subsequent two, this can be a three-way tie. We’re going to play the 2 different guys those subsequent two weeks. We will be able to’t get forward of ourselves. Proper right here, we now have a crew that beat us previous this 12 months and we need to have the option to rebound.”