Is Raiders-Chiefs the Biggest Thursday Night Football Game of All Time?

The Chiefs host the Raiders for first place in the AFC West at Arrowhead Stadium this Thursday night

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It has always been a big deal when the Oakland Raiders visit the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, but this Thursday night feels a bit more special than usual.

For the first time since 2002, the Raiders have won 10 games in a season, and they have done it with four games to play.

The roll the Chiefs are on is just as impressive. With their 29-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, they have now won 20 of their past 24 games, including last year's playoffs, and they are right behind the Raiders in second place in the AFC West at 9-3.

On the latest edition of the Around the NFL Podcast, the panel called it the "Thursday night game of the year," and it's because first place in the AFC West and first-round bye position are on the line.

This got us thinking. Is this the biggest Thursday Night Football game of all time?

Top Five Thursday Night Football Games After Week 5

Week

Date

Home Team

* *

Visiting Team

Total Win %

13

11/29/07

Dallas Cowboys (10-1)

Green Bay Packers (10-1)

0.909

12

11/24/11

Baltimore Ravens (7-3)

San Francisco 49ers (9-1)

0.800

14

12/8/16

Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)

Oakland Raiders (10-2)

0.792

15

12/17/09

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-6)

Indianapolis Colts (13-0)

0.769

8

10/23/14

Denver Broncos (5-1)

San Diego Chargers (5-2)

0.769

In Thursday Night Football's 11-year history, there are only two games (after Week 5) in which the combined win percentage of the two teams involved exceeded that of the Chiefs and Raiders headed into this game.

The matchup with the highest combined win percentage of all time was Week 13 of 2007, when the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers with both teams holding a 10-1 record.

A 27-year old Tony Romo hosted his childhood idol in a 38-year old Brett Favre in Dallas. Favre would leave the game due to injury in the second quarter, pitting Romo against his backup—the 23-year-old Aaron Rodgers.

Romo outdueled Rodgers, scoring four touchdowns in the Cowboys' 37-27 victory. The Cowboys and Packers would finish one and two in the standings.

The only other Thursday night matchup in which teams entered with a greater combined win percentage was back in 2011, when two brothers—Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh—faced each other on Thanksgiving night.

Coincidentally enough, Alex Smith made the start for the 49ers, and he went 15 of 24 for 140 yards and an interception in San Francisco's 16-6 loss. Smith was sacked an astonishing nine times in the game.

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But despite the two aforementioned games being strong candidates, this Raiders-Chiefs matchup is different for a lot of reasons—mainly, the fact that this game is between two division teams this late in the season. No other Thursday night division game in history has occurred between two teams with this high a combined win percentage.

And because the Chiefs won the first game against the Raiders, 26-10, back in Week 6, this game becomes even more critical for Oakland. If the Chiefs can win, they would tie the Raiders in record, and the first division tiebreaker is head-to-head record.

What that equates to is the Chiefs controlling their own division destiny for the rest of the year.

If the Raiders win, they will jump two games ahead of the Chiefs with three games to go.

All that considered, the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are looming right behind at 7-4, and they see both the Chiefs (Week 16) and Raiders (Week 17) before season's end.

With so much to play for, it's worth the question:

Is Raiders-Chiefs the Biggest Thursday Night Football Game of All Time?

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