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Oakland Raiders: A Closer Look

For the second time in four weeks, the Chiefs take on the Raiders, but this time in Arrowhead Stadium

Last season, the Chiefs beat the Raiders 24-7 at Arrowhead Stadium.

It was a nine-sack, three-interception performance from the Chiefs defense that solidified the victory in front of a raucous Arrowhead crowd that at the time set the world record for loudest outdoor stadium at 137.5 decibels.

This week, the Raiders head to Kansas City as a team without a road victory (0-6) this season, but it was just three weeks ago they were winless and pulled off the 24-20 upset over the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.

But as is the case with any storied rivalry, when the two teams get together, everything else can be thrown out the window.

"We understand the rivalry with the AFC West and particularly with these two teams," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said on Wednesday. "The Raiders are playing good football and we respect that, and we're going to get ourselves ready to play a good football team."

Reid spoke about what the team can take away from the matchup just three weeks ago.


"I don't think either team has changed much from their schemes so there are things you can take and work through," Reid said. "We have to do a better job in some areas."

The Chiefs should expect to see a heavy dose of the Raiders running game led by running back Latavius Murray on Sunday.

In their previous game, Murray ran the ball just four times for 112 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game early with a concussion. Overall, the Raiders ran for 179 yards in that game.

Reid spoke of the things they need to improve defensively to stop the run.

"Some of it is the fits that we're doing up front and linebackers playing downhill football and then tackling," Reid said. "I thought we did a little better job on the tackling part, but we have to take care of those seams. It doesn't take much for an NFL running back to hit a seam.

"You have to narrow those things down make sure that you can free up your hands to make the tackle."

One player who could help in the run game is inside linebacker Joe Mays, who stepped in on defense last week for the first time this season after having surgery on his wrist.

Mays finished second on the team last week with five tackles against the Cardinals, and he explained his mindset when out on the field.

"You play physical and you hit a guy before they hit you," Mays said. "It's stuck with me the whole time I've played throughout high school, college and now the NFL. That's just who I am and that's what I am about.

Photos of the 2014 Oakland Raiders starting lineup.

"Just play a physical style of football."

Besides stopping the run, the other area to watch in this game is on third down on both sides of the ball.

Back on November 20 in Oakland, the Chiefs converted just 2 of 14 third-down attempts while the Raiders converted 8 of 16 third downs.

In the last three games at Arrowhead Stadium—the heart of Chiefs Kingdom—the Raiders have converted just 9 of 38 (24 percent) third downs, a mark that if matched on Sunday would be instrumental in the Chiefs picking up their eighth win of the season.

The Arrowhead impact has been alive and well throughout this rivalry, and with the Chiefs having so much to play for during these final few games, the journey begins on Sunday.

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