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Positional breakdown for Raiders vs. Chiefs on Sunday

Updated December 29, 2018 - 4:29 pm

The Raiders finish their season at the Kansas City Chiefs at 1:25 p.m. Sunday. Here’s a breakdown by position:


Patrick Mahomes had no problems against the Raiders’ defense in Week 13, going 23 of 38 for 295 yards and four touchdowns. During Kansas City’s current two-game losing streak, he has played well, throwing for 526 yards and five touchdowns. Derek Carr also had a great game against Kansas City in Week 13, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Arrowhead Stadium has been a house of horrors for Carr. He has yet to win in Kansas City in four tries.

Advantage: Chiefs

Running backs

The Chiefs are expecting Spencer Ware, who has missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury, to return Sunday. He took over starting duties at running back after the Chiefs released Kareem Hunt. Ware’s first start came against the Raiders, and he rushed for 47 yards and one touchdown. Last week, Doug Martin ran for more than 100 yards for the first time since 2014. Jalen Richard rushed for 95 yards on six carries in Week 13 against the Chiefs.

Advantage: Raiders

Wide receivers

Kansas City’s top targets are receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Hill is tied for fourth in the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 11. Kelce had his best game of the season against Oakland with 168 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Jordy Nelson started becoming a more consistent target after his 97-yard performance against the Chiefs. He has led the team in receptions since Week 13, but he’s still looking to find the end zone for the first time since Week 5.

Advantage: Chiefs

Offensive line

The Chiefs have allowed the fifth-fewest sacks in the NFL with 26. The Raiders didn’t sack Mahomes in their first meeting. The Raiders’ offensive line had its best performance last week considering the circumstances. The Broncos sacked Carr once, and rookie tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker held Von Miller and Bradley Chubb to three tackles and zero sacks.

Advantage: Chiefs

Defensive line

Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones is second in the NFL in sacks with 15½. The Chiefs have recorded at least one sack in each game. The Raiders have had at least one sack in each of their past three games. The last time the Raiders didn’t record a sack was Dec. 2 against the Chiefs.

Advantage: Chiefs


Linebacker Dee Ford has had a career year for Kansas City and is second on the team in sacks with 12. Kansas City’s run defense has struggled in the past four games, allowing opposing offenses to rush for at least 100 yards. The Raiders’ run defense limited rookie of the year candidate Phillip Lindsay to 46 yards rushing last week. Oakland’s defense ranks third-worst in rushing yards allowed.

Advantage: Chiefs


The most glaring flaw for the AFC’s top team is its pass defense. The Chiefs have allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL, giving up an average of 280.6 yards. The Raiders’ secondary took advantage of a struggling Case Keenum on Monday. Safeties Marcus Gilchrist and Erik Harris recorded interceptions.

Advantage: Raiders

Special teams

Harrison Butker has made 24 of 27 field-goal attempts. He made a career-long 54-yarder last week at Seattle. Daniel Carlson has missed one field goal with the Raiders. He made field goals of 45 and 43 yards against Denver.

Advantage: Chiefs


The Chiefs control their destiny in the AFC. They and the Los Angeles Chargers are 11-4, but Kansas City has the tiebreaker because of a better division record. The Chiefs will win their third straight AFC West title with a win or a Chargers loss. Kansas City clinches the top seed and home-field advantage with a victory. The Raiders are coming off an emotionally charged win against Denver in what might have been their final game in Oakland.

Advantage: Chiefs

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