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Raiders catch break with later kickoff in Kansas City

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Apparently Jon Gruden didn’t get the memo that kickoff for Sunday’s Raiders game against the Kansas City Chiefs was moved three hours from 12 p.m. CT to 3:25 pm. Or maybe he just forgot.

In any case, as Gruden explained the difficulties of the travel and adjusting to a different time zone this week, he underlined what the Raiders were up against.

“You know it’s hard on any team to fly Friday and get in your room at two o’clock in the morning Friday night and play at 10:00 a.m.,” Gruden said. “Your body clock time on Sunday takes a little experience.”

Normally that would have been spot on. But not this week. The NFL, understanding the importance of Sunday’s AFC West matchup between the Chiefs (7-4) and Raiders (6-5), flexed it to the late afternoon time slot to feature it as the CBS national game of the week. That means the Raiders will actually be playing on a body clock time of 1:25 p.m.

The bigger point Gruden was making – complaint, really – is the demanding road schedule the Raiders have had to deal with, making other trips this year to Minnesota, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Houston, London and New Jersey.

“I’m not going to again make any excuses, but we’re the king of the road, man,” Gruden said. “We’re the traveling road show, and it ticks me off in a lot of ways certainly. But we have to do it again on Friday. We have to get on a plane on Friday and go to Arrowhead and play one of the best teams in football in one of the great, great places to play. I love going there and playing. It’s a cool place and hopefully it brings out the best in us.”

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Contact Vinny Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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