Raiders VS Chiefs
Thursday Night Football has been the NFL’s refuse dump, its pile of burning tires, its weekly display of the awful and ill-prepared.
Be ready, then, for this week’s version (8:30 p.m. ET., NFL Network and NBC), because it’s meaningful and it’s a rivalry game between two old AFL teams that (as they say) just don’t like each other.
The Oakland Raiders (10-2) lead the AFC West by a game over the Kansas City Chiefs (9-3), and will be lining up against them at Arrowhead Stadium. The Raiders have won six in a row, the Chiefs seven of eight, and they’ve already beaten the Raiders. The Raiders last won the division in 2002, the Chiefs in 2010. How do you like your stakes?
With a victory and a loss on Sunday by either the Miami Dolphins or Denver Broncos, the Raiders would clinch a playoff berth.
While it’s a big game for his team as well, Chiefs coach Andy Reid wants it treated like any other. Forget the rivalry, the postseason ramifications, and the forecast of frigid weather to lend an old-time feel.
“You can’t worry about all that,” Reid said. “You spend all your energy studying the team and getting yourself to know the game plan. Anything short of that I think you’re short-changing yourself, if you’re worried about magnitudes and all that stuff.”
Magnitudes? Even in down years for either or both, the Raiders and Chiefs scrap and battle. Now they’re, as they were so long ago, competing against each other for primacy.