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Chiefs Take on Raiders, Looking for Playoff Berth

For the Kansas City Chiefs (10-3), it’s a been a wild ride for them this season and now on Sunday, they can make it even better by clinching a playoff berth–a first in three years. To do so, they’ll face the Oakland Raiders (4-9) who are trying to snap a four-game losing streak.

After going 9-0, the Chiefs hit a bump in the road losing three straight games but broke the streak last week by routing the Washington Redskins (3-10), 45-10. They’ll need either a win or tie against Oakland to get that playoff berth but it could also come through a few other scenarios from this week’s games.

This includes either a loss or tie by the Miami Dolphins (7-6) (-1, 46 o/u) against the New England Patriots (10-3) or a Baltimore Ravens (7-6) loss or tie versus the Detroit Lions (7-6) (-7, 49 o/u) in Monday night’s game.

Dexter McCluster

Dexter McCluster

The Chiefs are excited by the prospect of the postseason but wide receiver Dexter McCluster knows there’s still a road ahead. He said via ESPN, “It’s a big deal. Having a chance to play in the postseason, you know, that’s what we play for. Let the chips fall where they may right now.”

Unfortunately for the team, McCluster, who had a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown last week, will not be playing on Sunday. He has an infected cut in his ankle which has been ruled out as MRSA. He will not be traveling to Oakland with the team.

McCluster will be missed as he has 46 receptions for 438 yards, one touchdown and 54 punt returns for this season–all of the team’s returns along with two scores from them.

Fortunately for the Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles is playing well. Last week, he had 19 carries for 151 yards–a season high with one touchdown. In his last three games, he’s had a 6.9 yard average carry, 359 yards and four touchdowns.

In the Chiefs last game against Oakland, a 24-7 win on Oct. 13, he had 128 yards with two rushing touchdowns. He should fare well against the Raiders, whose rush defense over the last two games has given up 287 yards.

But one of the biggest questions facing the Chiefs is whether their defense will show up. After starting out the season strong, it sputtered but lately, it appears back on track–especially in last week’s game. They allowed 257 total yards and sacked quarterback Robert Griffin III five times.

Against Pryor in their October meeting, the defense sacked him nine times.

This week they’ll have their hands full with running back Rashad Jennings. From his November play, he was second in the league for rushing yards (403), right behind the Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. He’s also found success in receiving.

Matt McGloin

Matt McGloin

The defense will also be going up against quarterback Matt McGloin for a first time after Pryor started in their last meeting but his now been benched.

Pryor said of the team’s decision to sit him via NFL.com, “I could sit here and say I disagree and this and that, but, at the end of the day, coach Allen is our leader and he’s the one that has to make tough decisions. He made one, and it is what it is.”

McGloin, who will see his fifth straight start, is different than Pryor: a quick and more efficient passer but he has been turnover prone lately.

Unfortunately, McGloin could be without his running back Darren McFadden, who is recovering from an ankle injury. He missed last week’s game against the New York Jets (6-7).

In the October game against the Chiefs, McFadden had 16 carries for 52 yards.

Regardless if the Chiefs win, they’ll likely still have a chance to see the postseason. Vegas sees a win on Sunday for them (-5, 41 o/u) and for the Super Bowl, they sit at 25/1 to win it.




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