Raiders.com Week 17 Mailbag Questions Answered

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From Bert B**: Are you worried that the team is emotionally spent because of last week's home game?

JK: No. Since the game was on Thursday, the Raiders have had a few extra days to rest and recharge. There is plenty to play for this week as Charles Woodson finishes his illustrious career and the Raiders could damage the Chiefs hopes of winning the AFC West. Several players are on the verge of records and milestones as well. I would like to see Carr tie or pass Daryle Lamonica for most touchdown passes in a season. It is a tall order, he needs to three to tie, but it would be impressive.

From Frank R: Will we implement Charles in our offense again this week? Will he get a few touches?

JK: Unfortunately, I'm not invited to those meetings. However, nothing would surprise me. The fact that his career rushing stats now read -3 leads me to believe he may be pushing for more time on offense. However, the priority is to come back from Kansas City with the win.

From Tammy C: What would it mean for the team to finish 4-2 against division opponents?

JK: I think it would mean quite a bit especially with splitting the season series with Kansas City and Denver. It would mean the Raiders can play with anybody considering both of those teams are going to the playoffs. Evening the record at 8-8 would be big too as the Raiders look to post their best record since 2011.

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An exclusive look at the rivalry between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs through the years.

From Alex T**: What is the hardest thing about playing in Kansas City?

JK: It has to be the noise. Head Coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday that the crowd will be as loud as the Raiders allow them to be. That means the Raiders will have to play clean, efficient football and make plays, especially on offense, to take the crowd out it. If the game was going to be played at the original kickoff time of 10:00 a.m. PT, I would say the time, but since the game was flexed to 1:25 p.m. PT, it won't be a factor.

From Curtis W: What do you expect from Charles Woodson for the closing act of his career?

JK: I expect him to play hard and with class. He has been a consummate professional his entire career, and I expect him to leave the game that way. I am sure it will be an emotional day for No. 24 and his teammates want to send him out a winner. He deserves that.

From Justin T: How much will a win or a loss this week change how you and the team evaluate the season?

JK: I really don't think a win or a loss will affect how General Manager and Head Coach Jack Del Rio evaluate the roster. As improved as the team was this season, there are areas that need shored up. We will take a look at those areas throughout the offseason heading into the free agent signing period and the 2016 NFL Draft. We'll also continue to get a look at the young talent on this team that could play a larger role in 2016.

From Vincent H: Would you consider an 8-8 season this year a success?

JK: No. The Raiders didn't win the division or earn a playoff spot. The team isn't going to be playing for a championship. Cut and dried, plain and simple. Those are the goals. Coach Del Rio has high standards for his team and he will be the first to tell you he is disappointed in the record. Many can and will say that the team is much improved from a year ago and that there are many positives to take away from the 2015 campaign. 

From Molly M: Are any players playing for their jobs for next season?

JK: Aren't they all? Coach Del Rio is fond of saying that this is a week-to-week league. It's a year-to-year one as well. Nothing is guaranteed. I think if you look at the transactions made in early March before the signing period began, the organization is not shy about letting players go to make room for upgrades or because of lack of productivity.

From Jim S: What kind of statement would you like to see the team make to close the season?

JK: I would like to see the Raiders win in a hostile environment and do it efficiently and professionally. However, based on recent wins against Denver and San Diego, a win by "any means necessary" will do. The Raiders used a 1999 season finale win in overtime at Kansas City to catapult them into the offseason and then claim three straight AFC West titles.

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