The Oakland Raiders may be out of the playoff race, but the Silver and Black still have a lot to play for. The Raiders travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in the final regular season and division game of 2010. The Raiders are looking to sweep the AFC West division and reach a .500 record, something the team hasn't accomplished since 2002.
The Raiders will be playing at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs are undefeated this season. The Raiders want to hand the Chiefs their first home loss and finish the year strong. "It's huge for us. It is our last game for the season and we want to end the season the right way and we have a great opportunity here," said TE Zach Miller. "You know they are undefeated at home and we're undefeated in the division so we have a lot of things to play for. We want to end up 8-8 and end with a good taste in our mouth and send them to the playoffs with a loss. I think every guy is going to be ready come Sunday and go out there and play our best football of the year to finish the season right."
The Raiders want to go into the offseason on a positive note. Winning the final game will help them do that. "Sunday's game we just want to go out there and finish out the season right, finish strong, 6-0," said FB Marcel Reece.
LB Sam Williams has never experienced this much success in the division in his eight years with the team. "Sweeping the division is big time because we have gone a long, long time without winning a division game here," said Williams. "This was one of our goals to win every game in our division so we want to accomplish our goal and get us headed in the right direction for the future."
The eight-year veteran is excited for this week's match up with the Chiefs. "Kansas City has always been a big game for us even when we were playing for nothing," said Williams. "To play against the Chiefs means a lot to us because we hate the Chiefs with a passion. The games always seem to come down to the last play of the game and we just want to go out there and dominate them physically. They took something we wanted and we want to take something from them."
One of the team's goals is to go in and give the Chiefs their first loss at home this season. "Although we didn't make it to the playoffs, we still have goals," said S Tyvon Branch. "I know Arrowhead is a great stadium and I know it is going to be packed and to go in there and beat those guys at home will be big. It will be their first home loss so it will be big for us."
The Raiders beat the Chiefs at home in Week 9, but playing Kansas City on the road is an entirely different experience. "We have played them once before so we are familiar with their personnel and we know what they are going to try," said Miller. "You know it's going to come down to handling the hostile environment in the Chiefs stadium and being able to get after the defense. They have been playing well all year especially at home so it is a big challenge for our offense and we are going to rise to it."
Although the Chiefs have already clinched a playoff spot, they want to finish the regular season with a division win. "This is a division opponent team at 5-0 in the division and we're playing at home," said Chiefs QB Matt Cassel. "The last thing I think you want to do as a team is go out there and get your but kicked by the Raiders on Sunday and lose any momentum we've built up to this point. So we're going to go out and give it our all and I know the Raiders have been a great team and they're a big, physical group that we've got to be ready for."
Matt Cassel and his offense will have to contend with a strong Raiders defense. "I think the biggest challenge for anybody that plays the Raiders is how physical they are; their physicality and what they do," said Cassel. "Their front four is as big and physical as you'll get. Every single guy on that defense can run and can hit you. They lineup and say, 'look you've got to beat us,' and that's kind of their mentality. We have to beat one-on-one matchups."
The Chiefs defense also has to be prepared for a solid Raiders offense. "All the running backs, including the full back Reece, but McFadden and Bush are as good as we see and we've seen some pretty good ones out of the Raiders," said Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley. "They're big, they're fast, and they both can hit the long run when necessary. Bush had a long, long run against us last year. We got our work cut out for us. It takes 11-man defense to stop the run. [QB Jason Campbell's] got a bunch of receivers, including Jacoby Ford, that run like the wind, he's got a very dependable tight end and that Campbell relies on for sure and you have all the backs are very dangerous out of the back field, whether it's a screen or a check-down."
The Chiefs respect what the Raiders have accomplished this season and are ready for the Silver and Black to come to town. The Raiders want to finish the season with a division sweep and a .500 record to build on next season. "It will feel great if we do it," said Branch. "That will be the icing on the cake since we didn't make the playoffs. It will be a great step in the right direction and give us a lot to build off for next season if we can close it out the right way." The Raiders play the Chiefs this Sunday at 10:00 A.M. PST at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Follow the action live on Raiders.com, the Raiders Facebook page, and Twitter.