THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:
- The Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs at O.co Coliseum Sunday, marking the Silver and Black's final home game of the 2012 season.
- Oakland will be looking to snap a six-game skid, the longest losing streak for the Raiders since the 2007 season.
- On defense, with the release of CB Ron Bartell, the Raiders will be starting their seventh quartet in the defensive secondary.
- QB Carson Palmer is recording one of the most prolific passing seasons in Raider history. With three games remaining in the campaign, Palmer already ranks fourth on the Raiders' single-season list in attempts (533), third in completions (324), fifth in yards (3,805) and 14th in touchdowns (22).
- K Sebastian Janikowski has booted 40 career field goal of 50-or-more yards, moving into a tie with Morten Anderson for third place all-time in field goals of 50-or-more yards.
- TE Brandon Myers enters Week 15 with an NFL-leading 33 catches in the fourth quarter.
- CB Phillip Adams has recorded interceptions in two straight games, becoming the sixth Raider since 2007 to post picks in consecutive contests.
- The Raiders have scored an NFL-leading 79 points at the end of the half, including last week's 6-yard touchdown reception by RB Darren McFadden near the end of the second quarter.
RAIDERS HOST AFC WEST RIVAL KANSAS CITY:The Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, marking the Silver and Black's final home game of the 2012 season. Oakland will be looking to snap a six-game skid, while the Chiefs are coming off of a 30-7 defeat at Cleveland last week. The Raiders won the first meeting between the two AFC West rivals this season, posting a 26-16 victory at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 28.
THE SERIES:The Raiders and Chiefs have one of the NFL's most storied rivalries, dating back to the formation of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. The two teams have met 104 times in the regular season, with the Chiefs holding a 53-49-2 advantage in the series, and three times in the postseason. The series has tilted in the Raiders' favor as of late, with the Silver and Black owning a 7-3 advantage in the last 10 meetings.
PALMER CLIMBING THE CHARTS:QB Carson Palmer is in the midst of one the most prolific passing seasons in Raider history. With three games remaining in the campaign, Palmer already ranks fourth on the Raiders' single-season list in attempts (533), third in completions (324), fifth in yards (3,805) and 14th in touchdowns (22).
CONSECUTIVE PICKS:CB Phillip Adams had an interception vs. Denver last week, marking his second straight game with a pick. Adams is the first Raider to record interceptions in consecutive games since Matt Giordano did so twice last season. Adams is the sixth Raider since 2007 to record picks in consecutive games, and can become the first Raider since LB Thomas Howard to notch interceptions in three or more straight contests.
CARSON AT THE COLISEUM:QB Carson Palmer has produced some outstanding passing performances at O.co Coliseum this season, notching his fourth 300-yard passing game in seven contests with 351 yards vs. Cleveland on Dec. 2. Palmer is averaging 307.7 passing yards per game at the Coliseum this season.
LATE-SCORE LEADERS:RB Darren McFadden had a 6-yard touchdown reception with 1:59 left in the first half vs. Denver on Dec. 6, giving the Raiders an NFL-high 79 points at the end of the half.
STARTING LINEUP ANALYSIS:When the team made a flurry of roster moves prior to opening the regular season, the Raiders knew entering the season they would struggle if they sustained injuries at cornerback or offensive tackle. Before the end of the season's second game, they'd lost both of their starting corners and their starting right tackle for an extended period due to injuries.
On defense, with the release of CB Ron Bartell, the Raiders in their 14th game Sunday will start their seventh quartet in the defensive secondary. Their projected starting four out of training camp played just 2½ series together this year, the first quarter-plus of the season-opener Sept. 10, until Bartell broke his scapula. Spencer then sprained his foot, a season-ending injury, in the third quarter of Game 2 at Miami Sept. 16, forcing the team to ask Michael Huff to make the almost-unprecedented NFL move of safety to cornerback. Oakland's starting DBs this year:
- Shawntae Spencer, Ron Bartell, Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff.
- Shawntae Spencer, Pat Lee, Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff.
- Pat Lee, Michael Huff, Tyvon Branch, Matt Giordano.
- Ron Bartell, Michael Huff, Tyvon Branch, Matt Giordano.
- Ron Bartell, Michael Huff, Mike Mitchell, Matt Giordano.
- Ron Bartell, Michael Huff, Tyvon Branch, Joselio Hanson.
On the offensive line, the losses of C Stefen Wisniewski (calf), who missed all but one series of the preseason and season-opener, as well as RT Khalif Barnes (groin surgery) in the second quarter of the second game, were critical. Those injuries ultimately kept the Raiders without their projected starting five until Nov. 18, the season's 10th game.
What's more, injuries to WR Denarius Moore (hamstring), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion) and RB Darren McFadden (high-ankle sprain), also kept the Raiders from fielding their projected starting 11 offensive players until Game 13, Dec. 6 vs. Denver.
Notable connections:Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen served as an assistant coach for the New Orleans Saints alongside current Kansas City linebackers coach Gary Gibbs (2006-08) and defensive assistant/assistant linebackers coach Adam Zimmer (2006-09)...Allen (2002-05) and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp (2004-06) were on staff with the Atlanta Falcons while Chiefs defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas served as assistant head coach (2002-09)...Chiefs QB Matt Cassel served as a backup to both Raider QBs Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC...DB Michael Huff played with Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles and LB Derrick Johnson at Texas...RB Darren McFadden shared the same backfield with Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis at Arkansas...TE Brandon Myers was college teammates with Chiefs C Bryan Mattison and TE Tony Moeaki at Iowa...LB Miles Burris and Chiefs WR Devon Wylie were teammates at Granite Bay High School...DT Richard Seymour played for the New England Patriots while Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel was defensive coordinator (2001-04)...Chiefs TE Kevin Boss, currently on injured reserve, played for the Raiders in 2011...Special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman was the Chiefs' special teams coach from 2009-11...Hoffman was defensive quality control coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-04, sharing the sideline with Chiefs assistant head coach Maurice Carthon, who was the offensive coordinator/running backs coach...Senior offensive assistant Al Saunders spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach for the Chiefs, serving as assistant head coach/ wide receivers from 1989-98 and assistant head coach/offensive coordinator from 2001-05...Tight ends coach Mark Hutson played at Oklahoma (1985-88) while Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs was defensive coordinator for the Sooners...Director-player engagement Lamonte Winston spent 17 years with the Chiefs organization, including 14 as executive director of player engagement...Football operations staffer Pete Caracciolo's brother, Tom, is a football operations assistant for the Chiefs.
Last meeting vs. Kansas City: Oak. 26, at KC 16 (Oct. 28, 2012):The Raiders posted their sixth straight win at Arrowhead Stadium behind QB Carson Palmer's 209 yards passing and two touchdowns.
INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS vs. KANSAS CITY:T Khalif Barnes posted his first career touchdown reception on a 2-yard pass against Kansas City on Nov. 7, 2010...S Tyvon Branch recorded his first career interception at Kansas City on Sept. 14, 2008...DT Desmond Bryant recorded his first career sack against the Chiefs on Nov. 7, 2010...S Matt Giordano recorded his first interception of the season at Kansas City on Oct. 28...Giordano also recorded a pick at Kansas City on Dec. 24, 2011...WR Darrius Heyward-Bey recorded his first career reception, an 18-yard grab, at Kansas City on Sept. 20, 2009...Heyward-Bey had a 32-yard touchdown reception at Kansas City on Oct. 28...DE Lamarr Houston posted his first career sack against the Chiefs on Nov. 7, 2010...DB Michael Huff picked off a career-high two passes and matched a career best with four passes defensed at Kansas City on Sept. 20, 2009...P Shane Lechler tied a career high with 11 punts against the Chiefs on Nov. 15, 2009...RB Darren McFadden rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown at Kansas City on Sept. 14, 2008, his second career game...McFadden totaled 114 rushing yards at Kansas City on Oct. 28...WR Denarius Moore hauled in a 61-yard touchdown pass at Kansas City on Dec. 24, 2011...QB Carson Palmer made his Raider debut vs. Kansas City on Oct. 23, 2011, just days after joining the Silver and Black via trade...QB Terrelle Pryor made his NFL debut against the Chiefs on Oct. 23, 2011...DT Richard Seymour blocked two field-goal attempts at Kansas City on Dec. 24, 2011...LB Philip Wheeler recorded his first sack in a Raider uniform at Kansas City on Oct. 28.
BIRTHDAY WEEK:S Tyvon Branch (Dec. 11), WR Juron Criner (Dec. 12), LB Philip Wheeler (Dec. 12), DT Christo Bilukidi (Dec. 13) and DT Desmond Bryant (Dec. 15) will all celebrate birthdays prior to this week's game.