Jon Gruden hoped his team would be playing meaningful football games in December and he is right; even if the game only has meaning for the other team.
Kansas City hosts the last-place Raiders in the season finale with serious playoff position on the line. A victory means the team wins the division and grabs the top seed in the AFC, along with a first-round bye and the home field advantage that goes with it.
With a loss, the Chiefs could become a wild card team, forced to play on the road next week at Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, or Tennessee.
Andy Reid would like to rest some starters, but with so much on the line, that won’t happen until the game is well in hand.
Oakland gave the Chiefs fits in their first meeting, a 40-33 loss that came down to some questionable clock management. The Raiders won two of three since then, including last week’s emotional last home game of the season, and possibly forever, in the Oakland Coliseum.
Gruden has a bunch of draft picks and room to play the free agent market this offseason, so plenty of players on his team know they are playing for a job in 2019. Will that is enough to make a difference against the Chiefs? Or did last week’s send-off diminish their drive for another game?
Injuries and notes:
Spencer Ware (shoulder) and Sammy Watkins (foot) are listed as questionable and might be held out another week for the rest. Damien Williams has had a great couple of weeks in place of Ware and the team has sufficient receiving options without Watkins.
Oakland cornerback Gareon Conley is in the concussion protocol.
Both of these head coaches are in no danger, one thanks to results and the other due to his contract.
Andy Reid is in his fourth consecutive post-season with the Chiefs and a victory gives them their third consecutive AFC West title. He did that with a new quarterback and virtually no defense. The Chiefs defensive struggles have led to some conjecture that a change in coordinators could be imminent.
Gruden is wrapping up his first season in a ten-year contract. Longtime general manager Reggie McKenzie was fired amid revelations that Gruden was not in agreement about the preseason trade of Khalil Mack and was not even in the loop with the trade of Amari Cooper.
How much clout Raiders owner and Gruden friend Mark Davis will give Gruden is unclear, but it is notable that the first candidate to replace McKenzie, former Giants general manager Jerry Reese, declined an interview for the post.
How to watch the Chiefs-Raiders game
CBS Sports will send this game to its local affiliates, which means you can watch it on your favorite internet device for free thanks to Sling TV.
Sling TV, like most internet TV providers, has a free trial offer so you can watch this game and then explore everything else Sling TV has to offer.
Like fellow internet TV companies DirecTV Now and Fubo TV, Sling’s basic monthly subscription price includes dozens of movie and entertainment channels. You can watch all your favorite TV shows and the best movies in the comfort of your home or wherever you have an internet signal.
Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and Fubo TV are available at a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite television and they’ll never ask you to sign a contract. Just pay as you go and cancel whenever you want.
Plus, there is no need to mount unsightly equipment on your roof or run wires through your house. Just go online and watch your favorite sports, movies, and TV shows.
Who will win the Chiefs-Raider game?
Andy Reid wants this game to be over by halftime so he can rest his starters as much as possible. Gruden will let his troops come out firing in an effort to force Reid to play his top men for as long as possible. But it will be a moral victory at best.
Final score: Chiefs 35, Raiders 24