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KANSAS CITY http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/anthony-zettel-jersey , Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs could have taken this week off, assured of not only their third consecutive AFC West title but also the No. 1 seed in the playoffs before the Oakland Raiders came to town.Instead, they’ll have everything on the line Sunday.The Chiefs blew a fourth-quarter lead against the Chargers a couple weeks ago, and last week they lost a shootout in Seattle. They are now 0-2 with a chance to clinch the division, and they risk falling all the way to the No. 5 seed in the playoffs if they can’t defeat one of their longtime rivals.Article continues below ...“Last time I checked we are in a pretty good position here,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I know it can become a woe-is-me thing and this is how it happens, it can be a negative. I feel like throughout the team, though, the guys understand where they’re at and what they need to do to fix it.“The objective is to win games,” Reid said. “We have one game left here in the regular season.”Now, the Chiefs long ago locked up a spot in the postseason, so that won’t be an issue when they kick off against Oakland at the same time the Chargers are playing the Broncos. But what happens over the ensuing hours could potentially have massive playoff ramifications.If the Chiefs (11-4) win, they get a path through Arrowhead Stadium. If they lose and the Chargers win, Los Angeles vaults to the top of the AFC West and the No. 1 seed.If both teams lose, the Patriots or Texans would have a chance to snare the top spot http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/jahlani-tavai-jersey , and Kansas City could conceivably go from having a bye to a wild-card matchup next weekend.“It’s a very small margin between winning and losing,” Reid said.“Very, very small. The pace can change quickly. So it’s important the attitude is right, and Kansas City has had a lot of ups and downs. Are players and coaches willing to make a change? We have an opportunity to do that.”The Raiders (4-11) would like nothing more than to play spoiler. They’ve lost seven of their last eight against the Chiefs, including a 40-33 shootout in Oakland earlier this season.But despite a season’s worth of turmoil with no end in sight — who knows where they will play next season? — the Raiders have quietly performed better. They beat the Steelers and Broncos in recent weeks and coach Jon Gruden believes his vast rebuilding job is making progress.“We’re trying to get some momentum for our offseason,” Gruden said. “This is our first year here. I know the expectations were high for some, but we’re laying the foundation for how we want to play.“All we can do is keep developing our team,” he said, “and fight like hell for 60 minutes.”As the Raiders and Chiefs prepare to meet, here are some key story lines:HEALTH CHECKThe Chiefs remain without wide receiver Sammy Watkins because of a sore foot, but they hope to get cornerback Kendall Fuller back from a broken hand. Their defense was shredded by the Seahawks when he decided at game time that he would be unable to go. “That’s a day-to-day thing,” Reid said, “but I think he feels a lot better.”HEALTH CHECK, PART 2Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele returned last week against Denver and instantly upgraded the entire offense. He did not allow a pressure in 31 passing snaps and helped pave the way for Doug Martin to run for a season-best 107 yards. “It’s always good to be able to do that,” said Osemele http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com/kahale-warring-jersey , who’d been out with a knee injury. “It’s a great feeling, man.”CARLSON’S KICKSOne of the few bright spots for Oakland this season has been rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, who is perfect on extra points and 15 of 16 on field goals since signing in October. The fifth-round pick was cut by Minnesota after missing all three field goals in Week 2, but he could break Sebastian Janikowski’s franchise record for field-goal accuracy in a season set in 2012. “To me that’s something you enjoy later in life,” he said. “You enjoy it in the offseason a little.”STEPPING UPOakland’s rookie tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker have taken plenty of heat as the offensive line has failed to protect Derek Carr much of the season. “I know Pro Football Focus has some statistics that aren’t always positive,” Gruden said, “but they played very good, and not just pass protecting but run blocking and handling the audibles. We have seen a lot of progress there.”SLOW STARTSOne common thread during the Chiefs’ late-season slide: slow starts by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who nonetheless remains a top candidate for league MVP. He was 1 of 7 out of the gates against Seattle, though he bounced back to have another solid game.“It’s all about the next play. The next play you always have an opportunity to do better,” Mahomes said. “As long as you go out there and execute the next play, that’s the best thing you can do.” NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Vrabel asked his Tennessee Titans to play physical in their third game in 11 days. With Derrick Henry leading the way with a handful of rushing records, they did just that with a big victory to stay in the AFC playoff chase.Now they get a weekend to rest before their final road trip of the season, and then another short week.“They’ve done everything we asked them to do http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/bobby-okereke-jersey ,” Vrabel said Friday on a conference call. “So, it’ll be good to get some time off, get some guys healed up. I have to do a good job of managing the schedule, and still getting us ready for the Giants, but trying to get everybody back that we could possibly get back to help us try to win another game.”Vrabel didn’t have injury updates for any of the Titans hurt in Thursday night’s 30-9 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.After that call with reporters, ESPN.com reported tight end Jonnu Smith, hurt on Henry’s NFL record-tying 99-yard touchdown run, will miss the rest of the season with an injured knee. NFL Network reported right tackle Jack Conklin will miss a few weeks with his own injured knee.Losing Smith would hurt the most. The Titans already lost three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker in the season opener, while veteran Dennis Kelly is in line to replace Conklin after coming off the bench Thursday night. Kelly has started nine games for the Titans over the past three seasons.But the Titans are coming off the franchise’s best rushing performance in nearly a decade with Henry turning in 238 yards on just 17 carries for the best output in the NFL this season. Henry not only tied Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown run for the longest in NFL history, but he also took the franchise rushing mark from Chris Johnson — set against the Jaguars on Nov. 1, 2009.The Titans ran for 305 yards in that game and finished with 264 yards on Thursday night. That topped their previous best this season by 100 yards and helped Tennessee improve to 5-1 at home.Being able to run effectively in the cold of December certainly can help, and the Titans visit the Giants (4-8) on Dec. 16 before wrapping up against Washington (6-6) and Indianapolis (6-6) in Nashville.Vrabel said the key will be consistency and running like that each week. Henry will have a chance to help do that after not starting the last four games. Henry now leads the Titans with 712 yards and a career-high nine TDs rushing, averaging 4.9 yards per carry after his record-setting night.“His attitude and his preparation has remained consistent,” Vrabel said. “That was always good to see. We’ll try to keep that going, obviously we have to try to keep that going. Just the confidence that it had for everybody on the team (Thursday) night.”Henry http://www.jacksonvillejaguarsteamonline.com/jawaan-taylor-jersey , who has been as hard on himself as anyone this season, said his concentration is on finishing runs and being efficient and consistent.“I haven’t been that all year, and that’s my main focus from here on out,” Henry said.First, some rest after the Titans moved up momentarily to the seventh spot in the AFC, just out of the second wild-card position held by Baltimore. But Tennessee still needs lots of help with four teams still holding tiebreakers, including head-to-head losses.Cornerback Logan Ryan said the Titans are in survive-and-advance mode.“Right now, we know what time of year it is, and we’re putting all our chips forward and going on to New York next week,” Ryan said.
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