Derek Carr has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this year. Now he’s got a chance to lead his team to a major win.
First place and an inside track to the AFC West title are on the line when Oakland (10-2) visits Kansas City (9-3) on Thursday Night Football, at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Oakland will be in the hunt for its seventh straight win after roaring back late to blow by Buffalo, while the Chiefs are coming off a more dramatic win.
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Do-everything star Eric Berry returned an interception of a 2-point conversion attempt back for the go-ahead points in the fourth quarter of a 29-28 win at Atlanta.
Kansas City’s Alex Smith mostly enjoyed a pressure-free day against the Falcons, something he’s not likely to repeat against Oakland’s Khalil Mack.
In the teams’ first meeting this year, the Raiders were held scoreless after halftime and Carr had a forgettable day in a season to remember.
Through 12 games, he’s thrown for 24 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards. But quarterbacks, fairly or not, aren’t judged just by stats.
On Thursday night, Carr can add to his resume by leading his team to the brink of its first division title since 2002 — in his third season.
Four to Watch
Oakland WR Michael Crabtree: Amari Cooper is the leader in yards receiving, but Crabtree has more touchdowns, and Carr threw to him 11 times in Sunday’s win.
Oakland DE Khalil Mack: Could be the best pass rusher in the NFL right now, but teams can usually ignore the Raiders’ other rushers.
Kansas City DB Eric Berry: Returned two interceptions for points on Sunday. One was for a touchdown, and the other came on a 2-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter of a one-point win.
Kansas City TE Travis Kelce: Coming off a huge game in which he had eight catches for more 140 yards.