(4-3, 2-2 away)
(2-4, 1-2 home)
4:05 PM ET, October 21, 2007
The Kansas City Chiefs have rebounded from a sluggish start by playing some of their best football in the last few weeks. They'll try and keep it going against one of their favorite opponents.
The Chiefs look to move over .500 for the first time this season and defeat the Oakland Raiders for the ninth straight time when they visit McAfee Coliseum on Sunday.
After being outscored 40-13 in losing its first two games, Kansas City (3-3) has won three of its last four to move into a tie with San Diego atop the AFC West.
"We're 3-3 -- not where we'd like to be -- but we've dug ourselves back out of that hole again and we're hopeful we can stay out," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said after last Sunday's 27-20 victory over Cincinnati.
Against the Bengals, Tony Gonzalez caught career touchdown passes Nos. 62 and 63 to break the record of 62 TD catches by a tight end held by Shannon Sharpe. Gonzalez finished with 102 receiving yards last Sunday, and has 369 yards and three touchdowns on 29 receptions in his last four games.
The eight-time Pro Bowler has been at his best against the Raiders, tallying 1,210 receiving yards and seven career TDs against them in 19 games -- both career highs against any opponent.
After the Chiefs gained just 10 yards on the ground in their 17-7 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 7, Larry Johnson finished with 119 rushing yards on 31 carries and scored his first TD of the season last Sunday.
"We were able to run the ball," Gonzalez said. "This is something that we have to do to be successful. We know what we're capable of doing. We know how good we are. We were able to go out there and prove it. It only lasts 24 hours and after that we have to go do it again next week against the Raiders."
Oakland is fifth-worst in the league in run defense, allowing an average of 144.8 yards per game. Last Sunday, the Raiders allowed a season-high 206 rushing yards in a 28-14 loss to San Diego, as reigning MVP LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for four scores.
Johnson hopes for a similar performance against Oakland's vulnerable run defense.
In two games against the Raiders last season, Johnson ran for 289 yards on 62 carries with three touchdowns. Johnson's 634 career rushing yards and nine rushing TDs against Oakland in six games are his most against any opponent.
Johnson may end up losing some carries to Priest Holmes, who had another impressive practice Thursday and could be activated for the first time since a severe head and neck injury in 2005.
"He's running the ball hard," Chiefs linebacker Donnie Edwards said. "When you're away from the game you really don't know. But for him it's just like riding a bike, getting the ball in his hands and seeing the defenses and making his cuts. He's feeling at home already."
Kansas City traded backup running back Michael Bennett to Tampa Bay for draft picks on Tuesday, creating a spot for the three-time Pro Bowler.
Holmes who turned 34 this month, owns 18 Chiefs' single-game and career records, including career marks for rushing yards (5,933) and rushing touchdowns (76), but Edwards still does not know if he'll be activated for this game.
Kansas City has had few problems beating Oakland lately, winning 26 of 34 meetings since 1990.
The Chiefs have won a franchise-record eight straight over the Raiders -- their longest active streak against any opponent -- but seven of those wins have been by seven points or less.
Oakland (2-3) is no stranger to eight-game losing streaks to AFC West opponents, as last Sunday's loss was its eighth straight to the Chargers.
The Raiders, who were an NFL-worst 2-14 last year, have lost 16 straight games in the AFC West.
Oakland averaged a league-leading 194.3 rushing yards per game through Week 5, but was held to a season-low 53 yards on 23 rushing attempts against San Diego.
"We're close to being a good team, but we just played like a bad team," offensive lineman Robert Gallery said. "You can overcome some things, but I think in all facets of the game, we killed ourselves."
Quarterback Daunte Culpepper completed 24-of-37 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown in his second start of the season last Sunday, but also threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked six times. Kansas City, meanwhile, is tied with Philadelphia for the second-most sacks in the NFL with 19.
The Raiders have split their only two home games this season, and have won just three of their last 14 at McAfee Coliseum.
More from ESPN.com
'Dialed in' Mahomes leads Chiefs back to SB
Patrick Mahomes, two days removed from being in the NFL's concussion protocol, guided the Chiefs past the Bills on Sunday and into Super Bowl LV.
Brady a rare Super Bowl underdog vs. Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites over Tom Brady and the Bucs in Super Bowl LV.
Tyreek Hill's catch-and-run for Chiefs travels a total distance of 102.5 yards
Kansas City got separation from Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game thanks to big plays from Hill and Travis Kelce.
The nine best trade fits for Matthew Stafford: NFL execs weigh in
It's the end of an era in Detroit, as the longtime starting quarterback wants out. Here are the teams that have the need and the draft capital to make it happen.
LJ should stay on track against Oakland
This could be a game between to 0-5 teams and it would still be a must see matchup. With two of the original AFL teams going head to head for the 97th time dating back to 1960 and the inaugural season of the American Football League. These two teams might respect each other, but they don't like each other. With the AFC West still being a wide open contest and all four teams being within a half-game of each other, the winner will definitely have a leg up on the divisional race. You can expect a lot of hard hitting and a lot of shots downfield to try and break this game open. No one wants to play catch-up in this game, so whoever scores first will definitely have an emotional edge.
Recent Blog Posts
Kansas City Chiefs
- Mahomes: Facing Brady in his '150th Super Bowl' will be great experience
- Keyshawn warns Bucs to learn from mistakes in first matchup vs. Chiefs
- Mahomes leads Chiefs to 2nd consecutive Super Bowl appearance
Las Vegas Raiders
|Avg Points Allowed||16.1||23.3|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||KC|
|Rush Yds Allowed||KC|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Kansas City leads 10-4|
|Dec 23, 2006||KC 20, @LV 9|
|Nov 19, 2006||KC 17, LV 13|
|Nov 6, 2005||KC 27, LV 23|
|Sep 18, 2005||KC 23, @LV 17|
|Dec 25, 2004||KC 31, LV 30|
|Dec 5, 2004||KC 34, @LV 27|
|Nov 23, 2003||KC 27, LV 24|
|Oct 20, 2003||KC 17, @LV 10|
|Dec 28, 2002||KC 0, @LV 24|
|Oct 27, 2002||KC 20, LV 10|
|Dec 9, 2001||KC 26, @LV 28|
|Sep 9, 2001||KC 24, LV 27|