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Raiders already preparing for Week 17 vs. Chiefs

The Raiders play the Broncos in Monday Night Football in Week 16. With the upcoming Christmas holiday taking place in a short week for the Raiders, they’re planning to get a head start on the Chiefs.

“With the extra day and the holiday coming, we’ll use today to focus on the Kansas City Chiefs,” Raiders HC Jon Gruden said in his Monday press briefing.

While this may seem a little out of the ordinary, it’s common that teams give players some extra time off around the holiday to spend with their family. Gruden is justifying it as “an extra game to recover.”

By preparing for the Chiefs early in the week during Week 16, it allows the Raiders to take that extra time off during their short week in Week 17.

Still it’s rather telling that the Raiders are putting precedence on preparing to face the Chiefs. Not only are these teams bitter rivals, but the Chiefs have everything to lose these next two weeks. A defeat at the hands of the Raiders would likely end the Chiefs’ hopes of landing the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs. With a loss in both of the next two weeks it would almost certainly place the Chiefs in No. 5 seed and playing on the road in a Wild Card matchup.

The Raiders are clearly making an attempt to play spoiler to the Chiefs’ postseason aspirations. This would also allow Gruden’s Raiders to head into the 2019 offseason with some momentum and a big win that they can build off of.

The Chiefs need to stay the course and prepare for Week 16, but Week 17 just got a bit more interesting and personal for the Chiefs and Raiders rivalry.

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