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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 12/4

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Good morning! Happy Friday! Here's today's Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy!

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ERIC BERRY: OUR MAN OF THE YEAR from The Mothership

He is wearing the number 29 and he is screaming.

''Ya'll boys ready?''

They answer in unison, ''Hell yeah!''

Not loud enough. He screams again.

''Ya'll boys ready?''

They answer, ''Hell yeah!''

Still not loud enough.

''Ya'll boys ready?''

''Hell yeah!''

Support Eric Berry by Using the Hashtag "#BerryWPMOYChallenge" from The Mothership

Beginning Wednesday, fans can begin voting for Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry by using his unique hashtag on any social media platform for the Charity Challenge.

Berry's hashtag is:

#BerryWPMOYChallenge

The nominee whose unique hashtag is used the most by Thursday, Dec. 31, will receive a $20,000 donation to their charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide.

Here's What We Learned on Thursday as Chiefs Prep for Raiders from The Mothership

Q: At the end of the day, how do you define the success of special teams?

TOUB: "Field position. That's the first thing I look at when I get the stat sheet at the end. I want to see where our field position was compared to their field position. Those are the hidden yards that nobody really knows about, but it's so important."

Q: Does it make you feel good that the Chiefs are one of the best in the NFL for starting field position?

TOUB: "It does, but we've still got five weeks left and we've got to finish strong. We've got to push through this thing. We're off to a pretty good start, or past the starting point, but we're doing okay."

Chiefs Opponent Preview: Get to Know the Oakland Raiders from The Mothership

"We know they're an improved football team from what they were last year," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of the Raiders this week. "You could see them improving last year. They've even taken a few more steps forward this year, we get it."

The biggest difference for the Raiders this year is that they are defeating the teams they are supposed to. The teams they have beat—Baltimore, Cleveland, San Diego, the New York Jets and Tennessee—have a combined record of 17-38.

Oakland's strength is its offense, ranking 10th in yards per game (362.8). The Raiders rank 27th in the league in defense based upon yards allowed per game (391.0).

Marcus Peters on his return to Oakland: "It's going to be special" from The Mothership

On Sunday, Peters and the Chiefs travel to Oakland riding a five-game winning streak to face an improved Raiders team.

"It's going to be special," Peters said of Sunday's game at O.co stadium. "It's going to be real special. I get to go display my talents in front of my community, my hometown.

"From the start, it's been nothing but love and support coming up out of there. All I can do is just go have an excellent game and enjoy it."

Peters grew up in the shadows of the Silver and Black; the Raiders were his team growing up.

But Sunday's game isn't about his childhood memories.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce: "We Are Definitely Locked In" from The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs haven't had two players gain at least 1,000 yards receiving in the same season since 2008. In fact, that's only happened three times in franchise history.

As of right now, the Chiefs have two players on pace for that mark: tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Jeremy Maclin.

While anyone who has ever talked to either player knows they couldn't care less about individual statistics, the numbers show the impact they're making on the field and how special it is in the larger picture of this organization's history.

"I'm just trying to be there for Alex [Smith] and try to be there for every guy on the team," Kelce said. "Just to do my job every single play."

KCChiefs.com Poll: Chiefs Top Plays from November

Woman bonds with cancer survivor Eric Berry, then survives herself from KCTV

Crabtree watched the Chiefs victory over the Buffalo Bills from the KCTV5 suite at Arrowhead Stadium. Iif anyone deserves to be in the suite, it was Crabtree who fought and won her battle against non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"I haven't been to a Chief's game this year because I've been going through my treatments. This is a way to celebrate. A couple of weeks ago I found out that I'm cancer-free," Crabtree shared.

Cancer-free. No two works were ever sweeter for Crabtree and her friends and family to hear.

It's what that sign she held at Chiefs training camp predicted.

Eric Berry Fan Beats Cancer from The Mothership

A Kansas City woman named Alyssa Crabtree came to Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph holding a side that read, "Future Lymphoma Survivor..."

...KCTV5 recently checked in with Crabtree and discovered she had done just that.

Raiders game doubles as homecoming for Chiefs' Marcus Peters from The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs, 6-5, will play the Oakland Raiders, 5-6, on Sunday at O.co Coliseum, and Sutton knows the game will be a homecoming for Peters, who grew up in Oakland and wears his hometown as a badge of honor.

Sutton has been coaching long enough — more than 40 years — to know emotions can run high during homecoming games like this. So with potential distractions looming — Peters is understandably trying to bring as many friends and family to the game as possible — Sutton just wanted to remind the rookie about the best way to attack the week.

Marcus Peters' return to Oakland more than a homecoming from ESPN

The Kansas City Chiefs rookie cornerback is intensely proud that he's from Oakland, California, and will talk about his upbringing there every chance he gets.

So Sunday's game against the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum is more than a homecoming for Peters. It's an event that's going to cost him a lot of money for all the tickets he will buy for family members and friends.

"I'm hoping the [whole] town comes out," Peters said. "It's going to be special. It's going to be really special. I get to go display my talents in front of my community, my hometown. From the start, there's been nothing but love and support coming up out of there. All I can do is go have an excellent game and enjoy."

Chiefs to give Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware equal opportunity against Raiders from The Kansas City Star

Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware will form a committee at running back when the Chiefs visit Oakland on Sunday.

"It goes without saying, it's still a running back by committee," Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said Thursday. "I think you have to use them both. Here's two young running backs that are playing a lot, and we're getting to that time of the season where bodies are really getting sore and banged up."

Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware set for committee in Chiefs backfield from Chiefs Digest

"You see Charcandrick is more of that slasher, quick-cutting guy," Pederson said. "And here comes (No.) 32 (Ware), a big physical fullback-type, halfback-type guy that can hit you downhill, so it's a little bit of a change of pace, I think, for a defense. And it's great to give both of those guys equal opportunity."

While both players appear comparable in running the ball, West could offer the better receiving option out of the backfield. West recorded 11 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 7-11, while Ware had three catches for 6 yards in the past two games.

For his part, West embraces whatever role the Chiefs give him and he also sees the value of sharing the backfield with Ware.

Week 13: Thursday injury report from Chiefs Digest

Left tackle Eric Fisher (neck) returned to a full practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday, while left guard Jeff Allen (ankle) put in a limited practice after not practicing Wednesday.

Rookie center Mitch Morse, however, missed a second straight day while recovering from a concussion.

Joining Morse as not practicing are linebacker Justin Houston (knee) and wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas (concussion).

Dee Ford on making first career start: 'Opportunity is there' from ESPN

Linebacker Dee Ford at first maintained a straight face and the contention that the prospect of making his first career start for theKansas City Chiefs on Sunday was not a big deal.

Pressed on the matter, though, Ford, the Chiefs' first-round draft pick in 2014, was betrayed by a big smile that crossed his face. With that, Ford was forced to acknowledge that starting on Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland in place of the injured Justin Houston would indeed be a significant event.

"The opportunity is there now,'' Ford said. "I don't want to put too much emphasis on one game but I'm excited. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm very excited.''

Ball security built on the talents of Chiefs QB Alex Smith from Chiefs Digest

Smith's profile at the University of Utah and in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and now wearing the red and gold of the Chiefs is exactly as it seems.

He takes care of the football, plays smart, doesn't take too many risks, generally throws the ball accurately and is not afraid to use his legs to make plays. His strengths as a pro quarterback would be ranked in this order of importance: 1. Intelligence, 2. legs and 3. his arm.

At his best, Smith performs like he has in the current five-game winning streak. He's completed 66 percent of his passes (95 of 144), for an average gain of 7.7 yards per attempt, with six touchdown throws and no interceptions. More important is the statistic all starting quarterbacks are judged by: five victories in five games.

The game plan: Going for the road sweep from Chiefs Digest

Kansas City will need to get physical early so the pass rush has time to get to Derek Carr. The former second-round pick has improved his performance during his sophomore season in the NFL. Carr has 24 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The one flaw in his game is when he sees the blitzer coming. Carr will shift his weight to his back foot and throw off that foot without proper distribution, which is very similar to what San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers did for many years in his career. Carr, a former Fresno State quarterback, will rush his throws if the blitzer is visible. He will also get a little more antsy in the pocket if he takes a couple of hits.

The key is to press the receivers early and force Carr to hold onto the football then back off in coverage once he begins to rush his throws.

Here's how things are different for Chiefs in Oakland this year from ESPN

Last season the Chiefs headed to Oakland after playing their most emotional, most physical game of the year against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. They had to expend plenty of energy to win that one.

Then, with the Raiders game being on a Thursday night, the Chiefs faced a short week to prepare for an opponent with an 0-10 record. They had to fly to California on Wednesday. It's no wonder they came out flat.

This year's Chiefs didn't have things laid out for them in last week's win over the Bills -- not after falling behind by a couple of scores early in the game. But it didn't require the same kind of effort as last year against Seattle to rally and beat Buffalo. Even if it had, the Chiefs have a full week this time to recover and prepare for the Raiders.

Ex-Kansas star, current Raiders rookie LB Ben Heeney develops as a man, player from Chiefs Digest

"It's been a whirlwind for me," Heeney said in a telephone interview. "A lot of moving parts in a short period of time, but everything is good."

Both life-changing events, for sure, but the birth of his son influenced Heeney's desire to slow down away from the playing field.

"I'm providing for another human being's life, so it's just like you have to step up to the plate," the new father said. "You're providing for a life, so your entire mindset changes."

Of Chief Concern? Not Much from MMQB

Six weeks ago, the Chiefs appeared to be on life support. They were 1-5 by late October, with an offense that had already lost Jamaal Charles and was wheezing its way to fewer than 20 points per game. They'd just lost their fifth game in a row, a 16-10 rock fight up north in Minnesota, and the preseason hope that Alex Smith and friends could emerge as the best of the wild-card bunch was all but gone.

Those days, and that team, are tougher to imagine lately. Kansas City—fresh off five straight wins and a run of offensive dominance that rivals any of Andy Reid's time in Missouri—is the hottest team in football. Even with Ben Roethlisberger raining fire from the skies in Pittsburgh, the Chiefs look like the safest bet to secure one of the two extra playoffs spots in the AFC, and they've done it via a combination of both expected and unexpected means.

Khalil Mack And Raiders Defense Hope To Snap Chiefs Turnover Streak from Raiders.com

The Kansas City Chiefs rank No. 2 on that list with a plus 12 differential, behind just the undefeated Carolina Panthers plus 16, but over the past five weeks, they're boasting an even more impressive plus 14; so it's no surprise that each of those five games has ended in a Kansas City Chiefs win.

"They're a great defense," defensive end Khalil Mack said about the Chiefs. "From what I can see, everybody is in position. They're working together."

Perhaps even more impressive than the fact that the Chiefs defense is now forcing turnovers in bunches, is that their offense hasn't turned the ball over once during the course of their five-game winning streak - a trend that defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., hopes to buck Sunday afternoon.

Key Matchups To Watch: Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs from Raiders.com

Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree vs. Cornerback Marcus Peters

Michael Crabtree, and the entire Raiders receiving corps as a whole, will have their hands full this week going against rookie cornerback Marcus Peters.

The No. 18 overall pick out of the University of Washington in this year's NFL Draft has more than lived up to the billing as a shutdown corner, and through 11 games he already leads the Chiefs with 4 interceptions.

If Derek Carr and the offense wants to build on their performance last week, Crabtree and the rest of the receivers will have to find a way to win their one-on-one matchups against Peters.

That won't be an easy task as the Oakland, Calif.,-native will want to deliver a quality performance, squaring off against his hometown team.

N.F.L. Week 13 Previews and Picks from The New York Times

Best Games to Watch

1. Chiefs (6-5) at Raiders (5-6)

4:05 p.m. Eastern time. Line: Chiefs by 2½...

...To win, Carr will probably need to be perfect, as the Chiefs' offense has not turned the ball over in five consecutive games and should not have much trouble scoring against the subpar Oakland defense. But with a chance to complicate the playoff hopes of a division rival, Carr and the Raiders have a fighting chance.

PICK: RAIDERS

Norton: Takeaways high priority vs efficient Chiefs team from CSN Bay Area

The Chiefs are plus-14 in the last five games. The Raiders are minus-3 in that span.

"We work hard and talk a lot about takeaways, find different ways how to get the ball out, find different ways to get an edge to get in front of the ball and make plays," Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "Then on the other side of it, the offense tries to make it a no-turnover day where they try to protect the ball a lot. So they've done a really good job of protecting the ball and we'd like to continue to improve our ability to take the ball away. So it's going to be a really good challenge for us."

Much of that has to do with Smith being smart. Smith is known as a check-down artist, though his 7.6 yards per pass attempt is second only to his 2012 season in Santa Clara. His current number is 11th among NFL quarterbacks. Jeremy Maclin has helped in that regard, as had speedy tight end Travis Kelce.

Rodney Hudson A Welcome Sight Back On The Practice Field from Raiders.com

No. 61 was a welcome sight at Thursday afternoon's practice in the rain at the Oakland Raiders Alameda, Calif., facility. Center Rodney Hudson returned to practice, albeit on a limited basis, after aggravating his ankle injury against the Detroit Lions. Hudson originally injured the ankle late in the Raiders loss at Pittsburgh.

Hudson was the centerpiece to the Raiders free agent haul when the signing period opened back in March. Hudson played in 32 games with 31 starts for the Kansas City Chiefs before coming to Oakland. He has started all nine games he's played in this year. He has been a huge factor in four of the Raiders five wins this year, making the protection calls and propelling the running game. His ability to pull and block downfield have added a dimension to both the running game and the screen game in the passing offense.

NFL predictions: It's rivalry week in pro football from News OK

Chiefs at Raiders: Kansas City 31-23. My pick for the most underrated NFL rivalry. Nothing screams "AFL" like the late Sunday afternoon memories of the Raiders and the Chiefs playing on NBC, with Charlie Jones calling the action. Kansas City leads the series 58-52-2. Think about that. These teams started in 1960; their first game was Sept. 16, 1960, about four months before I was born. And yet they've played the exact same number of games as Michigan-Ohio State, who first played in 1897.

Raiders' Roberts can't believe he's winning NFL games either from The San Jose Mercury News

Seth Roberts had never caught a game-winning touchdown pass in his life before this season.

Now, he's already grabbed two game-winners from Derek Carr, and the former undrafted free agent is seizing his increased opportunities with the Raiders. None of that has quite set in yet.

"It's still kind of new to me that I'm in the NFL," Roberts said. "I just haven't sat back and thought about, like, 'Dang, I'm in the NFL.' "

Friday NFL preview: Will Bradford, Collins return Sunday? from ESPN

Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson suggested Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware would play at running back Sunday against the Raiders. "You see Charcandrick as more of that slasher, quick-cut guy, and then here comes [Ware], a big, physical guy that can hit you downhill. It's a change of pace for a defense." -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is getting excellent protection. Oakland has allowed just 14 sacks. It is tied for the fewest in the NFL with the Jets. Oakland has allowed a sack on 3.2 percent of all dropbacks, which is the second-lowest rate in the NFL. -- Bill Williamson

Week 13 NFL Preview: Colts, Steelers showdown could provide fireworks even without Andrew Luck from The Denver Post

Kansas City at Oakland, 2:05 p.m. The Chiefs are 5-0 in their last five games with wins against Pittsburgh, Denver and Buffalo. Outside of Carolina, the Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL.

Panthers' biggest flaw may be letting foes hang around from The Washington Post

What about a team with a more muddled record, like the Chiefs? Kansas City's six wins have been dominant: they have come with an average time of 33.5 minutes remaining.  That's heavily influenced by the fact the Chiefs recorded first-quarter knockouts in half of those wins (against Houston, Detroit, and Denver). In the Chiefs' five losses, their average time of knockout was with just under 15 minutes remaining.

To compile an overall grade, I took a weighted average (based on the number of wins and losses) of the team's average time of knockout (in wins) and average time of being knocked out (in losses), with time representing the number of minutes left in regulation. For the Chiefs, this gave them an average time of knockout of 11.8 minutes remaining, the fifth best mark in the NFL.

Week 13 NFL picks: Odell Beckham Jr. leads Giants over Jets from Newsday

CHIEFS (6-5) AT RAIDERS (5-6)

Chiefs by 3; O/U: 44

The Chiefs are on a five-game winning streak primarily because of their stingy defense and strong rushing game. Those two qualities also apply to the Vikings, who went into Oakland three weeks ago and dominated. I expect Kansas City to follow the same blueprint and continue its hot play.

The pick: Chiefs

PFT's Week 13 picks from ProFootballTalk

Chiefs at Raiders

MDS's take: The Chiefs are on fire lately, and Andy Reid is a coach of the year candidate after a miserable start. They'll keep it going against the Raiders.

MDS's pick: Chiefs 34, Raiders 17.

Florio's take: The Chiefs have won five in a row. Of their final five games, this is the one that the Chiefs could lose. If they don't, Kansas City could finish with 10 straight victories. The Chiefs are simply a little too banged up for this one, and the Raiders know their window is getting narrower.

Florio's pick: Raiders 23, Chiefs 20.

NFL Picks, Week 13: I'll take the 49ers plus the big points in Chicago and the Raiders as a home ‘dog vs. the Chiefsfrom The San Jose Mercury News

RAIDERS +2.5, over Kansas City. My comment: I'll just grab the points with the home team and see if the Raiders can squeeze out enough points to cover this... and maybe even take down the surging Chiefs.

One reason I'm sticking with my favorite Silver/Black team: The Raiders are 5-2 against the Vegas spread as an underdog this season.
No question, the Chiefs D is serious (have given up 13 or fewer points in four of the previous five games), but it got knocked around a bit vs. Buffalo last week (415 yards) and I can see Derek Carr & Co. figuring out a way to get 20 points.

I'll go the safe route and predict a Raiders loss-but-cover, something like 21-20 Kansas City.