OAKLAND -- With three consecutive losses and five out of the past six games, the Raiders aren't picky about the relative quality of their opponent and how it would be viewed by the masses if they were to win.

"It'd be good to get a victory, period," cornerback Tracy Porter said. "We have to get back on track in some way, shape or form, and the Chiefs just happen to be next on our list."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen has been pushing the progress theme despite a 4-9 record, and a triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) Sunday at O.co Coliseum would provide something that has been missing from the regime directed by general manager Reggie McKenzie:

A signature win.

The Raiders last beat a team with a winning record Nov. 27, 2011, when the 7-3 Chicago Bears came to town without quarterback Jay Cutler because of injury and lost to the Raiders 25-20.

Since then, the Raiders are 0-8 against opponents that came into the game with a winning record. Three of those losses have come this season against Denver (2-0), the Chiefs (5-0) and Dallas (6-5).

Kansas City is headed for a playoff berth, remains in the AFC West title chase and is the NFL's biggest turnaround story after finishing a 2-14 season that included two losses to the Raiders.

A win would easily be the biggest moment for McKenzie and Allen and please owner Mark Davis enormously.


Advertisement

A Davis interview with Bay Area News Group columnist Tim Kawakami suggested that Davis is eager to begin the "reconstruction" of the franchise, and a win over the Chiefs could help ensure he feels good with the status quo.

"It would prove we can play playoff-type football and that we're building something here," defensive end Lamarr Houston said. "It's been in the making for the last two years, and hopefully we can have a product at the end of the season that we want to show can be something at the beginning of next year."

Allen understands the significance of beating a top-shelf team but isn't using it as a rallying cry.

"It would be a huge step for us, but I don't think we can get too focused on that," Allen said. "We have to go out, execute our responsibilities, do what we're capable of and if we can do it for four quarters, we'll see how the game turns out."

The Chiefs can make their inevitable playoff berth official with a win against the Raiders. They are coming off a 45-10 win against Washington, snapping a three-game losing streak of their own.

"A loss in the NFL, it's a week in real time, but it seems about a year when you go through it," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "We had three of those in a row, and it just seemed like forever."

The Chiefs have the best turnover margin in the NFL (plus-18) and a penchant for scoring touchdowns in ways other than by offense. Their 10 return touchdowns on defense and special teams lead the NFL.

But Kansas City has begun to open it up offensively, with quarterback Alex Smith looking downfield more than when the teams met Oct. 13. In that game, the Chiefs broken open a 14-7 game with 10 late points for a 24-7 win, with Kansas City getting only 216 yards of total offense.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has 1,161 yards rushing but, despite playing usually suspect Raiders defenses, has never been much of a factor against Oakland. With a sparkling career average of 5.6 yards per carry, Charles averages 4.2 yards against the Raiders and 43.4 yards per game in eight games.

The Chiefs are without four key players because of injury or illness in left tackle Branden Albert, wide receiver/return specialist Dexter McCluster, outside linebacker Justin Houston and tight end Anthony Fasano.

"It's a playoff-caliber team, and we're excited about it," Allen said. "We want a chance to measure ourselves against these guys."

  • Strong safety Tyvon Branch was placed on injured reserve, with one of the Raiders defensive leaders playing in just two games in 2013. Branch sustained an ankle injury in Week 2 that was never disclosed in terms of specifics, although he reportedly had a fractured ankle.

    Branch is the Raiders' highest-paid player, having signed a four-year contract with $17.6 million in guaranteed money in July 2012.

    With defensive tackle Vance Walker out with a concussion, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin was promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.

    For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on Twitter at twitter.com/Jerrymcd.