The Oakland Raiders have gone a calendar year without a victory.
Now they get to, uh, showcase their act in prime time — against one of the NFL's hottest teams.
Oakland (0-10), the only winless team in the league, hosts Kansas City (7-3) on Thursday night. The Chiefs, who dropped their first two games, pulled into a tie with Denver atop the AFC West last Sunday with an impressive victory over Seattle.
Of course, facing the worst team in the league can present problems. Chiefs coach Andy Reid never sensed any complacency from his players, in great part because of the long rivalry between these franchises — a rivalry that at times has been downright nasty.
"There's just something about the history of it," said Reid, who is in just his second season experiencing Chiefs-Raiders. "I know the guys feel that. You can't help but feel it when you're out there. It's a wild place to play and they remind you that's it's a rivalry every snap."
The short week sometimes is an advantage for the underdog. The desperate Raiders will take any little edge they can find.
"Just losing games is what weighs on us," safety Charles Woodson said. "We're not worried about we're 0-and-whatever. We're just tired of losing games. We have to find a way to win."
Kansas City (No. 4 in AP Pro32) is a seven-point favorite at Oakland (No. 32, AP Pro32). The Chiefs' defense will stymie rookie quarterback Derek Carr from the outset.
No. 2 Arizona (plus 6 1-2) at No. 11 Seattle
Seahawks are desperate, but the spread over 9-1 Cardinals is too high.
BEST BET: SEAHAWKS, 20-19
No. 28 New York Jets (plus 4 1-2) at No. 20 Buffalo
Jets off win and bye, Bills slumping and banged-up. Might play in chest-high snow.
UPSET SPECIAL: JETS, 16-13
No. 6 Detroit (plus 7) at No. 1 New England
Lions have a good defense, Patriots look great in all areas.
No. 14 Baltimore (plus 3 1-2) at No. 21 New Orleans, Monday night
Once invincible at home, Saints have lost two straight in Big Easy. Still ...
No. 15 Miami (plus 7) at No. 5 Denver
Can't imagine Broncos, even with all their injuries, losing yet another in November.
No. 3 Green Bay (minus 9 1-2) at No. 24 Minnesota
Pro Picks wants to see if Packers can dominate in a road game. This week?
No. 19 St. Louis (plus 5) at No. 16 San Diego
Two teams impossible to figure out. Rams fear no one, making this close.
No. 13 Cincinnati (plus 2) at No. 18 Houston
Two more teams impossible to figure out. Here's WATT will happen:
No. 7 Dallas (minus 3 1-2) at No. 26 New York Giants
Cowboys need a win to keep pace with Eagles in NFC East before they meet on Thanksgiving.
No. 29 Tennessee (plus 11) at No. 8 Philadelphia
Eagles need a win to keep pace with Cowboys in NFC East before they meet on Thanksgiving.
No. 30 Washington (plus 8) at No. 10 San Francisco
49ers aren't very impressive, but remain a contender. Redskins are in a funk.
No. 17 Cleveland (plus 3) at No. 22 Atlanta
Falcons are tied for first place at 4-6. Browns are tied for last at 6-4. Go figure.
No. 31 Jacksonville (plus 14) at No. 9 Indianapolis
Even with their injuries, Colts outman struggling Jaguars.
No. 27 Tampa Bay (plus 5 1-2) at No. 23 Chicago
Last and definitely least ...
2014 RECORD: Against spread: This week (6-8); Season (77-77-4). Straight up: This week (10-4); Season (105-54-1)
Best Bet: 5-6 against spread, 6-5 straight up.
Upset special: 7-4 against spread, 5-6 straight up.
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