You have to go back to December 26th, 2006 to find a game against the Oakland Raiders that meant something for the Kansas City Chiefs. At that time, the Chiefs were on their way to falling ass-backwards into the playoffs. Today’s game lacks the same urgency for the Chiefs but the magnitude and implications of the outcome of this game are sizable. I don’t think the rivalry is back but this week resembles a time when the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry did exist. Before I expand upon today’s game, I will talk about the Buffalo Bills game.
Chiefs 13, Bills 10, OT
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The Chiefs used all of the overtime period to beat the Bills. It reminded me of many of Chiefs losses of 2008 where the Chiefs had the opponent beat but the opponent did everything right to come back and win the game. The Bills let the Chiefs win the game and the Chiefs took the opportunity. It was a win and, just like the Ravens-Bills game, it required that the Chiefs enter the overtime period to win it. There is no shame in it because it was a Chiefs win and not a tie.
I think Todd Haley has been a better coach than what I thought he would be but I fault him on not perceiving the dynamic of the game. He failed in that aspect in this game and in the Colts game. With the Chiefs gaining 274 yards on the ground last week, those efforts were clearly squandered by the decision-makers. Haley is a genius when it works and an idiot when it doesn’t. Such is the life of a head coach but if I could ask one thing of him, it would be to take the lead when the chance is presented, especially when it is early in the game. Take the points!
I don’t have too much to say about the game other than the Chiefs ran really well, should have scored more points as a result. They were impressive on defense and won because they were the more talented team. Is it safe to say that Andy Studebaker can contribute to the Chiefs’ impressive defense? The worst part about extending games is that it tires out the pass rush and, ultimately, that will favor the quarterback. Kudos to Tamba Hali and Co. for chasing Ryan Fitzpatrick as long as they could. Also, could Derrick Johnson start getting some reps with the receivers because, if he catches more of the passes he knocks down, he could be NFL Defensive MVP.
Like A Rolling Stone, The Chiefs Gather No Moss
So, Randy Moss went to the Tennessee Titans. That should be interesting when they come to town. Moss served more as a talking point – he made teams question how they would be with him. My original half-serious take was this:
Later, I asked myself the question that Dan Bernstein of 670am in Chicago asks about any transaction: “Does ____ get the team closer to winning the Super Bowl?” The answer is yes. He is a pain and a quitter but I have the feeling he wants to play in this league longer and, if he would have agreed to play with the Chiefs, he would have been interested. For this season, he would have been a huge upgrade. Whether it is a blessing or a curse that he didn’t drop to the Chiefs we may never know. I do know Moss was a big reason why Matt Cassel is one of the richest QB’s in the NFL.
The Chiefs Travel To The Black Hole
As the days went on this week, my fears of the Raiders have dwindled. At the beginning of the week, they were the nightmare that has outscored their opponents 92-17 the last two weeks. Fast-forward to now where Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller are doubtful for today’s game and Tom Cable is having an actual debate on whether to start Jason “Plunkett” Campbell or Bruce Gradkowski. While the Raiders aren’t the joke that I thought they were two weeks ago, they are still the next stop on the “Vindication of Garbage Losses Tour.”
The only things that scare me about the Raiders are the weapons in Travis’ #1 point. Darren McFadden (D-Mac, not DMC) and Michael Bush are as scary as the Chiefs’ backs. The rest of Oakland’s offense does not inspire fear and the defense is formidable but probably being without Asomugha is a big disadvantage. The Raiders defense is good enough to challenge the Chiefs’ ability to maintain control of the ball but the Chiefs can take advantage of the Raiders’ lack of discipline with the ball and penalties.
I am going to be watching Branden Albert (because he will have his hands full with Kamerion Wimbley), Glenn Dorsey and Shaun Smith (because they are going to be around D-Mac’s and Bush’s running lanes). I am going to watch Eric Berry as well because it seems he is making some strides and doing more than getting picks. The Raiders are hot right now but the Chiefs are and will be the better team at the end of the season. As sure as Al Davis’ pants are soaked with urine, I know this game is going to be a good one. I think the Chiefs have 3 or 4 more losses in them. I don’t have strong feelings either way but I just don’t think that it will be this week.
Prediction: Chiefs 21, Raiders 20
Update 1, 2:00 pm CT: Here is the inactive list for today\’s game. No real surprises.