It normally does not matter where the next Chiefs game is, what time the game is, or who the Chiefs are playing that week, as long as Chief fans are able to see the game, then all is well. A normal Chiefs fan is concerned with the injury report and who is or who is not active for the upcoming game. Chief fans pay attention around the NFL to see what other matchups seem like possible good games to watch other than the Chiefs game. These activities are typical actions for Chief fans on a “normal” week during the season, but, week 7 of this season is not a “normal” week, this is one of two weeks during the season that Chief players, coaches, management, alumni, and especially Chief fans always seem to have that extra level of excitement and concentration for. No this is anything but an ordinary week for the Chiefs family, this is RAIDER WEEK!
The AFC West is as deadlocked as can be at this point, and it seems as if all four teams in the division are more even than they have been in recent seasons. The Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers are tied for first place with 3-3 records, but the Broncos and the Raiders are not far behind with 2-3 records. The Chiefs and Raiders have developed a rivalry that has become one of the most intense and well known in the NFL, with every game having at least one incident that causes a small pushing and shoving match among the players. Chiefs players from the past always have stories about the Raider games they were involved in, and those stories don’t always include happy endings. Former Chief Neil Smith always said that he enjoyed the games against the Raiders, because he was a part of many games that the Chiefs won against the Raiders. The 1990′s were a decade mostly dominated by the Chiefs in this rivalry. The Chiefs were 18-3 against the Raiders in the decade of the 90′s. Neil Smith and the late Derrick Thomas were the cornerstones of a Chiefs defense that dominated many teams during the decade, but always seemed to have a little extra for the Raiders. By the time year 2000 came around, the Raiders seemed to have turned the table on the Chiefs. From 2000 to 2002 the Raiders went 5-1 against the Chiefs, a streak that seemed unbelievable to the Chiefs organization. No matter what kind of streak the Raiders were currently on, reality has a funny way of coming back and slapping someone in the face. The Oakland Raiders are now entering year five of a streak that has now slapped them for eight straight games against the Chiefs. The Raiders have not beaten the Chiefs since 2002, and have not looked good going down in defeat.
This Sunday afternoon the Chiefs will be in search of an above .500 record, along with extending the streak against the Raiders to nine consecutive games, which would be the longest losing streak the Raiders have ever had against another team. During the streak against the Raiders, the Chiefs always seem to have to battle until the final seconds to get the victory, but at some point during the game, the Raiders always seem to make that one major mistake that ends up being the deciding factor. Fans in Kansas City have gotten to the point where he or she sits and waits for what some have come to call “Raiderball” to show up. Raiderball shows up in so many different ways, and seems to never miss a game. In some cases the Raiders always seem to be able to have that quarterback that is able to have a very good game, until the final game winning drive, and then he throws an interception in the end zone in the games final seconds. The Raiders also seem to have that running back that gains yards in huge chunks against the Chiefs, but is also able to fumble at just the right time, and opens the door for the Chiefs to score the winning point in the end. What the Raiders have become most known for in the past few years is the ability to have a head coach that just possesses that ability to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. Names that include Norv Turner, Art Shell, and Bill Callahan, among a cast of inept assistant coaches have helped the Oakland Raiders achieve the ability to have streaks like the one they have against not only our Kansas City Chiefs, but also the San Diego Chargers. Losing eight games in a row to one team is amazing enough, but to be able to do it against two different teams is just special.
This Sunday the Chiefs will enter the “Black Hole” in Oakland to face the Raiders again. Damon Huard will lead an offense that has shown some signs of life in the past couple of games. Larry Johnson had an excellent first half against the Bengals last week, but again disappeared in the second half. There is a chance that the Chiefs running game will get a much needed boost with the possible return of former starting running back Priest Holmes. Holmes returns to practice this week from a two year absence after suffering a severe neck injury. Head coach Herm Edwards says there is a chance Priest could be active for the game against the Raiders, but he will have to see how he looks after practicing this week. The possibility of having Pro Bowl level stars at tight end with the future hall of famer Tony Gonzalez, on the offensive line with Brian Waters, and perhaps at running back with Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes gives Chiefs fans a major level of excitement for the rest of the season. Not to mention a possible Rookie of the Year in wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, and veterans like Eddie Kennison, Ty Law and Donnie Edwards doing their parts to make the Chiefs improve on a weekly basis.
It’s Raider Week ladies and gentlemen. Time for the Chiefs to turn it up and put the boys from Oakland in their place for the ninth time in a row. Get it done Chiefs!