When you are battling for the bottom dwellers of the AFC West, it seems like Raider week has lost most of its excitement. For once, the blame for such a failure cannot be placed solely at the feet of the Chiefs. The Raiders have had a woeful season. This has been a very exciting year in the NFL for most teams, and going into week 15, there are only three teams that are mathematically out of the playoffs. You guessed it; two of the teams are playing in this “heated” rivalry at the Oakland Coliseum.
Overall, Kansas City does lead the rivalry even if it’s not by much. Going into the game today, the Chiefs hold a lead of 55-50-2. The hatred that the teams share dates back over half a century and started when the Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans – for the record, we won the first game in 1960. The rivalry gained momentum in 1967 when the Kansas City Athletics decided to make a move to Oakland. Kansas City was still hungry for a baseball team and embraced the Royals in 1969. Oakland and Kansas City were placed in the same division adding another sport to the contempt between the cities.
You would think that the key to victory today would be obvious. If you judge by the previous meeting with the Raiders this season anyway, but I’m not sure the coaching staff is on the same page. Jamaal Charles totaled 5 rushes for 4 yards when the two teams met at Arrowhead in October. When Crennel was asked about the workload put on Charles, his answer was “Now, that I’m not exactly sure.” There is not one scenario where you want your head coach to say that he isn’t sure. At least lie to us, even “Matt Cassel had a hot hand.” I know, we all would have laughed at that response as well, but at least he would have been giving a response.
I’m looking forward to the days when the rivalry can be restored. Nothing is better than hearing a post game conference with a hall of fame coach like we did with John Madden in 1975. The Chiefs horse got quite a workout circling the field after each touchdown that day. After the 42-10 blowout, the Raiders coach said “We couldn’t beat the Chiefs, but we damn near killed their horse.”