By Ryan Leong
When you think of the biggest rivals for the Oakland Raiders, one team instantly comes to mind — the hated Kansas City Chiefs. Although KC is struggling with a 1-5 record, make no mistake, it’s one of football’s Hatfield’s vs. McCoy’s.
Founded as a charter member of the defunct American Football League by the late Lamar Hunt, the Chiefs began play as the Dallas Texans in 1960 before moving to Kansas City in 1963.
Like the Raiders, the Chiefs have a storied franchise history, and late owner Lamar Hunt, like Al Davis, was a visionary. It’s a fairly well known fact that Hunt’s daughter played with a toy called a super ball and that’s where Hunt came up with the “Super Bowl” name that we all take for granted today.
This season has been forgettable for the faithful wearing the famed KC arrowhead logo. After weeks of disappointing play from quarterback Matt Cassel, the reigns have officially been given to former first round pick Brady Quinn.
In Cassel last game, against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 7, he suffered a concussion which actually drew cheers from the home crowd who had been less than pleased with his mediocre play. Cassel has thrown nine interceptions and only five touchdowns this season. He’s also lost five fumbles.
Many things are in the Raiders’ favor. The Silver and Black come into this matchup having won the last five games at Arrowhead stadium. Oakland is also looking for its first road win in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs haven’t held a lead in regulation all season and lost four games by at least 16 points. Their lone win was in overtime as the Chiefs came back down 18 points to beat the New Orleans Saints, 27-24.
KC has lost three straight and is coming off its bye week, so they’ve had some time to try and correct the problems on the field.
Quinn hasn’t lived up to his potential when drafted 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns back in 2007. As a starter, his career record is 3-10. He has completed 53 percent of his passes with 10 career touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Chiefs on offense have two big weapons, running back Jamaal Charles and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Bowe has three touchdowns and 34 catches for 427 yards. That means he averages 12.6 yards a catch and 71.2 yards a game.
Charles is a power running back. He has rushed for 591 yards in six games, averaging 98.5 per contest and 5.1 yards a carry scoring two touchdowns. Other than those two, the Chiefs next leading rusher and receiver have amassed less than half the offensive numbers posted by the duo of Charles and Bowe.
Needless to say, it’s imperative the Raiders keep both these guys in check if they’re to come away with that coveted road victory.
Many noted football experts are picking the Chiefs to win but it should be a close game. Given the Raiders’ own struggles with turnovers and ball possession, it will probably resemble the game they played against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was ugly, but they won and that’s all that matters.
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Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.