By Ryan Leong
At this point of the season, the Raiders might be better off losing their last three games. While a win is beyond due for this team, more wins lessen the chances of their first round pick in the upcoming 2013 draft.
Currently, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs are both tied for the fewest wins in the NFL with two. The Raiders are tied at three wins with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.
So oddly enough, it would be in Oakland’s favor if the 2-10 Chiefs beat the 4-8 Cleveland Browns in their Sunday matchup.
Kansas City will play the remainder of the season with heavy hears following the aftermath of the murder/suicide of Jovan Belcher who senselessly killed his girlfriend, the mother of his three month old daughter. Head coach Romeo Crennel pleaded with Belcher to put down his gun when he committed suicide in front of Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.
Having witnessed such a horrifying event, the sadness and pain will never be a moment he’ll be able to forget.
“You can’t go away from it. I’ll never be able to go away from it,” Crennel said. “But in the business that we’re in, we have to try to move on and we have to try to focus on our job. And that’s the way life is.”
On Wednesday, the team’s practice schedule was adjusted so they could attend the funeral of their 25-year old teammate.
Then, Saturday morning, at least a dozen members of the Chiefs organization attended the memorial service for Kasandra Perkins, the 22-year-old woman killed by Belcher.
Perhaps the tragedy was a way to bring the team closer. The Chiefs went on to beat the Carolina Panthers for only their second win of the season.
“We have to deal with the events of the last few days, and it’s not over, and it may not be over for some of us for most of our lives, but time heals all wounds, and so we’re going to start working on the time thing,” Crennel said.
It’s a return to Cleveland for quarterback Brady Quinn. Quinn was drafted 22nd overall by the Browns in the 2007 NFL Draft. But Quinn never lived up to the expectations and traded to Denver in exchange for running back Peyton Hillis and two draft picks in 2010. Quinn was a bench player for two years and then moved onto Kansas City where he was reunited with Crennel, his head coach when he was in Cleveland.
Hillis had a breakthrough year in 2010, setting career highs in rushing yards (1,177), carries (270), receptions (61), receiving yards (477) and touchdowns (13).
But in 2011, injuries limited him to only 587 yards rushing and three touchdowns in 10 games. Like Quinn, Hillis is now a member of the Chiefs and signed a one year contract with Kansas City.
Because of the productivity of Jamaal Charles, Hillis only has 193 yards and a touchdown on 59 carries. Charles is among the best runners in the league, 1,055 yards with 4.8 per carry.
The Browns have played much better football of late after an 0-5 start. They’ve won four of seven games including a win over the Raiders this past Sunday. Beating the Chiefs and former coach Crennel will give Cleveland its first three game win streak since 2009.
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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.