In Oakland...the games you always really wanted to come see were the Niners and the Chiefs. You grew up hating red...It goes deep. It's not just the teams. It's the organizations, you know, which organization is better? These are two teams that played in the old AFL against each other. Most of the history goes back to it. They've been AFC West rivals for a very, very long time. It's always been the must-win game.
It's a dark game. I characterize it as a lot of darkness." When asked whether "dark" was meant as 'a good vs. evil dark'—"You can read between the lines.
Only one word: Blood.
—Harvey Williams (who was with Oakland that season after four years in Kansas City) in a 1995 NBC interview for the team's first meeting in Oakland since 1981.
The Chiefs are one of two teams, that the Raiders have played ten or more times, that the Raiders do not have a winning record against.
To look at the history of this match-up is to glimpse at the history of the AFL itself, but with the Raiders strong performance in a tough week one loss, Raider fans are more concerned about the future than the past.
Kansas City is a three point favorite heading into this game. Take the points and the Raiders! Let’s look at the recent history of these two teams to help us analyze the upcoming game.
Obviously both of these teams are different than they were last year, but that does not mean we will not be able to gain some insight by looking into last years match-ups.
Raiders 23 Chiefs 8 Week 2 ‘08 at Arrowhead Stadium
The Raiders victory in week 2 was a direct result of the Raiders dominance in the run game. McFadden, Bush, and Fargas had 46 carries for 297 yards. That’s 6.46 yards a carry.
The Chiefs running backs had 17 carries for 34 yards. Easy math on that one makes it two yards a carry.
The passing game was an after thought for the Raiders, as it was for most of Lane Kiffin’s Raider coaching career.
Jamarcus was 6/17 with 55 yards and only, while only one of those receptions was to a wide receiver.
The Chiefs quarterbacks, Huard and Thigpen, were 16 for 37 and 168 yards.
The Raiders tallied five sacks to the Chiefs zero.
Chiefs 20 Raiders 13 Week 13 ’08 Oakland Coliseum
The Chiefs won the turnover and big play battle, while being able to slow down the Raiders ground game.
One of the Chiefs two touchdowns came on a 67 yard fumble return when Lechler tried a pitch to Janikowski on a fake field goal. The Raiders lost two fumbles in this game.
Raiders backs ran the ball 25 times for 95 yards. That’s 3.8 yards a carry. Fargas had 18 of the carries and McFadden seven.
Russell was 10/28 for 132 yards. Only one of those completions was to a receiver and that was for zero yards on a hook and latteral play. Zach Miller was the leading receiver for both games.
The Chiefs backs had 26 carries for 96 yards. That’s 3.7 yards a carry. In this game
Thigpen had 11 carries for 48 yards.
Thigpen was 15/22 with 162 yards (110 of those yards were to Tony Gonzalez) and an INT.
Again the Chiefs had zero sacks. The Raiders tallied one. The Raiders were 3-13 on third downs while the Chiefs converted at 50 percent.
This being only the second week of the season, it is hard to get a good analysis on the trends of teams strengths and weaknesses- the sample size is just too small.
I am going to look at anyway.
Ravens 38 Chiefs 24 Week One ‘09 M&T Bank Stadium.
The Chiefs hung in this game by winning the turnover battle.
The Chiefs blocked a punt and recovered it in the endzone. The Chiefs fumbeled twice but did not lose either of those. They picked off Flaco once and returned it for 70 yards.
Croyle was efficient and smart and had decent protection.
Croyle was 16/24 and 177 yards with two td’s. The Ravens tallied three sacks and the Chiefs one.
Croyle threw to the TE’s five times for one catch and 10 yards, the WR’s 14 for 10 and 132 yards, and the backs five times for five catches and 35 yards.
The Ravens dominanted the ground game.
The Chiefs backs carried 16 times for 27 yards.
The Ravens backs carried 25 times for 171 yards. That’s 6.87 yards a carry.
Despite the success on the ground the Ravens let Flacco air it out. He was 26/43 with 306 yards.
He threw to the WR’s 22 times for 12 completions and 167 yards, the backs 13 times for nine completions and 66 yards, and the TE eight times for five completions and 74 yards
The Chiefs were seconds away from being doubled in time of possesion.
The Raiders need to protect the ball. Especially since they are playing on the road for the Chiefs home opener. The Chiefs are going to be amped up and the fans are going to be loud and ravenous. The Raiders cannot feed this monster with turnovers.
With healthy backs and an offensive line, they should be able to establish the ground game and win the time of possesion battle.
The Chiefs will stack the box and try and force the Raiders to pass. This should open up the field for Zach Miller to have another solid game.
He was their best weapon in the passing game against the Chiefs last year and Heap was the Ravens most efficient weapon in the passing game against the Chiefs last week.
Expect the Raiders backs to get involved in the passing game as well. Higgins appears doubtful for this week, so look for McFadden to line up at WR in multiple plays.
Also, Russell has always done well at finding his backs in the passing game, while the Chiefs new 3-4 scheme allowed the Ravens just over five yards per pass attempt to backs last week.
Russell should have time to deliver the ball. The Chiefs struggled with the pass rush last year and have not shown any improvement this year.
Look for Russell to improve on his numbers from last week. He will need some help from his receivers to do this and that, of course, is the big unkown.
The Raiders young receivers will be going against much younger corners than they did last week. They should be able to make a couple of big plays in this game.
However, it will not be shocking to see the chaos and noise, combined with their inexperience, to lead to some miscues in route running and/or ball handling.
On the defensive side, the Raiders should be able to build on what looks like their massively improved run defense.
The Chiefs did not have much success running the ball last year on the Raiders and did little to improve their run game this year, besides adding the aging Mike Goff to the line.
The Chiefs run numbers were pitiful last week, but it was against the Ravens D. Being embarrassed last week, while being fueled by the home opener this week, look for the Chiefs running game to give the Raiders their best effort.
Unless the passing game catches fire and opens up some holes it is reasonable to assume the Raiders can handle the Chiefs running game.
Publicly the Chiefs still do not know who will be helming their passing game. It might not matter much. The Raiders should be able to generate a decent pass rush. If Cassel does not have full mobility it would probably be wise to hold him out.
The Chiefs found decent success passing to the WR’s last week and this will be an interesting match-up this week.
The Raiders secondary matches up well with the Chiefs receivers. The Raiders have talked about having Asomugha shadow the opposing teams best WR this year (this was not the case last week). I doubt they will ever find a more appropriate game to do that than this one.
The Chiefs face a fierce decline in WR talent after Dwayne Bowe. Whoever is on Bowe should have the benefit of having safety help most of the game, because:
Let all of Raider Nation say this together, Tony Gonzalez is gone! The throw to the TE was by far their least efficient pass play last week.
The Raiders seem to have the Chiefs beat in every facet of the game except the passing game (and kick off return coverage) but look for the Chiefs difficulties handling the run to open up a few big plays for the Raiders passing offense.
If the Raiders protect the ball, they will win. Barring any big turnovers pray or no look Lechler to Janikowski flip plays this should be a Raider victory.
Raiders 24 Chiefs 13