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Chiefs vs. Raiders: How the West is Won

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  Rudy Niswanger #64 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game  at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 15, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Shannon HollenbeckContributor INovember 6, 2010

So two of the most overlooked football teams are now sitting 1 and 2 and a mere 1.5 games apart atop the AFC West. No one expected either of these teams to go very far this season. Like Rodney Dangerfield, they “get no respect”. Sometimes because they don’t deserve it, sometimes because the press just doesn’t love them like they love San Diego or Dallas.

But here they are clearly with the best odds for taking the AFC West title. What does this mean? For one it means one of the best division shootouts we’ve seen in quite awhile.

Both these teams have a chip on their shoulder and something to prove and the media has done nothing but fuel that by their lack of acknowledgement that these ARE good football teams. Both these teams are out to take the AFC West title and this game will have a big impact on that.

 

What to expect

 

Both teams will run the ball

Kansas City has the No. 1 rushing squad in the league with their dynamic duo of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Oakland is right behind them at No. 2 and Darren McFadden has been unstoppable in recent games.

 

Quarterback Pressures

Kansas City frustrated San Francisco’s 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith with repeated sacks in Week 3. Then repeatedly shut down league’s top quarterback, Peyton Manning, in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Oakland stopped Denver’s Kyle Orton at every turn in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos and turned around and sacked Seattle Seahawk’s Matt Hasselback an astounding eight times in Week 8.

 

Penalties

Nevermind that both teams have cut back their penalties this year. This game is a fierce rivalry and there will be unnecessary penalties on both sides.

 

Passing Games

Expect short “clutch passes” and play-action fakes from Kansas City's Matt Cassel to supplement the run, and dotted with some big plays to Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki.

Expect Oakland’s passing game to be bigger and bolder with Jason Campbell throwing longer and flashier passes. It will more than likely test the abilities of Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry.

 

Special Teams

Both Kansas City and Oakland have plenty of talent in Special Teams so expect some big plays or at least game-influencing plays in that area.


Wrapping it up

So what’s my final word on this game? I don’t dare try to call it. I know these are two very good, very fierce football teams that both want this win badly.

Neither team has been consistent up to this point. Many things can go right or wrong for both teams. Let’s face it they’ve both been known to shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak.

I’ll be on the edge of my seat for the whole game watching it with… if you can believe it, my Raiders-fan fiance’ (yeah I didn’t know until it was too late).

Unfortunately no matter what the outcome of this game is I doubt either team will have the respect it deserves come Monday.

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