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Raiders Week, Then and Now

MIAD picExactly like last year, week 2 of the 2009 season has the Chiefs favored to win at home against their bitterly detested arch rival, the Oakland Raiders. Much like last year, the Chiefs are coming off what many considered, for lack of a better description, an “encouraging” loss against a very highly regarded team. Just like last Sunday’s game against Ravens, the Chiefs loss to the Patriots was decided in the final minutes of the game.

Last year, the Raiders came into Arrowhead following a 41-14 drubbing, at home, against AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos. This year, the Raiders come into Arrowhead on the heels of what some are calling an “impressive” showing against yet another AFC West rival, the San Diego Chargers. Much like last year’s Patriots, this season’s Chargers are widely considered to be “in the hunt” for an AFC title.

That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Last Sunday, the Raiders, newly armed with the talents of Richard Seymour, faced off against a pretty good offensive line and held LaDainian Thompson and Darren Sproles to a combined total of 78 yards and sacked Phillip Rivers 3 times. Last Sunday, Darren McFadden and Reggie Bush combined for 123 yards rushing, JaMarcus Russell passed for 208 yards and was sacked only once against what is widely considered to be one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Raiders for all intents and purposes dominated the Chargers in all but the 4th quarter and ended up losing due largely to Phillip Rivers’ Elway-esque performance in the final minutes of the game.

As has been much discussed, the Chiefs “moral victory” against the Ravens came at the expense of surrendering over 500 total yards (roughly 200 rushing & 300 passing) to what most regard as a fairly pedestrian, conservative offense. I could cite other troubling stats about last Sunday but I don’t think I need to belabor the point. We all know what we saw and are free to draw whatever conclusions we choose.

I witnessed, first-hand, the Chiefs loss to the Raiders last year. I can tell you right now it was probably the worst experience I have ever had to endure at Arrowhead. In retrospect, I feel that loss was the defining moment for all of last season. In light of what transpired in week 2 of last year, I can’t help but wonder what meaning this Sunday’s game carries for 2009. If we win, I will probably consider that to be an encouraging sign of more good to come. But if we lose this one, man, my big worry is that it will have a seriously negative impact on the rest of this season.

Let’s hear your thoughts Addicts! How do you think this game will go? How important is it to you? What would a home win against the Raiders mean? How do you think you’ll feel about the outcome, the rest of this season, or perhaps even the new regime, should the Raiders come in, and, God forbid, give us a repeat of last year?

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