Yes, the Raiders unequivocally have more talent than our Chiefs. As Al Gore would say, the debate is over. I didn’t even need to put on 100 pounds, start talking like a gay Forrest Gump or whip out any charts either. When the Raiders can invade Arrowhead and pillage our Chiefs despite the game being our home opener, there’s no contest in the talent department. Right now, the Silver and Black have a decided talent advantage over the Red and Gold. But that only tells half of the story.
Yes, the Raiders have a stud stable of running backs — Huggy Bear, Michael Bush and Run DMC. At tight end they have Zach Miller, who plays like Todd Heap wishes he still did. They have the league’s best corner in Nnamdi Asomugha, who would be a household name if anybody could actually pronounce his damn name. The Raidahs also have Richard Seymour, possibly the NFL’s best and most versatile defensive lineman. I could keep going, too.
Their roster is crowded with talent the way Cali’s penile system is crowded with cons. There’s one problem, however, and it’s that the Raiders’ franchise is flawed in it’s construction. When it comes to the four most important aspects of running a successful pro football franchise — head coach, general manager, quarterback and a dedicated owner that will stay out the hell out of the way — we’ve got the Raiders beat.
At quarterback, JaMarcus Russell is going to be a bust no matter what. He will never, ever live up to his billing as a No. 1 overall pick. His extreme upside, and this is ridiculously unlikely here, is Daunte Culpepper during his Minnesota hey day. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Randy Moss ain’t walking back into that locker room anytime soon. The other bad news for Raiders fans is that when Russell came out of college, it gave Al Davis the first erection he’d had in over 30 years. Pair that with the cool $68 mil the Crypt Keeper owes FatMarcus, and I think it’s safe to say the Raiders are stuck with Russell.
Meanwhile, we’ve got Matt Cassel, a signal caller who has the ability to eventually become one of the 10 best QBs in football. We also have Brodie Croyle who, when not spontaneously combusting into shards of flesh and football equipment, is one of the better young back-up QBs in football.
As for the front office, the Pioli Trinity trumps Al Davis, Al Davis and Al Davis. Don’t get it twisted — Tom the Cable Guy is simply an extension of the Jumpsuited One. He’s a “yes man,” a puppet. When Cable decked a Raiders assistant coach recently, it was likely Puppet Master Al who actually threw the first punch. Al Davis is obsessed with three things: speed, potential and control. Oh, yeah, pomade, too. OK, four things. The point is that until he croaks — and bless his old, decrepit ass for his contributions to the game of football — the Raiders are in deep, deep doo-doo.
Back in Kansas City, the Chiefs have a young, selfless owner looking to revive the franchise his late father cherished; the co-architect of the Patriots dynasty as its GM; and a hungry head coach who just offensive coordinated the Cardinals of all teams into the Super Bowl. Is it just me, or is it obvious which front office is set up for success and which one is not?
If that’s not enough, the Chiefs will have more cap room than any other NFL team next offseason. The Raiders? They’ve pretty much maxed out their free agent credit cards. Additionally, we have three picks in the top 60 in next year’s draft, while the Raiders just traded away a 2011 first-rounder with hopes that they could re-sign Seymour. The Raiders can’t coalesce much more talent around Russell, if any, and even if they could he couldn’t take the freakin’ AFC Pro Bowl squad to the big game. While the Raiders are busy discovering that Davis and Russell will keep them from ever being a contender, we’ll be stockpiling talent and improving. We have the front office, the building blocks (Cassell, the Brandons, Dwayne Bowe and Tyson Jackson), the cap space and we will soon have the draft picks as well (thank you, Tony G).
It hurts to watch the Raiders come in and win at Arrowhead two years in a row. But that won’t hurt nearly as bad as the pain Al Davis and his Raider Nation are about to experience. It will definitely leave a mark when they realize that their Raiders are nothing but a .500 team, and their oldest, fiercest rivals are a franchise fast-tracked for contention.