Both Oakland and Kansas City are on their third starting quarterback of the season and neither of Saturday’s starters started the season on their respective teams.
Raiders QB Carson Palmer is looking for redemption from a three interception performance against Kansas City in Oakland debut. Palmer began the season property of the Bengals and had been part of the Raiders for only a few days prior playing against the Chiefs.
“I don’t know if I would have taken the position to try and finish out this season if I didn’t want to be a head coach again,” Crennel said.
“People will look at it and say the circumstances are not great and all those good things, but in football, circumstances are not great and you have to line up and you have to play every week. So, this is a three-game season that I have and so I’m going to do the very best that I can for these three games and we’ll see how it turns out.”
He’s off to a great start. The Chiefs, riding an obvious wave of emotion, played one of their best games of the season last week in beating previously undefeated Green Bay.
It’s a second-life Chiefs players are appreciative of and hoping to capitalize upon.
“We know what’s at stake and we know that we have an opportunity in front of us,” safety Kendrick Lewis said. “Guys are hungry, but humble about the task we have at hand. We have a chance to make it to the playoffs if we can keep things going good on our end. Hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”
Kyle Orton (left) adds a new dimension. He can heave the ball down the field. But the Raiders are capable of pressuring the quarterback, so things will be more difficult for Orton this week. Last week Orton’s 23 completions went to 10 receivers. The Chiefs needed to develop some weapons other than Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston. Now the Raiders have more to worry about.
A crushing 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lions aside, the road for the Raiders (7-7) coming off three straight defeats is straightforward: beat the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and the San Diego Chargers next week at home, then see Denver lose to Kansas City in Week 17.
That would put the Raiders at 9-7 and prevailing as the AFC West champions with a 4-2 division record to Denver’s 3-3. The Broncos are a game up at 8-6, but their game today at Buffalo is irrelevant to the Raiders’ cause.
“We’re still playing for the playoffs,” Raiders fullback Marcel Reece said recently. “We want to stay together and win as many games as possible, because we still believe we have a chance.”