Good morning Chiefs fans. I woke up this morning and for a second thought it was Sunday, but no. Another day to wait. Not only that but it's a late game. And it's even an hour further than that because of the time change. This sucks.
Luckily, there are some great stories to hold us over today. Sports Illustrated went crazy on the Chiefs-Raiders stories. Read on and enjoy your Kansas City Chiefs news!
The only one, really, who might be giving Johnson a hard time is Haley. The coach is the one who used to coach wide receivers, who benched Johnson throughout 2009, who has emphasized the little things more than anything else this season.
"If Derrick had Jerry Rice hands," Haley said with a smile, "he’d probably be a tight end right now."
Johnson can chuckle about it now. He had nine interceptions in four seasons at the University of Texas and has seven in six NFL seasons. So he knows he’s capable. He’s just got to get his hands to cooperate.
So can we make a pact?
If the Chiefs win this weekend, we stop complaining about Cassel. We focus more on the fact that he's 10th in the NFL in passer rating and the best in football at not taking sacks and not turning the ball over.
If the Chiefs win this weekend, we stop complaining about Todd Haley's fourth down calls. We focus more on the fact that advanced statistics often - not always, but often - back his unconventional ways and, besides, if the season ended today the Chiefs would probably be holding a press conference about Haley winning theNFL's coach of the year award.
On believing in the Chiefs from Don't Kill the Mellinger
Coach Todd Haley has talked a lot about the Chiefs needing to play complementary football, meaning each player has to do his particular part if his team is going to win.
For punter Dustin Colquitt, that means not trying to outkick his Oakland counterpart, Shane Lechler. Lechler is known for his colossal punts and is second in the league with an average of almost 50 yards.
"If he has a 56-yard average, I’d be happy because that means we kept them backed up all game and he had to get it out of his end zone," Colquitt said. "If I have 40-yard average with four or five inside the 20, then I helped our defense."
Chiefs notes: Jones, Charles to turn on Plaza lights from KC Star
The Oakland Raiders defense allowed just three points with just one opponent third down conversion-on 15 of 16 attempts-during the October 31 win over the Seattle Seahawks at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Raiders defense also held the Seattle offense to only 162 yards of total offense-47 yards rushing and 115 yards passing. The Raiders limited the Seahawks to just a field goal, the fewest points allowed since the Silver and Black defeated Kansas City, 24-0 on December 28, 2002.
Raiders Set for Showdown with Chiefs from Raiders.com
The Raiders have sold out Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, meaning it will be televised locally. This marks the first time this season that Bay Area fans will get to watch a Raiders home game on TV. None of their first four home games were televised.
The Raiders last sold out a regular-season home game on Sept. 14, 2009, when they played the San Diego Chargers. Their most recent game, last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, drew just 35,217 fans to the 63,132-seat stadium.
Raiders game with the Chiefs sells out, avoiding a local blackout from The San Jose Mercury News
You can credit several people. New defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has his unit playing disciplined, timely football. Third-year defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey is having a breakout season. Linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson are both playing at an All-Pro level. Rookie safety Eric Berry is showing why he is the No. 5 overall pick. They all deserve their due credit.
But don't forget the play of third-year cornerback Brandon Flowers. He's been outstanding.
Flowers blooming for Chiefs from ESPN
"Good teams win in overtime, like we did against Buffalo last week, when everything doesn't always go well,'' Haley said. "Good teams buckle down when you lose a game like we did against the Houston Texans -- that was really a tough one, a game that could have made us crumble after that. Good teams take advantage of opportunities in games. Good teams handle success.
"But we haven't had enough success to know if we can handle success. We are still in the process of learning and building. We are trying to develop our young players. Develop our young coaches."
Todd Haley Proving There's a Method to His Madness from FanHouse
This game will not be decided on the ground, but by the team who can make the big play in the air. The team who can do that will pull away from the fight with the victory. Raiders QB Jason Campbell is fresh off two solid weeks with 204 and 310-yards, look for him to continue this against the Chiefs. The Raiders will beat the Chiefs 21-7 and QB Campbell will have 217-yards in the air with 1 touchdown.
Week 9 Bold Predictions from NFL Mocks
SPOTLIGHT PROBABLE: Kansas City at Oakland.
For a change, this game isn't for: Last place in the AFC West.
With consecutive blowouts of the Broncos and Seahawks, Oakland has proven: Those two teams are not good.
With victories over San Diego, Cleveland, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Buffalo, Kansas City has proven: It can defeat teams who won't be in the playoffs.
This game features: The two best running teams in the NFL.
This game also features: The worst passing team in the NFL (Kansas City) .
The Chiefs have won: Seven consecutive games in Oakland.
The Raiders have won: One consecutive game in Oakland.
Pregame Flyover champions mediocrity from ESPN
Oakland (4-4) can climb to within a half-game of the Chiefs (5-2) with a win. But these aren't papier mache Chiefs. Other than a freaky 35-31 loss to Houston, the Kansas City defense hasn't allowed more than 20 points on any Sunday. The Chiefs have allowed 30 points in the past nine quarters (they played five to beat Buffalo last week) and come into this game with the kind of respectable run defense they'll need to create long-yardage situations for Jason Campbell. Last year, Kansas City allowed 4.7 yards per rush; this year it's 3.8. But last week, Oakland riddled Seattle's at-the-time second-rated run defense, Darren McFadden rushing for 111 yards on 21 carries. So it's on this week.
Freeman, Bucs ignore the skeptics, plus 10 things to watch for Sunday from Sports Illustrated
McFadden leads the league with 111.3 yards rushing per game, has been a threat catching the ball out of the backfield and has scored six touchdowns in six games.
His performance the first half of the season has quieted the critics and been a major reason for the improved play from the Raiders (4-4), who are .500 or better this late in the season for the first time since their 2002 Super Bowl campaign.
McFadden Running Away from Doubters from The Sacramento Bee
Nothing beats ragging on Al Davis and the Raiders, but you have to recognize that their 212 points this season already have topped last year's 197 . . . And as they prepare to host the Chiefs how long has it been since an Oakland-Kansas City game, once one of the meanest-spirited rivalries in football, actually meant something?
Cue up the classic NFL Films music. Round up Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Ken Stabler and Ted Hendricks. Bring in John Madden.
The Raiders-Chiefs rivalry is relevant again, with Sunday's game in Oakland a potential decider in the AFC West.
"The Chiefs-Raiders rivalry was about as spirited as any in professional football in my time," says Jim Lynch, a linebacker for the great Kansas City teams of the '60s and early '70s. "They didn't like us and we didn't like them. Now it looks like the Chiefs have something going again. This week will be fun."
Cue up the music from NFL Films for key Chiefs-Raiders game from The Winnipeg Free Press
The race for first place in the AFC West starts on the ground. The best way to win in the NFL is with the running game and that is being proven in the AFC West. Division-leading Kansas City (5-2) is leading the NFL in rushing with 190.4 yards per game. No team has averaged that many yards on the ground for an entire season since New England in 1978.
Final Word: AFC West from ESPN
But we do know this: it's hard to envision a scenario in which the good times keep rolling. The Raiders are still a fairly weak team statistically, weaker even than their 4-4 record would indicate.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, represent a very, very tough matchup and enjoy a huge statistical advantage in one key area -- a prolific ground game. The Raiders counter with a very weak run defense: they allow opposing runners to gash them for 127.4 YPG (26th) and 4.74 YPA (28th).
The Chiefs are also better at the most important position on the field. Quarterback Matt Cassel, coddled by an awesome ground game, has been incredibly efficient: 10 TD, 3 interceptions and a 90.4 passer rating.
Game of the Week: Chiefs-Raiders from Sports Illustrated
Not since Art Shell and Marty Schottenheimer roamed the respective sidelines in 1994 have both teams finished with a winning record. But the Raiders can sneak within shouting distance with a win Sunday at the Black Hole.
Go ahead and question the hot starts for these teams if you must. But without question, this game will feature more running back talent and production than any other. The Chiefs are led by Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles and rank first in the league in rushing yards per game. The Raiders, with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, are second. Oakland has won its last two games by a combined 92-17, and McFadden has led the way, rushing for 276 yards.
Why Chiefs-Raiders finally matters again, and more Week 9 storylines from Sports Illustrated
Lanier's most memorable moment came in Oakland when the Raiders tried a trick play on third-and-short. Instead of a running play, they threw long to Biletnikoff.
"I started running down the field looking for the arc of the ball,'' Lanier said. "I had a rule that if you didn't touch the ball, I wasn't going to hit you. Fred was coming over from my right. I ran past him and saw him get his hand on the ball.
A moment later, Biletnikoff was on the ground, his face mask shattered, his nose broken.
Chiefs-Raiders rivalry is relevant again from Sports Illustrated