The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders and we have plenty of story lines from this game as the Chiefs await the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football for a slice of first place in the AFC West. But that Monday nighter isn't the biggest story line to come out of this game -- it's the return of the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry (as if ever really left).
Here are your story lines from the Chiefs whipping the Raiders, 28-0.
The Chiefs-Raiders rivalry is back. Before the game I was complaining to a friend of mine that Todd Haley and the Chiefs don't do enough to make the Raider game more of a rivalry, like Marty used to do calling it Raider week. Haley apparently likes doing things with his actions because as the Raiders piled up a few penalties towards the end of the game, and the players started scuffling a little more, Haley sent a warning shot over to Oakland when Matt Cassel fired the ball 25-plus yards down the field into the end zone for Dwayne Bowe with two minutes left and the Chiefs leading 28-0. What might be related to that is the postgame handshake where Hue Jackson wagged his finger at Haley and said something as Haley seemed to ignore him and keep walking. Yep, the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry is back, baby.
Monday night means something. By far the biggest story line to come out of this game is what's next. On Monday night, the Chiefs are going to be playing for a share of the AFC West title. Indeed, after starting 0-3 and having both national and local media start counting the Chiefs out and talking about squabbling in the front office, KC returns to win three in a row and set themselves up for the most meaningful game of the season. The Chiefs are 3-3 hosting the 4-2 Chargers on Monday Night Football. I got a feeling the Arrowhead crowd will rival what we saw the last time San Diego visited Arrowhead on Monday night. Get your tickets and Halloween costumes because we know Chiefs fans can have an effect on this game.
Defense is the biggest turnaround so far. The Chiefs defense was the real problem in Week 1 and 2 when they were blown out a combined 89-10. It seemed the Chiefs defense was getting a pass from most of the criticism as we focused on the struggling offense but in the last three weeks the Chiefs defense has played, overall, much better. Holding San Diego to 10 points in each half last month was enough to win (even though they didn't), the Vikings only put up 17 points at Arrowhead and KC's defense shut Indy out in the second half after giving up 24 points first half points. Since halftime in Indy? Zero points.
Do we have a running game? We just might, we just might. Jackie Battle has put in two straight solid outings on the ground. It was the 119-yard performance against Indy in Week 5 and it was a solid 16-carry, 76-yard performance against a good Raiders front seven. Battle should feel proud of those yards because they're not easy to come by. The more Battle plays, you gotta wonder what his future is in KC. Jamaal Charles is the man -- clearly -- but he'll need some help down the road.
Still not sure what to think of Matt Cassel. He's been in KC for two and a half years and I still really have no idea what we'll get from him week to week. He was part of the solution the previous 10 quarters with seven touchdowns, one interception and a completion percentage nearing 70 percent. But then he has a game like he did today that was so...average. 15-of-30, 161 yards, no touchdowns and two picks will only help you win when the defense comes away with six turnovers.