Call the Raiders what you will, just don't call them decisive. For the second time in the last three years, the Raiders will be the last team in the league to name someone to lead their bunch of penalty-prone gridiron graybeards.
There are rumors that the Raiders are targeting Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, although they have interviewed several other candidates as well, including the Chargers' own James Lofton. It may not matter who ends up landing this job. With an offense starring Randy Moss and a defense featuring Warren Sapp, the Raiders are once again far more likely to be implosive than explosive. The Chargers have a very real shot at running their winning streak against Oakland to seven during the upcoming season.
Kansas City Chiefs Replace Dick Vermeil with Herm Edwards; Lose Al Saunders
The Chiefs, to the surprise of nobody, traded for the rights to coach Herm Edwards after Dick Vermeil retired following the 2005 season. Edwards shares Vermeil's unique ability to relate to his players, but his track record is not nearly as impressive. While Vermeil's resume shows a 125-114 career record, two NFC championships and one Super Bowl triumph, Edwards has a 39-41 career record, and has yet to lead his team to The Big Game.
He has had his success against the Chargers, however, handing them their only two home losses during the 2004 season, the second of which knocked the Chargers out of the playoffs.
Losing Saunders could be costly as well. Saunders helped the Chiefs orchestrate the league's sixth-best passing offense this season, despite Eddie Kennison being the team's only wide receiver to catch more than 36 passes. The Chiefs also had the league's fourth-best rushing attack, one that excelled no matter if it was Priest Holmes or Larry Johnson carrying the load. The Redskins are paying Saunders more than $2 million a year to take over as their offensive coordinator, but the Chiefs may end up paying the steeper price if their aging offense begins to fall off. If that is the case, the next season's AFC West could be a two-horse race, with the Chargers and Broncos racing down the stretch.
Denver Broncos Lose Gary Kubiak
The Broncos lost their offensive coordinator, Kubiak, as he heads south to take over as the head coach of the Houston Texans. This loss will surely hurt the Broncos, as Kubiak had the Denver offense ranked in the league's top seven each of the last three seasons. Kubiak has also been credited by many for taming the often erratic arm of Jake Plummer.
The Chargers would be elated if Plummer were to revert to his inaccurate ways; the Chargers' secondary needs all the help intercepting passes that they can get.