First Look: Chiefs vs. Raiders

The season is winding down, and the Chiefs will play three more road games along with two home games. On Sunday Kansas City will start the first of two-road contests against the Oakland Raiders.

Kansas City and Oakland have yet to meet this season. The Raiders are coming off a come from behind victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday Night where they beat the elements and the Broncos thanks to a blocked field goal attempt with less than a minute to go in the snowy Colorado cold. On the night Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins threw the ball forty-five times.

Oakland took advantage of the footing, burning All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey numerous times who has really fallen from grace since his stellar performance against the Chiefs in week one of the season. The final blow came in the closing minutes when Collins found Jerry Porter alone in the back of the endzone for the winning touchdown 25-24.

"It was hell out there," Porter said after the game. "But it was cold, too."

Granted there should not be any snow in the Oakland on Sunday, but Chiefs corners have to be ready as a confident Collins can beat anyone. As bad as Kansas City's defensive backs have been, it would be a nice place start to turn their fortunes around.

Collins threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns on Sunday. That was his finest day as a Raider and he has learned to finally spread the ball around to all his receivers. Wide out Ronald Curry was the other hundred-yard receiver-catching six balls for 110 yards. In all Collins connected with six other receivers' Sunday night.

"The plays were there," Collins said. "It just happened to be Champ on the coverage. Our whole receiving group made plays."

This could be the swan song in Oakland for many in the Chiefs secondary as this unit will certainly turn over in the off-season. After Week #11, the Chiefs are 13th in the AFC as they are giving up 370 passing yards per game.

For the Raiders their defense isn't much better as they rank 26th in total defense. They given up 350 yards per game but they played well last Sunday in Denver and for the first time this season played with a recklessness that has been missing most of the season. If this defense has a strength its in the secondary where the rank 8th in the AFC against the pass.

"Preparing for the Raider game is always a little bit more fun for this organization and I'm sure it is for the Raider organization, too." Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said, "It's such a great tradition and history of the teams competing. I know both teams right now are struggling. They have one more win than we do, so I think it even makes it more competitive."

This is a big week for both franchises as this game will be the 90th meeting between the former AFL champions. Kansas City leads the series 45-43 thanks to a pair of post season victories; one in Oakland that catapulted the Chiefs into Super Bowl IV and the other in the 90's at home under Marty Schottenheimer.

"We beat them twice last year as a winning football by a total margin of 10 points, so I think that speaks soundly for the kind of games the Chiefs and Raiders normally play against each other." Vermeil said, "They're always very competitive games. We beat them 17-10 and 27-24 here with the bottle-of-wine-field-goal-kick by Morten Andersen."

On Sunday there will be a milestone hit by Chiefs offensive linemen Will Shields who will start his 187th game. That will put him in first place passing kicker Jan Stenerud.


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