The Raiders and Chiefs don't have much to play for this season, as both seasons quickly went down the tubes as injuries and poor play set the tone for both teams to struggle in 2004. Kansas City with a win today could aid their case to get out of the AFC West cellar. But a loss though not on the wish list of the Chiefs, could help secure a higher draft spot.
The Chiefs have lost four games in a row while Oakland is coming off their biggest win of the season when they upset the Denver Broncos last Sunday night in blizzard. The hated rivals will meet one more time this season, on Christmas day in Kansas City.
"They (Oakland) did a great job and a salute to Norv Turner and his coaching staff and his players." Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said, "The match-up and the weather was perfect for them because they've been throwing the ball downfield and Collins can do that well. The guy in the snow that has the advantage is the receiver not the runner. I think they took advantage of it."
After throwing the ball forty-five times against a very good Denver secondary, many would think they could do it again. The Chiefs defensive backs have been the main criticism all season, after blowing the possibilities with wins and trips to overtime.
"Dexter McCleon will be the third safety." Vermeil said about starting two new safeties tomorrow, "He was prepared to do it as we got going last week. He worked there some today."
Since the season has become a wash for the Chiefs, the jury was still out if Trent Green was going to be able to play today. The Chiefs starting quarterback bruised ribs last week after the Chargers punished him on numerous passing attempts. He has been listed as day-to-day and it might be a game time decision to see if he can play. Since coming to the Chiefs in 2001, Green has yet to sit out a game.
"No." Green said about sitting the bench, "I'm a little too hard-headed for that. I've had a few people ask me about it. That would probably be the easy thing to do, but it's really not in my nature. Especially with the team struggling the way we are, it would be the easy thing to do, but the wrong thing to do. I'm going to do everything I can to play."
Running back Priest Holmes' knee injury has taken second fiddle since Green went down with his ribs, but it still doesn't look like Holmes will play tomorrow. As of Friday he, Monty Beisel and Vonnie Holliday will be the only Chiefs regulars to sit out the game.
The Raiders meanwhile don't have significant injuries to speak of, only Tyrone Wheatley's foot injury is the hi-lighted name. All-Pro Warren Sapp is listed on the injury list, but will play with a toe injury.