Where's The 'Tude?

After last week's loss to a 3-6 team in Miami, some blamed the Chiefs' rash of injuries for the result. Other's attributed it to Damon Huard's worst game since taking over for Trent Green in Week 1, or a poor game plan by offensive coordinator Mike Solari.

To me, the primary reason was the team's attitude. While I do not fault the team's work ethic, nor do I believe the players consciously took the Dolphins lightly, it seemed that, deep down, the Chiefs thought they would win if they did not turn the ball over.

Miami, led by an inspired Jason Taylor, made plays while the Chiefs waited for Joey Harrington to implode. The result was five straight three-and-outs on offense and a 13-0 halftime deficit. Despite some Herculean efforts by Tony Gonzalez and Eddie Kennison in pulling down passes, and the long-awaited Miami melt-down on a botched reverse, the Chiefs could not overcome their lethargic first half.

The Chiefs can't let the same thing happen again this week.

The Raiders are very similar to Miami. They are a team with a losing record (2-7), a strong defense and an offense featuring a mistake-prone quarterback behind a suspect offensive line. If last week's loss in Miami didn't instill fear into the team, or they look ahead to the big Thanksgiving showdown with the Broncos a mere four days later, the Chiefs will lose again.

This week, Herm Edwards has his work cut out for him. Tony Gonzalez is nursing a sprained shoulder that at best will allow him to play in some third-down situations. Brian Waters and Kevin Sampson are out for another week. The defense will have to play without Greg Wesley and Derrick Johnson. Despite a battered squad, Herm Edwards will have to restore their swagger.

The task is not impossible. The Raiders, after all, are Kansas City's No. 1 rival. There is something deeply satisfying about a win over the Silver and Black, even though the Chiefs have registered victories over them with metronomic regularity since 2003 (six straight).

Furthermore, this week will feature the return of team leader Trent Green from the severe concussion he suffered in Week 1. Green has been medically cleared to play, and will start the game. Most importantly, the Chiefs desperately need this game to stay in the playoff race. The Chiefs should be ready to play.

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