Game Scout: Chiefs v. Raiders I

SERIES: 92nd meeting. Chiefs lead 47-42-2 and have won the last six dating back to a 24-0 Raiders win in 2002 regular season finale. Chiefs won last game 27-23 on Nov. 6, 2005, at Arrowhead Stadium when Larry Johnson scored on a 1-yard run as time expired. None of the six games has been decided by more than seven points.

2006 RANKINGS: Raiders: offense 32nd (24th rush, 32nd pass); defense 7th (26th rush, 3rd pass). Chiefs: offense 17th (13th rush, 19th pass); defense 14th (15th rush, 11th pass)

PREDICTION: Chiefs 17-13

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Chiefs expect QB Trent Green to be rusty in his first game since the season opener, but they're hoping they don't need to rely on him to win the game. The Raiders' offense has been inept all season, its offensive line is beat up and coach Art Shell spent the better part of the week trying to decide between QBs Andrew Walter and Aaron Brooks, neither of whom has a passer rating above 58.0. Kansas City would be content to dominate a field-position game with RB Larry Johnson, especially with the Raiders' defense having allowed just 68 points and five touchdowns over the past five games. The Chiefs will be without LG Brian Waters, TE Tony Gonzalez and possibly DE Tamba Hali, so they would be happy to squeak out any type of victory.

FAST FACTS: Raiders: WR Randy Moss has at least one touchdown reception in all four career games against Kansas City. ... Allowing just 4.65 yards on first down, second in the AFC. Chiefs: Have won the past six meetings. ... Are 20-1 since 2002 when recording at least two sacks.

PERSONNEL NEWS:

Raiders:

--QB Aaron Brooks split the snaps with Andrew Walter in practice Thursday, and coach Art Shell said he has not made up his mind as to who will start Sunday against Kansas City. Brooks has been out since Sept. 17 with a pectoral strain.

--LT Robert Gallery practiced for the second consecutive day after missing the Denver game with a groin strain, and barring a setback, he should start against the Chiefs. If Gallery can't play, Chad Slaughter would start.

--C Jake Grove (hyperextended left elbow) practiced for the second consecutive day and is a likely starter against Kansas City. If Grove can't play, Adam Treu would start.

--LG Barry Sims, listed as questionable last week with an abdominal injury, was downgraded to out this week. The club could be faced with putting him on injured reserve if he doesn't show substantial progress.

--LB Thomas Howard, a rookie second-round pick who is fourth among NFL rookies with 62 tackles, plays his first game in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Howard's father, Thomas Howard, was a starting linebacker with the Chiefs from 1977-83.

Chiefs:

--TE Tony Gonzalez, though listed only as doubtful with a sprained left shoulder, was not able to practice Thursday and appears likely to miss at least Sunday's game with Oakland. He would have only a short week to recover if he hopes to play the following game, a critical Thanksgiving Night game with Denver.

--FS Greg Wesley, who missed last week's game with a shoulder injury, did not participate in a full workout Thursday and looks very questionable for this week's game against Oakland.

--DE Tamba Hali did only limited work in Thursday's practice because of a hip injury and is truly questionable for Sunday's game against the Raiders.

--LB Derrick Johnson will miss a second consecutive game with an ankle injury. LB Keyaron Fox will start in his place again.

--G Brian Waters will not play for a second consecutive week because of a knee injury. Veteran G Chris Bober is expected to start in his place again.

--T Kevin Sampson will miss a third consecutive game with an ankle injury. Veteran Kyle Turley will start in his spot at right tackle.

INSIDE THE CAMPS:

Raiders:

As painful as life in the AFC West has been for the Raiders since the start of the 2003 season, their greatest agony lies in their last six games against the Chiefs.

At least the Broncos and Chargers, with a few exceptions, have run up convincing wins en route to sending the Raiders to a 2-19 record within the division since Oakland won the AFC championship in 2002.

Not Kansas City.

Oakland's most traditional rival has won six consecutive head-to-head matchups, each one of them in doubt until time expired. Coach Art Shell conceded it's possible for one team to simply have the number of another for a period in time, but he doesn't want to believe heartbreak awaits Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium when the Raiders visit the Chiefs.

He wasn't around for any of those games, but he has rolled enough tape to understand how painful the series has become for Oakland.

"At certain points and times in your history, it can happen," Shell said. "But when you look at the game film, the Raiders are right in those games. Within a two-minute situation, they lost because of a play here or there. That's to Kansas City's credit."

A recap of the last six games:

Nov. 11, 2005: Chiefs 27, Raiders 23 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Larry Johnson scores the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run as time expires as Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil goes for the win instead of a tie and overtime. A tripping penalty on Oakland defensive tackle Ed Jasper following a sack set up a 36-yard dump-off from Trent Green to Johnson to the 1 with five seconds to play.

The Raiders were a second away from both teams having 4-4 records.

Sept. 18, 2005: Chiefs 23, Raiders 17 at McAfee Coliseum.

A Kerry Collins pass bounces off the fingertips of Jerry Porter on fourth down, with Benny Sapp knocking it away to seal the win. Randy Moss caught a 64-yard touchdown pass, but Oakland lost a six-yard scoring pass to Moss on a debatable offensive interference penalty and lost a 56-yard touchdown run by LaMont Jordan on a Langston Walker holding call away from the play.

Dec. 25, 2004: Chiefs 31, Raiders 30 at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Raiders take the lead with 1:03 to play on Sebastian Janikowski's 46-yard field goal, but his squib kickoff is caught on a perfect bounce by Dante Hall and returned 49 yards to the Oakland 36.

Lawrence Tynes eventually kicks a 38-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining to win it.

Dec. 5, 2004: Chiefs 34, Raiders 27 at the Coliseum.

Oakland takes a 27-24 lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Collins to Ronald Curry with 14:13 to play, but the Chiefs rally to win on a 22-yard field goal by Tynes and a 70-yard pass from Green to Eddie Kennison with 2:04 to play. Stuart Schweigert misses an open field tackle on Kennison at the 35-yard line on the winning play. Curry suffers the first of two Achilles tears as a Raider with 5:46 left and is done for the season. Nov. 23, 2003: Chiefs 27, Raiders 24 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Rick Mirer has his best game as a Raider, completing 19 of 31 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. But Phillip Buchanon makes two game-altering errors, getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for ripping his helmet off following a punt return, and then allowing Marc Boerigter to get free on a fourth-and-14 for a 16-yard gain.

Morten Andersen wins it at the gun with a 31-yard field goal that barely clears the crossbar.

Oct. 20, 2003: Chiefs 17, Raiders 10 at the Coliseum.

With the Raiders trailing 17-3, Marques Tuiasosopo leads a stirring rally in the final five minutes that comes up a yard short, as Tim Brown comes out of the end zone to catch a pass at the 1-yard line as time expires.

Rich Gannon is lost for the season just before halftime with a torn labrum.

Shell thinks the Raiders will have to make their own luck to break the streak.

"We've just got to make sure those things don't happen, that now the breaks go our way," Shell said. "I've never been involved with a team that is in a, 'Oh, what's going to happen next' situation, and I don't think this team is like that.

Chiefs:

Late Tuesday afternoon, Trent Green's doctors told him he could play football again with no greater risk for a head injury than he had before he incurred a Grade 3 concussion in the season opener with Cincinnati.

Green rushed immediately to tell Chiefs coach Herm Edwards the good news. But the good news he hoped to get in return didn't come immediately.

Edwards didn't say that Green would automatically get his starting quarterback job back from backup Damon Huard, who compiled a 5-3 record and a 98-point passer rating in Green's eight-game, nine-week absence.

It wasn't until the next morning that Edwards told both Green and Huard what both suspected all along - that Green would be Kansas City's starter for Sunday's home game with Oakland.

"I think he probably wanted to sleep on it and talk about it with the other coaches," Green said.

That meant Tuesday night was something of a tense one for Green. He lost his starting job at St. Louis in 1999 when he went down with a career-threatening knee injury, and replacement Kurt Warner played so well he could not be displaced.

That was, however, the only apprehension Green had about his return to action. He'll not be reluctant to take a hit or face Oakland blitzes upon his return to the lineup, he insisted.

"When I got hurt (in 1999), I determined to come back and prove myself all over again, and I think that determination took that fear out for me," he said. "I've never come back from a concussion before, but I've felt so good now for the last month that I don't feel like I'm going to do anything differently. I feel like I've handled everything really well in practice -- moving around in the pocket, having bodies flash in front of you, making reads and those kinds of things. I feel really good about that."

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