OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Cue up the classic NFL Films music. Round up Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Ken Stabler and Ted Hendricks. Bring in John Madden.
The Raiders-Chiefs rivalry is relevant again, with Sunday’s game in Oakland a potential decider in the AFC West.
“The Chiefs-Raiders rivalry was about as spirited as any in professional football in my time,” says Jim Lynch, a linebacker for the great Kansas City teams of the ‘60s and early ‘70s. “They didn’t like us and we didn’t like them. Now it looks like the Chiefs have something going again. This week will be fun.”
It also could be fierce and memorable, like the old days of the rivalry the Chiefs lead 54-46-2. With both teams on the rise, Kansas City is 5-2 atop the division, and Oakland is 4-4 after winning three of the last four. It’s the first time neither team has a losing record when they’ve met since the 2002 regular-season finale.
Kansas City ranks first in rushing thanks to Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Oakland is right behind as Darren McFadden has emerged in his third pro season — and first relatively healthy one.
Both teams are vastly improved on defense, too. But Raiders star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has a sprained right ankle, which could be pivotal.
Whether Asomugha plays or not, the Black Hole will be rocking Sunday, just like old times. But the Chiefs have won each of their last seven visits.
“Going on the road is an adverse situation,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley says. “You’ve got a lot of people who don’t want you to win, who are doing everything they can to get you to not win, to get you to make mistakes.
Oakland without star CB, wideout
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders could be without Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and leading receiver Zach Miller for Sunday’s AFC West showdown against Kansas City.
Coach Tom Cable said Friday that Asomugha is doubtful with a sprained right ankle, and Miller is doubtful with a foot injury. Cable said it will be a game-time decision whether either will play.
Chris Johnson would take Asomugha’s starting cornerback spot, while Brandon Myers would start in place of Miller.
This week’s game against the first-place Chiefs is the biggest for the Raiders (4-4) in years. Oakland has not had a .500 record or better this late in the season since 2002.