When: Sunday, Oct. 28
Time: 3:05 p.m., Central Time
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
TV Broadcast: CBS – Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots, commentators; DIRECTV – 713
Radio Broadcast: Over 60 radio stations on the Chiefs Radio Network; Mitch Holthus, Len Dawson, Kendall Gammon, commentators, Dial Global Radio: Kevin Kugler, Mark Malone, commentators. Chiefs Spanish Radio: La Gran D (1340 AM); Play-by-Play: Enrique Morales – Color Commentator: Oscar Monterroso – Sideline Reporter: Ricardo Soto
SIRIUS: 94 (OAK), 93 (KC). XM: 226 (KC).
The Kansas City Chiefs play their historically most-bitter rival on Sunday at Arrowhead, but judging by the way head coach, Romeo Crennel, is handling it, Chiefs fans are getting little more than a shrug that this is an important game.
Maybe it’s election-time TV ad weariness combined with absolute frustration over the Chiefs inept 1-5 start to the season, but fatigue has set in for many fans. The battle cry of “IT’S RAIDERS WEEK!!!!!” that Chiefs fans reveled in during Marty Schottenheimer’s glorious tenure as coach (18-3 record … ‘nuff said), has turned into “It’s Raiders Week?” with Crennel.
When asked at his press conference this week if he has brought up the fact that the Raiders have now won FIVE games in a row at Arrowhead to his team as a motivational tool, Crennel kind of shrugged his shoulders and said (paraphrasing), “Why would I tell them that? I’m trying to remain positive.”
Responding to the team’s nauseating play this year, Crennel took down the “Eliminate Bad Football” sign he had up in the locker room after the Falcons loss to a more positive one, “Play Good Football”. Wow! Dust off the spot next to Vince Lombardi in the Hall-of-Fame for Crennel’s bust, because that has to be one of the greatest coaching moves ever. (Yes, that was sarcasm).
This is the ultimate nightmare for fans of a team when a combative head coach (Todd Haley) is replaced by a “player’s coach” (Crennel), which is what almost every team in every sport does when they fire a coach. Hire the opposite. The problem with nice guys like Crennel is that they can be completely run over in the locker room by players that need a boot up their butts.
Unless KC rips off 9 wins out of their last 10 games, Crennel should probably lose his job after the season. His 2012 team plays stupidly, soft (other than the Ravens game), looks lost most of the time, and there is absolutely no team identity.
But that’s enough of a rant for now. Let’s stay positive like Romeo wants us to do and look at how the Chiefs can win on Sunday and double their win total for the year:
- Put pressure on Raiders QB Carson Palmer. What? You might have thought that I was going to start with something like “Contain RB Darren McFadden”, but the truth is that the Raiders RB hasn’t had a good game against the Chiefs since Sept. 2008 when he ran for 164 yards. And this year, McFadden has struggled with Oakland’s new zone blocking scheme, so I’m not worried about him … much. But Carson Palmer is a statue in the backfield so Tamba Hali and Justin Houston should know exactly where he is at all times. Put pressure on Palmer, and he’ll throw the ball up for grabs hoping his fleet receivers will come down with it. In his last six games versus the Chiefs, Palmer has thrown 6 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Of course, in his last two games against KC as a Raider, he has 1 TD and 5 interceptions. Let’s see more of that, shall we???
- Go back to the Raven’s game plan on offense. Look … the back-up quarterback on every losing team is the most popular player, but honestly, Brady Quinn is NOT as good of a QB as Matt Cassel. In fact, even with the turnovers, Cassel probably gives the Chiefs the best chance of winning. However, Crennel is trying to shake things up a little and give Cassel a couple of games “off” to clear his head. So this week, the Chiefs need to use the same game plan they used against the Ravens, and that is to run, run, run the ball. Then run it some more. It looks like Peyton Hillis will be back for the game, so that gives offensive coordinator Brian Daboll a 3-headed monster at RB to use with Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn. Oakland has struggled defending the run all year, so the Chiefs need to make them pay.
- And, for the seventh time this year … HANG ON TO THE $#@!ING BALL!!!! No Chiefs fan in 2012 should ask why this is a big deal. Turnovers blow.
Ok, so who will win? Coming off the bye week, a healthy and rested Chiefs team SHOULD beat a struggling Raiders team by two touchdowns. But honestly, listening to Crennel this week gives me little hope the team will be “up” for the game. The fan in me wants a snarling, foaming-at-the-mouth Marty Schottenheimer on the sidelines with a Carl “Screw you, Al Davis” Peterson on the field in his long black leather coat smirking. I miss those days. I go with the Chiefs by a field goal just simply because I can’t conceive of a world in which Oakland wins in KC six years in a row.
Prediction: Chiefs – 16, Raiders – 13, Arrowhead Stadium – Empty by the 4th quarter.
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