As division rivalries go, Oakland vs Kansas City may not be as well publicized as others, but it is non the less an intense one. The rivalry dates back to their first meeting in 1960 when the Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans. Since then these 2 teams have met 103 times in the regular season with KC leading the series 54-47-2. The connection between the Raiders and Chief are many –
- Quarterback Rich Gannon, whom was the Chiefs’ starting quarterback in the late 1990s signed with the Raiders for the 1999 season and two years later was named NFL MVP.
- Wide receiver Andre Rison played for the Chiefs before getting cut prior to the 2000 NFL season. He signed with Oakland later that year.
- Running back Marcus Allen played for the Raiders in Los Angeles and led the Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XVIII. Allen signed with the Chiefs for the 1993 season after a feud with Raider Managing General Partner Al Davis became public. Allen later reportedly asked to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Chiefs.
- Backup quarterback Tom Flores won a Super Bowl championship with the Chiefs in 1969, but never started in Kansas City. Flores went on to become head coach of the Raiders ten years later and led the team to two Super Bowl titles.
In last years meetings, Oakland swept the division, beating the Chiefs twice, 23-20 in overtime at home and 31-10 at Arrowhead Stadium. Despite that accomplishment, last year’s 2-0 record versus the Chiefs doesn’t mean a thing to the current 2011 squad.
“Records don’t mean anything in this game,” said Head Coach Hue Jackson. “This is one of the division teams and they’re good. We need to go play well, but records don’t mean anything in these games; you’ve got line up and play. The team that plays the hardest the longest and makes the fewest mistakes, you know that’s the old cliché, that’s the team that’s going to win.”
The Raiders are hoping to string together three wins in a row as they continue to push for the AFC West title and a trip to the playoffs. “It’s huge,” said DE Jarvis Moss. “When you’ve got a division rival like Kansas City, you get to play them twice a year. They’re huge – you’ve got to win these to stack up wins in that division. You’re trying to get that first-round home game in the playoffs. So, the division is huge. The rivalry, the tradition with it; it’s just great to be in the Black and Silver of it.”
“It’s always great to play in a good rivalry game,” said RB Darren McFadden. “Playing against another divisional team, you know it’s going to be a rivalry. So, we want to go out there and push hard. Just go out there and make a statement for ourselves. Guys are going to step in and be ready to play, so we have to just go out there, be prepared and just be ready to play our game,” said McFadden.
Offensive coordinator Al Saunders, who has also coached for the Chiefs, knows the history of the rivalry between the two talented teams. Since 2003, 13 of the 16 match ups have been decided by seven points or less. “I think it’s one of the real true great rivalries in football and certainly in the AFC,” said Coach Saunders. “For so many years, Kansas City and the Raiders were the top echelon teams.San Diego has had their turn and I think Denver had their turn. It’s been a great division for a lot of years. But, I worked 10 years with Marty Schottenheimer there and he made it quite a rivalry between Kansas City and the Raiders. Then, Dick Vermeil followed up with the same thought process because we always felt like, to win the division, you had to beat the Raiders from a physical standpoint. Now being on the other side, it’s kind of interesting because we’re trying to turn the tables now and be more physical than the teams we play. So, it’s kind of fun.”
The Raiders will take the field Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT against Kansas City in the Silver and Black’s first AFC West game at home of the 2011 season. As former Raider / Chief running back Harvey Williams said in a 1995 NBC interview – “One word..BLOOD..”