NFL Week 9: Chiefs @ Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders Sun. Nov. 7th 2010 4:15pm EST

Coming into this NFL regular season, the consensus around the league was that the San Diego Chargers were once again the team to beat in the AFC West division as the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos didn’t stand a chance to compete with Philip Rivers and company.

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Unfortunately for Norv Turner’s squad, that has been far from the case as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders have played much better than anticipated this season and seem to be the two teams within the division that will be contending for the division title at season’s end. Along with the Chiefs and Raiders exceeding expectations, the Chargers have only won three games on the season and look like they will be playing catch up all season long from here on out.

Even though it is not beyond the realm of possibility for the San Diego Chargers to make a charge (no pun intended) in the second half of the season for the division title, they will have to win every divisional game from here on out as they have already lost to the Kansas City Chiefs (Week 1, 21-14) and the Oakland Raiders (Week 5, 35-27).

In the meantime, the Raiders and the Chiefs will be living it up and enjoying every moment of being atop the AFC West division right now, but only one team can come out on top this Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and even though Kansas City has the better record and have played well much more consistently this season, Oakland is favored to get the win on their home field this weekend.

A few weeks ago I would have said that the Oakland Raiders being favored in this AFC West showdown would have been ridiculous because the Kansas City Chiefs were playing like one of the best teams in the league, but over the last two weeks Tom Cable’s squad has really stepped it up on both sides of the football and proved to their doubters that they are a force to be reckoned with in the AFC Conference this season.

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One of the things that both of these teams have done extremely well this season is run the football and we will see plenty of that from both the Raiders and the Chiefs this Sunday. Ironically enough, these teams will come into this game as number one (Kansas City Chiefs, 190.4 rushing yards per game) and two (Oakland Raiders, 168.5 rushing yards per game) in the league at running the football which means it will be an all out battle in the ground game.

Despite the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs could quite possibly get the best of Tom Cable’s boys this Sunday, I believe that the Oakland Raiders are hitting their stride at just the right time and will prove that they have what it takes to win the AFC West division title with a win on their home field this weekend.

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