Total Games Between the Raiders and the Chiefs: 114
All-Time Record: Chiefs lead, 60-52-2
Current Streak: Chiefs, 3 straight
Total Raiders Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2202 (19.3 points per game)
Total Chiefs Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2351 (20.6 points per game)
Longest Raiders Winning Streak Against Chiefs: 7 ( Decemeber 21, 1975 – November 5th, 1978)
Longest Chiefs Winning Streak Against Raiders: 9 (October 20th, 2003 – October 21st, 2007)
In last week’s installment of this column concerning our matchup with the Chargers, I briefly (of course) explicated the history of the AFC West, with the declaration that no matchup within the division means more than the other to the Raiders.
Let’s re-open that discussion for a moment, shall we?
I’ll stick by my original claim — as a Raider, hatred for every team in this division is as evenly-spread as the dijon mustard on an Andy Reid double-decker. However, if there were a banner rivalry, a game that almost unanimously meant more to either team or fanbase than any other on the schedule, Chiefs/Raiders would definitely be that game.
After the final whistle blows on Sunday, no two teams in the division will have met more times than the Raiders and the Chiefs — a guaranteed biannual affair since 1960, when the latter were known as the Dallas Texans.
From the very beginning, everything about these two franchises seems to have been engineered to directly contrast one another; the conservative values and essence of the southern Midwest versus the free-spirited resolve of the Golden Coast, a never-ending cultural battle extending it’s reach to the football field twice a year. Even the colors — red and yellow, bright, vibrant colors meant to stand out and trumpet presence, just so happen to clash wonderfully with the no-nonsense silver and black, forever symbols of intimidation and impending doom.
Likewise, the cities themselves share an indelible link. The Oakland Athletics were the Kansas City Athletics from 1955-1967, smack dab in the middle of the glory years of the AFL, and just as this rivalry was taking root in the soil of the football universe. Two years after the A’s landed in Oakland, Kansas City was granted an expansion team, the Royals – who were appropriately placed in the same division as the A’s.
Even on a personal level, there’s a list of notable and meaningful names that have donned both uniforms at some point during their careers. Legendary coach Tom Flores was the backup quarterback to Hall Of Famer Len Dawson on the ’69 Chiefs, the only team in franchise history to have won a Super Bowl. Flores, of course, began his career as a quarterback for the Raiders, and would go on to coach the franchise to two Super Bowl victories years later.
Rich Gannon played his best football as a Raider, and is most remembered as such. It’s often forgotten that before signing with Oakland, he was a Chief for four seasons, splitting snaps with the likes of Elvis Grbac and Steve Bono. Had he not made the type of noise in Kansas City that he did, it’s likely Al may have never looked to sign him when he hit the free agent market.
And of course, many of you still haven’t forgiven Marcus Allen for defecting to Kansas City after a bitter feud with Davis that saw a number of Allen’s prime years wasted as a lead blocker. We’ll probably never know the true cause of the rift, but the fact that Marcus had to retire in red is one of the great tragedies of American sports history.
This offseason, in one of the bigger free agent acquisitions across the league, the Raiders pilfered cornerback Sean Smith from the Chiefs. He did struggle in his first two games, but has really come on strong since then, more than proving his value to this secondary, and certainly will be a factor against his former squad this weekend.
Conversely, it was announced earlier this week that former Raiders linebacker Sio Moore, whose departure from Oakland was accompanied with a relatively large amount of ado for a player of his stature, signed with Kansas City. A coincidence, I’m sure. We’ll chat more about him later.
But above all, what should most embitter you to the Chiefs (aside from the fact that they refer to their fanbase as the “Chiefs Kingdom” which is not only incredibly corny and an obvious and unoriginal spin on the beloved “Nation” title, it is a marked misnomer — kings have crowns and reigns, and the franchise really has neither) is their all-time record against us.
They’re the only team in the division, and one of only four teams in the entire league (with at least ten games played) that can make the claim of having a lead in head-to-head matchups. Raiders fans love to needle Chiefs fans about their lack of playoff success or championships since the merger, but they’re 2-1 against the Raiders in the postseason all-time, and edged us in our only non-AFL postseason meeting in 1991.
Perhaps that’s why they call their fanbase a “kingdom” — as a nod to the eight-game lead they have over us historically. I might consider that flattering were it true, but regardless, these wrongs must be righted.
In any event, the games between these two are almost always entertaining affairs regardless to how well either team happens to be playing that year, par the course for bitter division battles. Since the start of the decade, we’ve split the twelve games we’ve played right down the middle, including two overtime thrillers, both of which the Raiders won on the leg of Sebastian Janikowski.
I shouldn’t have to tell you what the most memorable of these is, though.
That rainy November night in 2014 was some of the most fun I’d ever had watching a football game. Losers of ten straight to that point in the season and fifteen straight since the season prior, the Raiders weren’t expected to do much of anything against a streaking Chiefs squad. But our young stars were aligned and ready to shine. It’s probably unfair that this is the standard we continue to hold Latavius Murray to, but the kid had the juice that night.
Last season’s meetings with the Chiefs were not nearly as fun, unfortunately.
Despite starting off strong in the first meeting between the two, the Raiders wilted late. Derek Carr tossed three second-half INTs — two to then-rookie phenom and Oakland native Marcus Peters (keep an eye on this matchup Sunday), and the last, a pick-six to former Raider Tyvon Branch, in what was probably the most disappointing loss of the season.
Favor wouldn’t be much better in the last week of the season, but by then, our fates had long been sealed, and the game wasn’t really noteworthy for any reason, other than being Charles Woodson’s last ever.
All of that to say, this Sunday should be remarkably captivating, with stakes only having been raised in the last twenty-four hours. The Broncos losing to San Diego means that with a win, the Raiders can take a secure, firm-footed lead in the division, and truly begin to position themselves to make the postseason for the first time in almost fifteen years.
It will be no easy task; while the Chiefs are 2-2 on the season, and their last game was an embarrassing, nationally-televised blowout to Pittsburgh, head coach Andy Reid is 15-2 all-time when coming off a bye week, and Kansas City will certainly be motivated. I’m beyond anxious to see our guys rise to the occasion.
Enjoy the game, Nation.
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