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The Zone Blitz:
Raiders have had rough week


by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

The Raiders suffered through a bad week. First they lose to the Arizona Cardinals at home dropping them to 8-3. Then DT Darrell Russell is fingered for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. FB Jon Ritchie gets hurt and rumors surround HC Jon Gruden leaving for the Notre Dame job.

Will they take their poor mood out on the Chiefs? Will Russell play? Will Ritchie suit up? Will the Raiders pump ex-Chief Jermaine Willimas for info?

Find out in the Zone Blitz.
—DT Darrell Russell, who tested positive for the club drug Ecstasy, appealed his one-year drug suspension to the NFL Thursday—no word on the result yet.

—-HC Jon Gruden has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head-coaching job at Notre Dame.

—The Raiders are hurting— OG Mo Collins and FB Jon Ritchie are likely out.
—Expect new Chiefs WR Eddie Kennison to see action on the field with the Chiefs offense. This should come as no surprise as the Chiefs will still field only four WR’s.

—Remember game one? The Raiders won 27-24 on a late FG. It set the tone for the season—the Raiders are 8-3. The Chiefs are 3-8.

—Also after game one many observers believed the Chiefs had made a mistake with RB Priest Holmes and had struck gold with QB Trent Green. My how times had changed.

—WR Snoop Minnis should start for the Chiefs Sunday, barring any other setbacks.

—The Raiders defense hasn’t been able to stop anything lately but the Chiefs have so few weapons expect the Raiders to crowd the line of scrimmage and attempt to stop the run.

—Raiders wideout Tim Brown will be returning punts this weekend. Their old returner (David Dunn) was cut after fumbling a punt in OT last weekend.

—The Raiders picked up departed Chiefs FB Jermaine Williams after the Chiefs cut him on Tuesday.

—One thing this causes—the Chiefs will have to use different audible verbage as Williams just gave the Raiders defense a three-day crash course in the Chiefs' offensive sets and adjustments and how they were called at the line of scrimmage.

—The reason the Chiefs cut Williams—to sign TE Billy Baber off of the practice squad. That gives the Chiefs one FB on the roster and 5 TE’s.

—LB Lew Bush is hurt again and may miss Sunday’s game.

This is an opportunity for the Chiefs to add to the Raiders woes and put a dent in the Raiders' dream of home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Can the Chiefs at least play the spoiler role?

Not likely. Raiders QB Rich Gannon has owned the Chiefs since they blew him off after the ’98 season and that continues here.

Raiders 44 Chiefs 33.