Dear Friends and Fellow Followers: I hope everyone had a great New Year's. I just rang in 2011 with the Great One himself. We stood at the entrance to his cave and toasted sparkling cider while watching fireworks explode in the distant sky. The Sibyls danced while reciting their favorite moments of 2011 (apparently the quick failure of my New Year's resolution is hilarious).
That's right, RaiderDamus is back in the cave. In the early minutes of the new year, Damus pulled me aside.
"Things got a little crazy this year; got a little out of control. That's the funny thing about the connection between the present and the future: We can see how one thing leads to another and even when the results are disastrous, we are powerless to stop something that has already begun.
"Simplicity is working for me. Those diluted nights of excess were born from a burning soul. I celebrated the chase until the chase became the celebration. It was chaos for the sake of chaos, because I was afraid of no meaning. And that is exactly what gave me no meaning. I was running from death, yet bringing it closer. Here, right here in this cave, is my meaning. You know?"
"Yeah I...no, actually I have no idea." Damus lost me around diluted.
He looked at me and then let out a slight, quick chuckle while putting his hand on my shoulder. Then while turning his gaze back out to the vast blackness of night said, "Life is the point of life."
That I could get, but added, "Well, that and football." With that we laughed until tears filled our eyes. Then, in the first moments of 2011, he gave me his final prediction for the 2010 season.
Well, this is it. An entire season's worth of Raider predictions, and this is the last one. Examining my record for a moment, it appears I am 11-4. That's a record equal to or better than every team but the Patriots. When will you people stop doubting me? Probably never, since we're all Raider fans and rarely does anyone on the forum predict them to lose except for me. Most of the time though, I've been right.
On to this week's game. We have to play the Chiefs on the road. However, the Chiefs have absolutely nothing to play for and may rest their starters to prepare for whatever Wild Card team comes into their house next week. This is a good idea, because the Raiders are probably pissed off and will want to hurt them. The Raiders have plenty to play for; they want to be the first team to go undefeated in their division and miss the playoffs since the NFL went to divisional play in 1967. They also all really love Coach Cable and want him to return. 8-8 is surely a better indication of the team's growth and progress this year than 7-9. They really aren't as bad as 7-9. They have played as well as a 10-win team, they've just caught some bad breaks, like the Jano missed FG in Arizona (a game in which I accurately predicted the final score) or the Gradkowski fiasco earlier in the year. Now that we have a solid starting QB, we can hang with any team and beat most of them.
I have trouble seeing the Chiefs playing all out in this game. I don't really think going undefeated at home is terribly important to them. Beating the Raiders in front of their home fans may be important, but I think any Chiefs fan would choose a playoff win over a meaningless win against the Raiders. Todd Haley said he doesn't know what he'll do, but it will be "whatever gives the Chiefs the best chance to win." Well, next week's win is more important than this week's for them. He's an idiot if he plays his starters all game against the Raiders. That being said, whatever scrubs the Chiefs send out there will play hard.
This game is nearly impossible for me to predict, since I don't know how much playing time Haley will give his main guys. So I will then make two predictions.
If the starters play as normal, the Chiefs will win 38-20. They are a better team and they have a serious home field advantage.
If the starters don't play at all or get only a handful of snaps, the Raiders will win 40-23. Also, the Chiefs should refund every fan's ticket for having to sit through that sort of nonsense. No Chiefs fan wants to see the Raiders plow through their second string. But hey, at least there's no second string cheerleaders, am I right? Hey-oooooo.