While the world tosses around the rumors of whether Carson Palmer will start for our Oakland Raiders vs. The Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday with the general consensus among headlines saying its yes, coach Hue Jackson says he'll announce it Friday, when the decision will be made as well. Vittorio Taffur and Paul Gutierrez say to read between the lines. The bigger story to me, is that this game hasn't sold out already. The buzz is that we're close, and while I'm confident it will, I remain surprised that the possibilities this week has to offer hasn't already filled the stands.
The impressive 8 win streak in the division hasn't been enough, nor has the chance that we'll see a new defensive unit that looks to be very solid with the recent additions of LB Aaron Curry and safety Chinedum Ndukwe. While the majority of fan perspectives I've seen were prepared for the possibility Kyle Boller would start and that he could win versus KC, none were too excited at the prospect. Most believe we can win the game without spectacular play from the QB. The possibility Pryor gets some action is growing too... I'm predicting the defense will be the bigger story of the game, and could flash some brilliance that we can expect as this unit gels. .... hit ..... the.... jump....
What will be interesting to watch will be witnessing doubters jump on the Raiders' bandwagon as they see it all unfold before their eyes. Sunday offers a first chance to be 5-2 in a long, long time. It's also a chance to put three wins back to back, and an opportunity to put ourselves in the lead in the division this week or entering the divisional matchup vs. Denver following the bye, also at home. We need to seize this opportunity like Hue did in going after Palmer, and take the first step in controlling our own destiny in the division and not waiting until the final few weeks and hoping. I think we all know Hue knows this by his actions of late.
The more that time goes by, the less I'm concerned with the picks we traded in order to get Carson, because when I look at it, if we don't do something special right now, then what we've started to build the last couple of years means nothing and nor will our immediate or even long term future. There is only now for this Raiders' team, and the opportunity is hot.
I'm not expecting Carson to start the game, but absolutely expect us to start getting him real reps as soon as he's ready to take them, which I believe coach coach has deemed him already. It's really what he needs most, and the time is right for that as well.
The Chiefs' defense this year is probably better than the units we faced both times last year, but our offense is far better and more multi-faceted than last year's teams. Our defense is largely the same unit that is arguably more mature, more complete, and has some interesting and much needed new additions to key positions; their offense is without their premier rusher in Jamal Charles, but Jackie Battle is playing well in his absence. I think this is where we win the game. Curry will be a big factor in this game, and we'll see Ndukwe whittle out a place for himself on the field, excelling in the hybrid lb/S position he'll be replacing Jerome Boyd in, and we'll see him come to play the position the way it's meant to be played.
So, there a lots of things to watch for this week, and some have nothing at all to do with who will be throwing our balls on offense. If you're on the fence about getting to a game, GET OFF AND JOIN US!!!! Your team needs you! GO RAIDERS! JUST WIN ANOTHER!