Why Chiefs-Raiders finally matters again, and more Week 9 storylines
Who says superstar quarterbacks are a dying breed in the NFL? Just call the Seattle quarterback Charlie White-hurts. Who's leading the coaches' dead pool? And toast could be the operative words in Houston and Philadelphia.
Week 9 is upon us and as far as storylines go, this week's Top 10 Storylines will be a Randy Moss-free zone. No promises about next week, though.
Perhaps the most profound testament to just how bizarre and balanced the 2010 season has been so far is that the location of where we begin Week 9 is as much the storyline as the storylines themselves.
Go ahead and question the hot starts for these teams if you must. But without question, this game will feature more running back talent and production than any other. The Chiefs are led by Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles and rank first in the league in rushing yards per game. The Raiders, with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, are second. Oakland has won its last two games by a combined 92-17, and McFadden has led the way, rushing for 276 yards.
Which team will play the cleanest game? And, no, we're not talking about the vicious hits rule being enforced with more authority. Want to know the real reason these two squads are in the midst of turnarounds? They don't turn over the ball. Despite counting on the run so heavily, the Chiefs and Raiders have lost just three fumbles combined. Meanwhile, Matt Cassel is tied for third in the league for fewest interceptions, while Jason Campbell is fourth. All they do is win, baby.
This quarterback matchup doesn't exactly conjur up images of Daryle Lamonica and Len Dawson slinging it all over the yard. It's reasonable to wonder if Cassel and Campbell are the long-term answers. In fact, despite Campbell's impressive wins against the Broncos and Seahawks, Raiders coach Tom Cable waited until late in the week to officially name him the starter over Bruce Gradkowski. Still, in his last three games, Cassel has thrown for 546 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. In his last two, Campbell has thrown for 500 yards, four touchdowns and zero picks.