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Kansas City Chiefs And Oakland Raiders Rivalry Actually Means Something Again

It's officially Raider week in Kansas City and it actually means something again.

As a Kansas City Chiefs fan, I can promise you I don't like the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs are good while the Raiders are evil. The Chiefs play smart, clean football while the Raiders take shortcuts and play dirty. The Chiefs have one of the most respected families in the NFL as their owner. The Raiders have....Al Davis.

OK, maybe not all that's true but as a Chiefs fan looking at the Raiders rivalry that's the perception that I have. The Chiefs once again fire up the rivalry talk this week as they prepare for a trip to Oakland to play the Raiders.

It's officially Raider week.

It's been eight years since Raider week really mattered. Since 2003, the Raiders haven't won more than five games in a season. The Chiefs have ranged from very good during that time (2003) to very bad (2008). The rivalry just isn't the same when one of the teams is stinking it up. There has been so much turnover from this Chiefs team since the last time there was a relevant Chiefs/Raiders game that I'm not sure all of them understand the history between the two sides.

Give Matt Cassel credit who quickly tabbed the Raiders as the Chiefs biggest rival.

Whether the rivalry was dead or not -- that's up for debate -- Sunday's Chiefs and Raiders game will give us an old-school feel. The Chiefs are in first place. The Raiders are in second. Both teams are eyeing the playoffs while the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers wallow in mediocrity (or worse) to this point. In other words, this game actually means something.

This week I've had to retrain myself that these aren't the same old Raiders. This isn't the same team that has allowed KC to walk in there each of the past seven years and beat them at their own place.  Listening to Tom Cable speaking to the press, he sounds similar to Todd Haley with his "get better at one thing every day" mantra. The Raiders also run the ball like the Chiefs sitting at second in the NFL (the Chiefs are first).

We're not sure if the Black Hole will sell out to really give this an old-school feel but the two teams on the field are both good and the game actually means something. A win for the Chiefs and they take a huge lead over everyone else in the AFC West. A loss by the Chiefs brings the Raiders and possibly the Chargers back into focus.