The League

David Larimer
Two-time defending Gameday pick-em champion

David Larimer

An assistant NFL editor at the The Washington Post

Oakland at Kansas City, Week 2

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

We're just one game into the season, and already the Raiders are in December form. December form for the Raiders, that is, when games are meaningless and morale is gone.

Coach Lane Kiffin is already doing his part to contribute to Oakland's warped sense of team unity. After the Raiders were crushed, 41-14 -- in the season opener, at home, in the Monday night spotlight -- Kiffin was asked about the conservative defense, which blitzed Denver's Jay Culter just four times even though he was playing behind two first-time starting tackles. Kiffin responded by washing his hands.

"I'm not going to get really get into if I was the defensive coordinator what I would do because that doesn't really matter," he told reporters Wednesday. "I'm the head coach. I oversee everything and I control what I can control. Do I have the exact belief we do on defense? No, but it's hard to have the exact belief that we do. So, it is what it is."

Kiffin, of course, already tried to replace defensive chief Rob Ryan during the offseason. Owner Al Davis refused. Kiffin then sent Davis a letter offering his own resignation. Davis refused that, too. So Kiffin appears beyond bothering to care what half his team does. "Rob and the owner are always in communication," Kiffin continued to reporters. "For the most part, I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that. So, that wasn't the way the game plan ended up the other night."

The Chiefs, meantime, enter the game with serviceable backup Damon Huard starting for the injured Brodie Croyle at quarterback, and a whole lot of worry should Huard get hurt. Tyler Thigpen, currently second on the depth chart, has two completions in his NFL career -- and one interception. Ingle Martin, who joined the team from the Titans' practice squad on Wednesday, has never thrown a pass in the NFL. Undaunted, Coach Herman Edwards has said in recent days that Thigpen will play in the next couple of weeks along with Huard.

By David Larimer  |  September 11, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  | Category:  Post Gameday Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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