With the Chiefs and Raiders winning just one AFC West championship between them over the past eight seasons, the Kansas City-Oakland rivalry has seen better times.
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
But Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali added some spice to the 107th meeting between the teams that comes Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Hali called the Raiders a dirty team.
Its a tradition, Hali said. The Raiders, they come in, they cheapshot, they hit you. Im not saying (any) names. It is what it is. Weve got to be ready to play and keep our composure, stayed poised and be able to get this win.
Hali is hardly the first player to aim those charges at the Raiders. Theyve had the reputation as cheapshot artists for decades.
But in this case, Hali is going with some outdated information. The Raiders last fall lost long-time franchise icon Al Davis, who seemed to encourage Oaklands thug mentality. Davis died last October.
Since then, Oakland hired a new general manager, Reggie McKenzie, and head coach, Dennis Allen. Both are from outside the organization and theyre having a huge impact on how the Raiders operate.
The Raiders are usually among the league leaders in penalties, but not this year.
Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour responded by saying he didnt agree with Hali.
Any time you play the game, you should play with a chip on your shoulder, Seymour said. You should play with an attitude.
But in terms of being dirty, going out to hurt guys, I dont think I play that way or any of my teammates (play that way). I dont stand for it. But we do play tough and physical. I do believe thats the way the game is supposed to be played. I respect guys that play the same way.
Previous Raiders coaches have tried to clean up the teams chippy play without success. But Seymour indicated this years efforts are taking hold.
Im not sure where we rank in terms of penalties this year, but if there is anything you want to eliminate, its pre-snap penalties, things that get you beat in terms of being a good football team, Seymour said. I think we should eliminate that. I thought we tried to do that this year. Each game is different. We go out there and control the things we can control. We cant control what the refs call, only to some degree. We go out there and play hard and tough.
Games between the Chiefs and Raiders the past few seasons have generally been clean. Theyve usually been intense and hard-fought but free of obvious cheap shots.
Thats not Halis recollection.
The core guys that have been here, they understand what weve got going on Sunday, he said. (The Raiders) are coming in and theyre a good team and a fast team and they play dirty. Weve got to come out swinging.
Weve got to be ready for that. You can let these guys come in and if they do it and you let them do it, theyre going to enjoy themselves doing it and theyll run over you. So you have to be prepared for that and stay with the game plan.
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