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Chiefs LB Tamba Hali: The Raiders are a dirty team

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali is expecting some extracurricular activity on Sunday when his team takes on the division rival Oakland Raiders. Rivalry games — even ones between teams who have not been very good in recent history — have a tendency to be spirited, but Hali said the Raiders take it a step further.

“It’s a tradition,” Hali told the Kansas City Star on Wednesday. “The Raiders, they come in, they cheapshot, they hit you. I’m not saying (any) names. It is what it is. We’ve got to be ready to play and keep our composure, stayed poised and be able to get this win.

“The core guys that have been here, they understand what we’ve got going on Sunday. (The Raiders) are coming in and they’re a good team and a fast team and they play dirty. We’ve got to come out swinging.”

The Raiders have been known as an aggressive team for years, and that is particularly evident when they step inside the Black Hole in Oakland. However, Richard Seymour said there is a difference between playing dirty and playing hard and insists his team focuses on the latter.

“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 don’t think I play that way or any of my teammates (play that way). I don’t stand for it. But we do play tough and physical. I do believe that’s the way the game is supposed to be played. I respect guys that play the same way.”

If the Raiders have been playing dirty on defense, it hasn’t been effective as they are giving up over 28 points per game. Oakland has yet to find its identity, which was evident when they nearly lost to the Jaguars last weekend after hanging tough with the Falcons the week before. If the cheap shots Hali speaks of exist, they haven’t exactly given Oakland an advantage.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Paul Spinelli

Denver appliance store offering free appliances if Broncos shut out Raiders

The Broncos have not been very good defensively to start out the season. They haven’t really played well in general, but their offense has scored over 25 points per game through the first three weeks. However, their defense has allowed more than three touchdowns per game, which has resulted in a 1-2 record.

Appliance Factory Outlet in Denver has decided to roll the dice on the Broncos’ shaky start, as the store recently announced it will be giving away free appliances worth up to $3,000 per person if Denver shuts out the Raiders this weekend. Fans can purchase appliances from now until Saturday, Sept. 29 and bring in their receipt for a full reimbursement if the Broncos hold Oakland to a goose egg.

While the Broncos will have the luxury of playing at home in front of their electrifying crowd (all pigeon poop aside), shutting out the Raiders will be no easy task. The Raiders are also off to a 1-2 start, but they rank 7th in the NFL in passing and Darren McFadden may have had his coming out party against the Steelers with 113 yards rushing and a score. If I had to guess, I’d say Appliance Factory Outlet won’t be giving away any free stuff. But if you’re in the market for a new washing machine, what do you have to lose?

Thanks to Peter Burns for the tip

Raiders botch three punts as stand-in long-snapper Travis Goethel struggles

If ever there was an incredibly underrated position on the football field, it has to be long-snapper. Throughout the course of a game, we rarely find ourselves wondering something like, “What if the snap is bad?” Unlike quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and cornerbacks, we take the duties of a long-snapper for granted. If your quarterback goes down with an injury, at least you have a backup. The same is not always true at the long-snapper position.

Raiders long-snapper Jon Condo left Monday night’s loss to the Chargers with an injury, forcing linebacker Travis Goethel to take over his position. Goethel had to fill in for three punt attempts, two of which he literally rolled the ball to punter Shane Lechler and one of which was a good snap but the punt was blocked.

“He’s worked on snapping the ball, and actually he’s done a nice job in practice, but it’s obviously a lot different when you get in a game-like situation,” Oakland coach Dennis Allen said after the game, according to Around the League. “He was put into a tough situation, and it hurt us.”

According to Contra Costa Times writer Steve Corkran, Goethel had not long-snapped in a game since high school prior to Monday night — a seven-year break in the action. Corkran also pointed out that Lechler’s and Allen’s recollection of Oakland practices seems to be a bit different, as Lechler said Goethel gets “zero” reps at long-snapper during a typical practice week.

Between Monday night’s ugly turn of events and the Redskins lineman who played an entire half with a broken arm, perhaps this will be the year where we start to appreciate the importance of the long-snapper.

Raiders back at it with brutal rookie hazing haircuts (Pictures)

If you’re an NFL rookie who thinks you have it bad, just be thankful you don’t play in Oakland. We don’t really know if their rookies actually get the worst haircuts or if they simply do a great job of publicizing it, but any rookie who plays for the Raiders might as well completely shave their own head before training camp begins. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee you won’t end up with a penis haircut.

As you can see from the photos above that Joseph Barksdale shared with us on Twitter, a couple of Raiders rookies got horrible haircuts from the veterans — one of which Busted Coverage is certain is Carson Palmer because of the distinguished chin. As we saw last summer, this isn’t the first time a batch of rookies has been demolished by the buzzer in Oakland. Jack Del Rio banned hazing haircuts in Jacksonville after the veterans decided to hand out these penis-themed haircuts, so it will be interesting to see if the Raiders do the same. I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m praying they don’t do that.

Raiders finally get a draft ‘war room’

The Oakland Raiders are finally joining the 21st century. Though Al Davis had a brilliant football mind, he allowed the Raiders to fall behind many teams in several areas. New general manager Reggie McKenzie, who took over after Davis’ death, is trying to modernize the team in many ways.

According to NFL.com’s Steve Wyche, McKenzie asked for a modern-day draft room or “war room” to be constructed. He also said last week that there have been technological upgrades throughout the team facilities.

The draft takes place next week and Oakland only has five picks — no first or second-round selection — because of the Carson Palmer trade. McKenzie will have to do his best with a third, fourth, two fifths, and a sixth.

Even if the Raiders will struggle to build through the draft the next two years, at least McKenzie is doing what he can to put the team in a better position to succeed in the future.

Hue Jackson Blames Everyone But Himself for Raiders Loss

Heading into Sunday, the Raiders had a fairly decent shot at making the playoffs. They needed a win against the highly-inconsistent Chargers at home and a Broncos loss to the Chiefs. Tim Tebow and company could not handle Kansas City, but the Raiders blew their opportunity anyway. Oakland’s defense could not stop the talented San Diego offense. After the game, head coach Hue Jackson expressed disappointment in pretty much everyone but himself.

“I’m pissed at my team,” Jackson said after the game according to the Oakland Tribune. “At some point in time, as a group of men, you go in the game, and you can say whatever you want about coaches, you win the game. Here’s your time. Here’s your time to make plays. So, yeah, I’m pissed at the team. I’m also, like I tell them, I’ll always put it on me, but I am pissed at my team.”

Typically a coach will shoulder the blame for a loss regardless of the circumstances, but Jackson didn’t exactly give us the impression that he was willing to do that.  Not only did he take aim at his players, he also expressed disappointment in defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.

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Who is the Favorite to Reach the Super Bowl from this Year’s Mediocre AFC?

This has truly been a strange year in the NFL.  Granted, every year is strange in the world of professional football.  We have teams that start out smoking hot and finish the season 6-10.  We have others that start out 1-4 and scratch and claw their way into the playoffs.  This season, however, seems to be more of a mystery than ever — particularly in the AFC.  The Packers are the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC and the Super Bowl at this point, but what about the rest?  With the AFC up for grabs, here’s a look at the teams that are in the hunt. We start with the least likely to play in Indianapolis on Feb. 5 and end with the most.

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