KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If this turns out to be Tom Cable’s last year as Oakland’s head coach, at least he’ll know he made history.
After beating Kansas City 31-10 on Sunday in their regular-season finale, the 2010 Raiders became the only team since the 1970 merger to go unbeaten in their division and still not make the playoffs. The short-handed Raiders (8-8) wrapped up a division record of 6-0, while the Chiefs (10-6) went 2-4 in the division and will host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday as AFC West champions.
The Chiefs are the No. 4 seed, the Raiders are through for the year.
“We are disappointed because we are not going to the playoffs, but at the same time we stuck to the goal and stuck to the plan as we have done very week, and we got our eighth win,” said Cable, whose job status with the Raiders has been the subject of speculation. “I’m very happy about that.”
Michael Bush rushed for 137 yards and Jason Campbell threw a TD pass for the Raiders, who beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium for the fourth year in a row and ruined their perfect home record.
Running back Darren McFadden and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour were inactive because of injuries, but the Raiders dominated from start to finish, intercepting two of Matt Cassel’s passes and getting seven sacks. The interceptions both led directly to Oakland’s last two scores. Jacoby Ford scored on a 10-yard reverse after Michael Huff’s interception, and Stanford Routt returned a pick 22 yards for the Raiders’ final TD when Cassel was hurried while throwing from his end zone.
The Chiefs were still digesting their lopsided loss several hours later when Indianapolis beat Tennessee 23-20 and determined their seed and first-round opponent.
The Chiefs’ worst home game of the season came on the heels of news that offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is returning to college coaching to become Florida’s offensive coordinator. Weis, in one year with the Chiefs, has been given much credit for developing Cassel into a topflight quarterback and turning Jamaal Charles into a Pro Bowl running back.
“Charlie Weis is moving on. He’s going to go to the University of Florida as a coordinator,” said Chiefs coach Todd Haley. “This is a bittersweet thing for me as the head coach. Charlie was obviously someone I was excited about having in here. That being said, Charlie is a family guy and he’s got a family situation, where he can go to Florida and be with his son, who is going to get into coaching. This is a great situation for Charlie and I respect it 100 percent.”
Weis was not made available to the media.
The Raiders posted their best record since 2002 amid talk that Cable may be out; the team went to 17-27 since he became head coach four games into the 2008 season. It was the first time since ‘02, when Oakland went to the Super Bowl, that it didn’t lose at least 11 games.
The Raiders had 344 total yards to Kansas City’s 201 and held the top-rated rushing offense to 115 yards on the ground.
Asked if he thinks he’s coming back, Cable didn't answer directly.
“We’re not losers anymore. We’re 8 and 8,” he said. “That’s not what we wanted. We wanted to be a playoff team. We came here to get the sixth win, which means we went 6-0 in the division and most importantly, we are done with that losing. We are not losers anymore.”