The Kansas City Chiefs hope an underachieving former first-round pick can help turn around their disappointing season - or at least finally lead them to a home win.
Brady Quinn makes his second straight start Sunday when the Chiefs look to avoid a sixth consecutive home loss to the Oakland Raiders, who are still searching for their first road win.
Kansas City (1-5) has not held a lead in regulation and lost four games by 16 or more points. It overcame an 18-point deficit to beat New Orleans 27-24 in overtime on Sept. 23.
"We're all frustrated,'' general manager Scott Pioli said. "It's not what any of us came out of the gate expecting.''
Coming off a bye, the Chiefs have had more than enough time to devise a plan to help end a skid that reached three games with a 38-10 defeat at Tampa Bay on Oct. 14.
Quinn, who replaced the injured Matt Cassel and went 22 for 38 for 180 yards and two interceptions against the Buccaneers in his first start since 2009, was tabbed to remain the starter Monday. Cassel, who was cleared to play after suffering a concussion that drew cheers from some of the home crowd during a 9-6 loss to Baltimore on Oct. 7, has thrown nine interceptions and five touchdowns. He's also lost five fumbles.
"I felt like the most impactful move I could make to get everybody's attention was to change the quarterback,'' coach Romeo Crennel said. "Hopefully that impacts the team because the quarterback position is the one that has the spotlight on him.
"I'm not saying Matt Cassel is the reason we are where we are. We need to coach better and we need to play better."
The Chiefs can start at home, where their current four-game skid dating to last season is the team's longest since a 10-game slide that bridged the 2008 and 2009 seasons. This will be their first home contest since the fans' controversial reaction to Cassel's injury that pushed Quinn into action.
Quinn, the 22nd overall pick in 2007 by Cleveland when Crennel was coaching the Browns, has completed 53.2 percent of his passes and averaged 156 yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 picks while going 3-10 as a starter.
"I'm excited about the opportunity,'' he said. "There's always pressure, but pressure is what you make of it. As a quarterback in this league, you're used to it.''
Quinn hopes to get more help from Jamaal Charles, who leads the NFL with 98.5 rushing yards per game but was held to 40 on 12 carries in Tampa. He's averaged 81.0 yards and scored two TDs in his last three games versus Oakland (2-4).
Winless in three road contests this season, the Raiders' only victory in their last six away from home came 16-13 in overtime at Kansas City on Christmas Eve. Oakland has held the Chiefs to an average of 11.6 points during its five-game winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Raiders overcame three turnovers and a 14-point deficit for a 26-23 overtime win over lowly Jacksonville on Sunday.
"We're not satisfied," defensive lineman Richard Seymour said. "We understand that we have to play better, that we have to get better as a team."
Carson Palmer was 26 of 46 for 298 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also ran for a score, but was 9 of 13 for 118 yards while running a no-huddle offense that helped the Raiders rally. Though Oakland had success in that up-tempo set, it's not something they expect to run full-time.
"It worked for us (in a win) against Pittsburgh and it worked (last Sunday) but it's one of those things where you don't want to hang your hat on a no-huddle offense,'' said running back Darren McFadden, who has been held to 157 yards on 59 carries in the last three games after gaining a season-high 113 against the Steelers on Sept. 23.
McFadden ran for 164 yards and a TD on 21 carries during a 23-8 win at Kansas City in his first game against the Chiefs in 2008. However, he's been held to 152 and one score on 42 rushes in his last five in the series.
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