The Brawl in the Fall: Raiders Battle Chiefs at Arrowhead

 

Dec 24, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders tightend Brandon Myers (83) and tightend David Ausberry (86) celebrate the winning field goal as Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Andy Studebaker (96) watches at Arrowhead Stadium. Oakland won the game 16-13. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome to Arrowhead Stadium, possibly one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Some of the most dedicated passionate fans in the sporting world. It never matters what the record of these two teams are when they meet up its always a epic battle. The final score is always is doubt.

Sunday’s contest marks the 107th meeting between the Chefs and Raiders, which is the one team Kansas City has faced more than any single opponent. The Chiefs own a 55-49-2 (.528) overall record against Oakland, including a 53-48-2 mark in the regular season. In the last 31 games since 1996out of the 31 games, 20victories have been secured by seven points or less.

QB Brady Quinn will start under center for the Chiefs after being named the starter by Head Coach Romeo Crennel on Monday. Quinn started in the last game at Tampa Bay on Oct. 14 and completed 22 of 38 passes for 180 yards with two interceptions. Matt Cassel had tossed nine interceptions before being injured.

Like the Tin man Quinn was a little rusty in his previous two appearances. Mcluster, and Maneri were his favorite targets against Tampa bay. Look for Quinn to take what the Raiders give him. The quick slant, the snap out, and the hitch will be quick routs that Quinn can get the ball out of his hand quickly. Dwane Bowe, and Tony Moeaki will be on the short list of receivers to get the ball to.

The Chefs running game is the staple of head coach Romeo Crennel. At one time during the season Jamal Charles was the leading rusher in the NFL. Currently the Chefs are third in rushing averaging 164 yards per game. Jamal Charles averages 98.5 yards per game to lead the NFL. Charles has come down with a case of the oppsies fumbling the ball three times on the season. Peyton Hillis looks to get off the injured list by making an appearance against the Raiders.

This will be the best back the Raiders have seen since Reggie Bush from the Miami Dolphins. Last week Maurice Drew-Jones was to have that position but went to the sideline with a game ending injury.

The defense of KC has the ability to shut you down and cover you up. Houston and Hali, are the backbone of this unit. They are creating havoc, and confusion for offensive lines, including both run schemes and pass protection. Derick Johnson #56 is the leading tackler for the Chefs with 41 total tackles. Eric Berry #29 is second on the hitters chart as he has 22 total tackles on the year.

LB Justin Houston has a team-high 6.0 sacks (-45.0 yards), which is tied for the fourth-highest total in the AFC. He also leads the team with nine QB pressures. On the first drive of the last game at Tampa Bay, Houston recorded his first career interception and returned it 32 yards. Fellow LB Tamba Hali has 4.0 sacks (-29.0 yards) and five QB pressures.

The Chefs rank 29th in scoring at 17.3 point per game. While on the Defensive side of the ball they are giving up 30.5 points per game ranking them at 30th in the NFL.

So here we go again another Brawl in the Fall with the Chefs. Romeo Crennel is in his third year coaching the Chefs, and his first full season as head coach. Injuries have slowed up the offense of positive soft spoken coach for most of the young season. A front office that was applauded for making positive moves in the off season has lately been booed by the chef faithful.

The Raiders battled the Jacksonville Jags last week in a mirror image game. Oakland made the Jags look like world beaters. If not for the two key injuries to QB Blain Gabbert, and running back Maurice Drew-Jones the score could have been flipped to the other side.

The Silver and Black will have to play a few steps up in KC if they want their record to improve. This will be a very hostile environment. From the ticket takers, to the food vendor to the guy that’s hold the sound dish on the sideline. You can thanks former Chef Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer for pouring gas on that fire. He would say of the Raiders “They have talent, and will score, but they will screw up, they always do, and when they do we will take the lead, and win the game”

Offensive line of the play of the Raiders must improve. An innovative idea would be to change to suit players skill set such as McFaddens smash and bash attack. The offense should be running downhill, sprint draw, iso, counter, as well as off tackle power. Exploit the first wave and let McFadden get to the next level in open space and do his thing. Gobble up yardage and score touchdowns.

Carson Palmer has been a very steady player for the nation. His stats put him at #14 on the NFL list in passing. His average per game is 288.7, per pass 7.2. Very respectable numbers for a qb that is forced to throw off his back foot, or not step into the throw.

Protection has to be a concern for Palmer as he has been sacked 12 times on the year. More evident than that statistic is how many times Palmer has been hurried, made to move out of the pocket, or his rhythm disrupted by opponents pass rush or blitz package. He plays ugly but get the job done!

The Chefs are giving up 125 yards rushing per game. A front seven that plays with heart, and determination could cause the sputtering running game of the Raiders to stall and die in the middle of the field. Yet that same defense gives up 4.7 yards per rushing attempt. A Chef secondary that is allowing 224.5 yard passing per game is ripe for the picking. With Palmer finding nine different receivers in the previous two games look for the ball to be continually distributed amongst the many.

On the Raider defensive side of the ball the formula is quite simple. Stop Jamal Charles and you give yourself a chance to be successful and gain a victory.

Phillip Wheeler, and Rolono McClain, Miles Burris will have to run downhill and make contact at the line of scrimmage and drive the powerful Charles back into the backfield. Shaughnessy, Seymoure, Kelly, and Lamar Houston, will have to play off blocks and get penetration to disrupt the chef timing.

A game you believe you can win and one you don’t want to lose. It will start on the first play and end on the final whistle. One thing is for certain it will be a brutal battle of brawn, and brain power. A skirmish every play, and whoever wins the most skirmishes wins the battle.

The game is not for the Raiders to win but for them not to lose

“Know yourself and you will win all battles”

-Sun Tzu

Note: You may have noticed that the KC Chefs is misspelled. That’s not by accident. I despise the Chefs and bonehead stadium. It is my private battle with the chef nation right now, I’m in the lead.

Topics: Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

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