Oakland Raiders: The Belly Of The Beast – Q&A With Arrowhead Addict


The Oakland Raiders play host to the Chiefs this in a game with a lot on the line – we sat down with Arrowhead Addict to discuss the state of things.

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The Oakland Raiders play host to their arch rivals from Kansas City this weekend. Ahead of the game, we sat down with Matt Verderame, Editor in Chief, of Arrowhead Addict to talk about the Chiefs, their remarkable turnaround, and how they’re going to fare against the Raiders in this clash of ancient rivals.

The Chiefs, who started the season poorly, have been on fire of late and are the hottest team in the NFL with five straight wins. The Raiders, after going through a mid-season swoon that saw them drop three straight games, slip below .500 and damage their playoff hopes, are looking to build on the momentum they re-established against the Titans last week.

How will everything play out? Let’s see how Matt sees things…

1. What has been the biggest thing that’s changed with a team that started 1-5, but is now 6-5?

"The defense began playing the way everybody thought it would this summer – lights out. In recent weeks, the defense has been getting pressure and the tandem of Sean Smith and Marcus Peters has been special, save a great first half by Sammy Watkins. Also, the offensive line is playing much better."

2. Even though the Chiefs have won 5 in a row and seem to be clicking along very well, what do you see as their biggest weakness?

"Right now, there is nothing glaring. Still, I would say it is the ability to get chunk plays in the passing game. Alex Smith went deep early and often against Buffalo, but it is typically not his strong suit."

3. Kansas City’s offense has really seemed to come alive since Jamaal Charles — arguably, the Chiefs’ best offensive player — went down. Why do you think that is?

"I think the rest of the offense looked in the mirror and realized it needed to step up. Jeremy Maclin has really taken off, and the combo of Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West has been really solid. Again, though, the offensive line is leaps and bounds better than it was."

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4. If Justin Houston is unable to go on Sunday, how much of an impact do you see it having on their defense?

"Huge. He’s the best player on the defense by a mile. I still think the Chiefs have a good unit without him, but they won’t be quite as dominant. He’s a major part of what they do."

5. Kansas City’s passing game is basically a two person effort — Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce — the third leading receiver on this team is Jamaal Charles. How much does that concern you to see all of those eggs in just two baskets?

"It’s a concern, for sure. Those two have been great, but the Chiefs don’t have much else in the pass game. Albert Wilson is intriguing, but he isn’t getting the targets."

6. What are the Raiders’ biggest weaknesses that you think Kansas City can exploit?

"The secondary. I think the Chiefs will try to force-feed Kelce and Maclin early and often. Look for the backs to be involved in the passing game as well. The Raiders are much-improved, but the corners/linebackers really struggle in coverage."

7.What are Kansas City’s biggest weaknesses that fans should be worried about heading into the game?

"Injuries. Houston will probably miss this game and the offensive line could be down at least two starters. If that is the case, it could be an issue protecting Smith."

8. How is this game going to turn out?

"I have been going back and forth. On the radio, I picked the Raiders. On Arrowhead Addict, I picked the Chiefs. I’ll roll with the Raiders at home because they are desperate and the Chiefs have to lose sometime, right?"

Next: Oakland Raiders: Keys to Victory Over Chiefs

This is a huge game for both franchises as both have a lot on the line and a lot to play for. How do you think it’s all going to turn out on Sunday? Will the Chiefs win their sixth straight? Or will the Raiders be able to build on their momentum and insert themselves right back into the thick of the playoff picture?

Let’s hear your thoughts. Sound off, Raider Nation!

Very special thanks to Matt Verderame of Arrowhead Addict for taking the time to talk about the game with us. For all things Chiefs, head on over and check him out.