Let’s be honest. Raiders and Chiefs fans have a lot in common. We’re both loyal to a fault. We both know how to tailgate like nobody else’s business. And we both hate each other more than Randy Moss hates catered meals.
So on the eve of the biggest game Raider Nation has seen in years, we reached out to Patrick Allen of Arrowhead Addict.com and asked him how the Raiders can beat the Chiefs.
Patrick is one of the co-leads at AA and he certainly knows his Chiefs. If Tom Cable is looking for any last minute advice, he can simply see what Patrick has to say below.
The Kansas City Chiefs have proven that they are a tough team to beat this year.
They have only lost two games to the Colts and the Texans and it is hard to pick out a theme in those losses. The Colts game was neck and neck until the 4th quarter. This game was more of a defensive battle and in the end, the team with Peyton Manning was able to do just a little more.
The Texans loss was also a strange one in the Chiefs had it in the bag and suffered an uncharacteristic defensive meltdown.
I think what makes the Chiefs so tough is their coaching staff. Todd Haley, Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis are doing an excellent job of playing to their player’s strengths. KC is a very fundamentally sound team, they don’t get rattled and they rarely make mistakes. These are the primary reasons they are 5-2.
Yet they are far from unbeatable. After the jump, I’ll run down some things I think your Raiders can do to beat my Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.
When The Chiefs Have The Ball:
Stack the box but don’t overreact.
Teams have been stacking the box all season against the Chiefs for the most part, they haven’t been having success. I think the reason is the types of plays the Chiefs are calling are throwing defenses off balance. The Chiefs run a lot of misdirection plays designed to open cut-back lanes away from the defenders. They’ll send most of the lineman one way and two tight ends another way. The defense will follow the lineman and a hole will often pop wide open.
For the Raiders to stop KC’s run game, they will need extra bodies at the line but those bodies had better be patient or Charlie Weis will trick them right out of their cleats. Patience on the part of the Oakland defenders might mean the Chiefs get 3 or even 4 yards but if they are overly aggressive the Chiefs backs could go for 6 or 7 and sometimes even 10 yards. The Colts did a pretty good job of this so I would be watching the tape from that game if I was coaching the Raiders.
If Oakland can shut down the KC rushing attack, they should be able to handle our passing game. Matt Cassel is hot and cold and the Raiders have a talented secondary. If Dexter McCluster sits out, the only legit receiving threats the Chiefs have are Bowe and TE Tony Moeaki. If the Oakland secondary can take care of those two and guard against the screen pass they should be able to force Matt Cassel to make a mistake.
When the Raiders have the ball:
The Chiefs defense plays bend but don’t break. They are going to keep the Oakland receivers in front of them and will try to create pressure with some well timed blitzes. For Oakland to succeed against this defense they need to exploit matchups. KC’s linebackers are terrible in coverage so the more the Raiders can get the ball to Zack Miller (if he plays) across the middle the better.
What Oakland shouldn’t do is throw anywhere near Brandon Flowers. He is having a ridiculous season and if Campbell makes a mistake Flowers will make him pay.
Another way Oakland can get an edge is to fake out KC’s young safeties. Eric Berry is good but he is still green and is susceptible to being faked out with the play action. Since the Raiders have been running so well, the Chiefs will likely be bringing Berry up a lot in run support. Get McFadden going and then run the play action and you might just find Heyward-Bey wide open behind the defense.
Lastly, the Raiders need to take what the Chiefs D is willing to give them. When QB’s try to force the ball down field against the Chiefs they often get burned because KC’s corners are pretty good. The Chiefs play a lot of zone so the Raiders should almost always be able to find a check down man in the middle of the field. They should keep an eye on MLB Derrick Johnson and if he isn’t in the area, take the easy yards. KC’s offense struggles at times and FG’s could get it done for the Raiders.
Lastly, Oakland needs to go after return man Javier Arenas. Arenas is a dangerous return man so the Raiders should be careful with him but his talents at returning the ball are causing him to catch punts he should fair catch and that could be an advantage for the Raiders, especially since Lechler is such a good punter. He makes me nervous and if the Raiders can get their coverage team down there fast enough, Arenas might just cough up the ball which would be a huge momentum swing.
Alright Raiders fans. Those are my tips on how to beat the Chiefs. Now take everything I said and forget about it. =)
Have fun on Sunday, it is great to have this rivalry mean something again. You are all welcome to come over to Arrowhead Addict and talk about the game with us so long as youa re cool about it. We’ve been having some great, friendly debate with Raiders fans all week. You guys are a passionate bunch.
Cheers and I hate you and your crappy football team,
So there you have it, Nation. A big thanks to Patrick for taking the time to give us some insight into his team. You’ll have to excuse his Raider angst. Just chalk that up to Lombardi Trophy envy.