This is one of a series of debuts from new JBB staff writers who will be coming to Just Blog Baby. Today’s column is from @_Brazy give him a follow on Twitter.
Oakland Raiders-Kansas City Chiefs: Players to Watch
Oakland Raiders (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-0): Players to watch
As the Raiders invade Kansas City, looking to win their 7th straight at Arrowhead Stadium, lets take a look at some key players to watch.
Terrelle Pryor – There should be no doubt that this young QB is driving this Raiders team. His last two starts have been turnover free and not so coincidentally resulted in two Raider wins. This week he’s up against a Chiefs Defense that leads the league in scoring, sacks and is among the league leaders in causing turnovers. If he can continue to avoid turnovers and keep drives alive with his legs, this Raiders team has more than a punchers chance on Sunday.
Oakland Running Backs - McFadden & Jennings were both at practice this week and look probable for Sunday. Reece could end up being the man as the other backs have been battling hamstring injuries. The running game will be the key against the Chiefs, as they are 21st in the league in giving up 115 ypg and over 5 yards per carry. Marcel has shown he can do the job if needed. No matter what back ends up carrying the rock, he has to be productive if the Raiders are to win.
Raider Offensive Line – whoever is out there will have their hands full with this defensive front and that crowd trying to break the Seattle world record for crowd noise. Questions up and down, with Pashos injury, Watson’s availability and Nix lack of production. They did well enough against San Diego, but this is the best Defense they have faced all year.
Lamar Houston – I’ve been critical of Lamar so far this year. I just don’t see him making enough impact plays. He’s going to see plenty of bootlegs from Alex Smith and needs to keep his outside contain. I expect the Raider defense to keep the run in check, so Lamar needs to beat his man and provide a consistent pass rush this week. He needs his first multi-sack game of the year against the Chiefs.
DJ Hayden – Someone get Willie Brown, Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes with this kid so they can teach him the bump and run. He is too far off his man, never touches him and gets ate alive by the slant route. If the Raiders can’t get to Alex Smith, they will dink and dunk this kid to death.
Jamaal Charles – he couldn’t stop the Raiders from sweeping the Chiefs last year and this is a better defense the Raiders are bringing to townon Sunday. If he doesn’t get going, it will be hard for the Chiefs to win.
Alex Smith – he’s eliminated the turnover machine the Chiefs QB’s were known for and has helped them to an undefeated start to the season. He’s like every other QB in the NFL, with time to throw, he will hurt you. It’s paramount that the Raiders get to him early and often.
Dontari Poe – He’s the big man in the middle who gets it all started for this defense. The KC coaches are praising his dedication this offseason as the reason for his dominance. If he can over power whoever is under center for the Raiders, it could be a long day for the offense.
Justin Houston – he leads the league in sacks and will be turned loose after Pryor. He could be facing the Raiders 2013 2nd round pick making his 1st NFL start on Sunday. If he can make Pryor look for him, instead of his receivers, they will continue their top 5 NFL ranking in passing yards allowed per game.
Chiefs Special Teams – The last two weeks, their special teams have provided sparks that have propelled them to points and game changing momentum. It’s all part of how the ball has been bouncing their way this year. If the Raiders are to win, they must avoid letting this unit have a big play.