Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Keys to the Game

3 of 6

Nov 01, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) rushes for a first down during the first half against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

2. Contain Alex Smith

It may seem strange to anyone who has watched football for the past decade for me to say that containing Alex Smith is a key to the game. Smith is a short-passing specialist with no deep ball who simply will not be the guy who wins games by himself. He’s been solid but unspectacular for Kansas City this year, throwing 12 TD’s in 11 games and averaging about 244 yards per game. While he is completing nearly 64% of his passes and has only thrown three picks, he isn’t going to light the Raiders up with his arm.

Where Smith is a threat, and where the Raiders defense has struggled of late, is running the football. Alex Smith is currently the Chiefs’ third-leading rusher, having carried 55 times for over 300 yards and a score. An average of five times per game, he either takes a designed run or simply takes off out of the pocket and gets yards and very often moves the chains.

Live Feed

No, the Chiefs haven’t hired Alex Smith as quarterback coach
No, the Chiefs haven’t hired Alex Smith as quarterback coach /

Arrowhead Addict

  • 3 outside the box Eric Bieniemy replacements the Chiefs should consider FanSided
  • How Stetson Bennett compares to this former NFL quarterback Saturday Blitz
  • Alex Smith rips Dan Snyder, Commanders for causing distractions Riggo's Rag
  • Looking at the Titans' recent ownership of the KC Chiefs Arrowhead Addict
  • The Alex Smith Paradox: How one trade changed everything for Chiefs, 49ers Arrowhead Addict
  • The Raiders have struggled to contain running quarterbacks – or for that matter any quarterback who has decided to run – of late. Teddy Bridgewater took off twice against the Raiders for 23 drive-extending rushing yards. Matthew Stafford had six carries for 31 yards and a score against the Raiders two weeks ago, including a sequence where he rushed for a big first down then the following play ran for a score on a draw.  The Raiders did hold the speedy Marcus Mariota to only a single seven yard carry, but less because of scheme and more because Mariota has been trying to be a pocket passer in his rookie year.

    The Chiefs have the sixth-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, despite the absence of Jamaal Charles and the fact that new feature back Charcandrick West is only averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Smith’s ability to take off and gain yards on a consistent basis a few times a game has been a major factor in that. The Raiders defense would do well to keep a spy on him throughout the game on Sunday.