Here is everything you need to know about the Week 6 opponent of the Oakland Raiders, the division rival Kansas City Chiefs.
"“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”"
Thanks for the intro, Sun Tzu.
Let’s get to know Oakland’s Week 6 opponent, a team fans already know quite well, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even though we know the Chiefs better than most teams, it’s still a good idea to see what the 2016 version is about. Where are their strengths, their weaknesses, etc.
We’ll start with the coaching staff:
Head Coach: Andy Reid
Offensive Coordinator: Brad Childress
Defensive Coordinator: Bob Sutton
Special Teams Coordinator: Dave Toub
The Chiefs have a quality coaching staff, led by Andy Reid. Say what you want about Andy, but you have to give credit where credit is due. The Chiefs have been a very competitive team since he took over, with a quality defense and an efficient offense.
Th 2016 version of the Chiefs, however, has been a mixed bag. Injuries to key players (such as Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston) certainly are a reason for that, but even outside of some notable injuries, KC has been average at best.
Here is a look at the Chiefs offense:
- QB Alex Smith
- RB Spencer Ware
- RB Jamaal Charles
- WR Jeremy Maclin
- WR Chris Conley
- TE Travis Kelce
- LT Eric Fisher
- LG Parker Ehinger
- C Mitch Morse
- RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- RT Mitchell Schwartz
At the skill positions, Kansas City certainly has some notable talent. Maclin and Kelce are very good, while Charles has been one of the best running backs of the last decade. Spencer Ware has filled in admirably in Jamaal’s absence.
Alex won’t kill it in the box score, but he is efficient, he typically makes the right decision, and he doesn’t turn the ball over that often.
Where the Chiefs struggle is with the offensive line. Smith has been sacked 13 times in just four games, tied for 6th most in the league. The Raiders pass rush has underwhelmed, but this will definitely be the weakest o-line Oakland has faced thus far.
With the Raiders being ranked dead last in passing yards allowed, they can’t afford to have Alex Smith looking like Tom Brady on Sunday. If Smith throws for over 300 yards and something like 3 TDs, it’s going to be difficult for the Raiders to come up victorious.
Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce have big-play potential, and can change the game with just one catch. So it’ll be up to everyone in the secondary, and sometimes the LBs in the case of Kelce, to ensure that doesn’t happen.
And let’s not forget about Jamaal Charles, who to the displeasure of Raiders fans, once dropped five touchdowns on Oakland during a 56-31 victory at The Coliseum. Charles is considered to be 100 percent healthy, and if he can shake off the rust quickly, it could be another long day for the defense.
Here is a look at the Chiefs 3-4 defense:
- LDE Jaye Howard
- NT Dontari Poe
- RDE Allen Bailey
- LOLB Dee Ford
- LILB Derrick Johnson
- RILB Justin March
- ROLB Tamba Hali
- CB Marcus Peters
- CB Phillip Gaines
- FS Eric Berry
- SS Ron Parker
Kansas City’s typically stout defense has taken a few steps back in 2016.
Through Week 5, the Chiefs are 22nd in total yards allowed per game (370), 13th in passing yards allowed per game (340) and 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (29.5).
And as bad as Oakland’s pass rush has been (31st in sacks) there is one team who has been even worse, and that is the Chiefs. KC has managed to record only 5 sacks on the season, and are badly missing Justin Houston.
Where the Chiefs make up for that is in the turnover department, largely thanks to Marcus Peters. The Oakland native is leading the NFL in interceptions since entering the league in 2015 (12). He had 8 in 2015 and already has 4 this season.
But Peters gets those interceptions due to his aggressive play-style. He will eagerly jump on routes, making him susceptible to double-routes and savvy route-running, something where both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree excel.
The key to the game might be Oakland’s run game against KC’s run defense. The Raiders boast the 9th ranked rushing game through five weeks, and that is where the Chiefs have struggled the most defensively.
With Latavius Murray out for a second consecutive week, it’ll be another opportunity for DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard to step up and perform.