Earlier today I linked you to a post I wrote for Fansided’s Oakland Raiders site Just Blog Baby.
Yes, the post was about how to beat the Chiefs. Yes it made me feel dirty to do it. I’ve taken a shower now and I am hitting you with something a little better.
Chris from JBB was kind enough to give us the blueprint on how to beat the Faiders.
It wasn’t too long ago that this would be a simple three word answer: Run the ball. Since 2002 the Raiders have had as much success stopping the run as Megan Fox has had selecting scripts (Jennifer’s Body, Jonah Hex…really?).
This season was looking like another spin on the broken record for the run defenseless Raiders until something strange happened on the way to the AFC West basement. Suddenly the Raiders are stuffing the run then turning around running the ball down the throats of the opposition.
Ok, so maybe the Broncos and Seahawks aren’t exactly the best measuring sticks for how far the run defense has come. But there is a noticeable improvement not only in scheme but in technique as well.
For Kansas City, relying on the run has taken the Chiefs to the top of the AFC West and there is no reason to change the plan of attack now. Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles should be featured prominently in Oakland if Todd Haley wants to get a stranglehold on the division. While Matt Cassel has had some success throwing the ball lately, it would be advised not to test Oakland’s secondary too often. Even if Nnamdi Asomugha is a late scratch, the Raiders are loaded with coverage specialists that have the closing speed of a tiger after seeing a gazelle limping around on three legs.
Defensively, the Chiefs must do the same as the Raiders and stop the run. Darren McFadden is the key. When he’s rolling there is no hope. Run DMC’s skill set creates matchup problems all over the field. Before you know it your linebackers are being beaten in coverage by Marcel Reece and Zach Miller underneath which then leaves Darrius Heyward-Bey and his 4.3 speed on an island with smaller corners.
As if dealing with McFadden weren’t enough, in comes the hammer Michael Bush. The one-two punch of Bush and McFadden has been a deadly combo. Both backs are more than capable of being handed the rock 20+ times a game. Both are a nightmare on screen passes. And, for good measure, both have a nose for the end zone when they sniff the goal line.
As far as stopping McFadden goes, well, that starts with winning the battle in the trenches. Oakland’s offensive line struggles protecting the QB but dominates in the running game. If the O-line is getting a push up front that spells bad news with the way McFadden runs. Given his size, speed and the way he punishes tacklers, if the linebackers aren’t filling holes then it could mean a long afternoon filled with long runs as most DB’s don’t stand a chance making open field tackles on Run DMC.
The Raiders are defined by their lines. If the Chiefs want to set the tone then it starts in the trenches. Dominating the Raiders up front is essential. Everything the Raiders do is predicated by the offensive and defensive lines. Win the trenches, win the game. Plain and simple.
Sunday should be a fight to the finish. With the Coliseum at full capacity for the first time in over a year, I’d advise Chief fans to keep that red hidden. Something tells me the recent success Kansas City has enjoyed in Oakland is about to come to an end.
Can’t wait for Sunday.
Oh…one more thing…
Just win, baby!