The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders will get in on the “Bowl Season” this weekend when they play their annual “Toilet Bowl.”
The Chiefs and Raiders have played a number of “Toilet Bowls” in recent years. There have been a couple of years in there where both teams were decent but usually it is a case of one of them being really and the other being even worse.
That will be the case this Sunday. This time around, the Raiders are bad and the Chiefs are worse. Oakland has managed to win three whole games while the Chiefs have snagged two victories.
In short, even by combining all of their wins, they’re still one of the wost teams in the NFL.
There is no advantage to either team winning at this point, other than bragging rights. Still, even though it will be better for the Chiefs and their draft position to lose, we just don’t don’t root for the Oakland Raiders.
No way. No how. Not ever.
So here are five keys to victory when the Chiefs travel to Oakland this weekend.
1. Use Jamaal Charles to score touchdowns, not just eat up yardage.
The good news is that the Chiefs’ coaching staff seems to have discovered that any prayer they have of moving the football means that said football must be in the hands of Jamaal Charles.
But only to a certain point.
For some utterly baffling reason, Jamaal Charles, one of the best running backs in the NFL, has only 16 career rushing touchdowns to go with his 739 career carries. That is only one touchdown every 46.2 carries.
Jamaal Charles is averaging six yards per-carry in his CAREER.
Just watch how the Chiefs use Charles. They give him the ball and he quickly helps them move down field into FG rage. Often, he helps them get into the red zone.
And then he vanishes.
The Chiefs love to replace Charles with Peyton Hillis when they get close to the endzone.
NFL coaches seem to have some sort of delusion that a man who is hard to tackle suddenly becomes easier to tackle when he gets within feet of scoring. They love to put big, fat, slow running backs in to “ram the ball” over the goal line.
I don’t care if the space is smaller or the line is stacked. If I need a single, solitary INCH, anywhere on the football field, I am giving the ball to the guy who AVERAGES six yards per carry. I bet, if I give it to him a couple of times in a row, he’ll find a way into the endzone.
Seems like an elementary concept but with a team like the Raiders, tackling becomes more important than ever. Thanks to Al Davis, the Raiders have a few super speedy receivers. These guys have a talent for twisting out of a one on one tackle. After that, they’re as good as gone.
The Chiefs have struggled with their tackling at times this year, particularly on screens and bubble screens. If I am the Raiders offensive coordinator, I’m going to be trying to get the ball to my playmakers in space.
The Chiefs better tackle and they better have a plan to break through those screens or they’ll get smoked.
3. Get Tony Moeaki involved early
With Dwayne Bowe on the shelf and with Jon Baldwin and Steve Breaston being mostly useless, Brady Quinn needs somebody to throw the ball to. If the Chiefs can get Charles going early, the play action game to Moeaki could also heat up. If offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can get Moeaki involved early, it could help open up the offense.
The Raiders have one of the NFL’s worst defenses so the Chiefs should be able to move the ball some, even without Bowe. But they have to get everyone involved.
4. Don’t play man
Romeo Crennel likes to play some man defense and that is just a terrible idea against the Raiders. Carson Palmer might not be what he once was but he can still throw the deep ball. With Oakland’s speedy receivers, the last think you want to see is Javier Arenas or Jalil Brown matched up one on one without any help.
Oakland’s receivers can and will blow right by anyone not named Brandon Flowers. KC’s best option here is to play a lot of zone, keeping everything in front of them. Palmer has a tendency to throw picks. He has 14 of them this year. If KC plays their cards right, they might get Palmer to cough up the ball a few times.
5. Play like you have nothing to lose…because you don’t.
The easiest way for the Chiefs to get an edge, on the road, is to be as aggressive as possible. This team isn’t going to the playoffs. The QBs aren’t coming back. All the coaches and probably the GM are going to be fired.
Time to go out, guns blazing.
If I’m Romeo Crennel and my offense is across the 50 yardline and facing a fourth and short, my ass is going for it. Every time. I’m not playing field position. I’m not settling for field goals. I’m going to try to win the damn game.
Even if the Chiefs do all this they still may lose but I think these tips give them the best chance.
What are your keys to victory?