Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) deflects a pass intended for New York Giants running back David Wilson (22) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Destruction Gene, Terrelle Pryor And How You Can Help!

AA - Crowd Noise final

Since Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans, there’s been a lot of talk about how the 5-0 Chiefs could start the season with a 9-0 record.

That talk is fun but it’s about four games premature.

Last week, I was as nervous as I’ve been in years, with the Chiefs down entering the fourth quarter and no real antecedents in my memory bank to justify why or how we could win that game. But we did, through a long, fourth-quarter drive, a key interception by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Cooper and a clutch, 48-yard field goal by Ryan Succop with just over 2 minutes remaining.

The same thing happened against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. Up by just one point, 17-16, the Chiefs gave the ball back to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo with 3:55 left. I thought for sure the Chiefs would be done — that’s certainly what would have happened last year. But the Chiefs defense held. They neither bent nor broke.

In the Eagles game, we needed a long drive in the fourth quarter to keep the Eagles from coming back. Last year, there’s just no way that would have happened. This year, Alex Smith engineered a clutch, 15-play, 75-yard drive that took 8:15 off the clock.

There’s no question the Chiefs are a different team this year. But can the same be said about Sunday’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders?

Despite a new owner (well, kind of), a new general manager, a new coach and a new quarterback, deep down, I want to believe that there is some of that special Oakland Raiders mystique permanently lodged in the cerebrum (and I use that term purely in the biological sense) of Raider Nation. Let’s call that mystique the “Destruction Gene.”

I already know what you Addicts are thinking. You’re thinking, “The Destruction Gene belongs to Philip Rivers.” But the Destruction Gene can belong to anyone. The Chiefs had it last year, which is why this year’s wins have been both nerve-wracking and surprising. Do the Raiders have the Destruction Gene this year?

Perhaps, The Raiders’ penalty acquisition rate is legendary. They just released quarterback Matt Flynn, for whom they paid $6.5 million in guaranteed salary just six months ago and for whom they traded a 2014 fifth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks. And remember, they gave up everything but the Oakland Coliseum itself to pay for Carson Palmer, whom they then let go before the season began. This year, they rank 27th in passing yards and 21st in passing defense. Their offensive line is in shambles, with left tackle Jared Veldheer out and injuries to starting center Stefan Wisniewski, right tackle Tony Pashos and new left tackle Menelik Watson. Darren McFadden is injured, again.

But the Raiders stand at 2-3, with just a 10 point differential over their five games. They could easily be 3-2 or 4-1. They are showing surprising flashes of life, the exact opposite of what teams with the Destruction Gene do. These Raiders have run roughshod over the Kansas City Chiefs, winning six straight games at Arrowhead. The 2013 version of the Raiders is ninth in the NFL in rushing and 12th in rushing defense. Last week, they held the San Diego Chargers to 32 yards rushing, with a long run of just 5 yards. We’ve all heard about the fast learning curve Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor has mastered this year. He’s also got wide receiver Denarius Moore, averaging close to 16 yards per catch and a very active linebacker in Kevin Burnett, who had 12 solo tackles last week in a 27-17 home win against the San Diego Chargers.

In short, we don’t know if the Raiders do, or do not, have the Destruction Gene. To solve this puzzle, I conducted extensive and scientific research on the Destruction Gene. The results may surprise you. Here’s what I found out.

The Destruction Gene can be innate (see Philip Rivers). But one can also cause the Destruction Gene to happen. To another person. And the key to this game will be to be focus on triggering the Destruction Gene in Terrelle Pryor. Pryor is clearly the key to the Raiders’ success. He can make plays out of nothing with his mobility and arm. If Pryor destructs, then the Raiders’ chance of winning diminishes faster than Matt Flynn’s NFL career. Here’s how the Chiefs can trigger the Destruction Gene in Pryor.

First, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Dontari Poe need to dominate the Raiders’ injured offensive line and live in Pryor’s face all day long.

Second, Alex Smith’s offense needs long drives. Ball control. Safe decision-making. No turnovers.

Third, I think the Chiefs should put Eric Berry on spy duty on Pryor all day long, not as a blitzer but with primary responsibility should Pryor begin to run. Berry’s only duty is to stop Pryor.

And fourth and finally, the crowd noise at Arrowhead needs to get inside Pryor’s head. He may have five NFL games under his belt, but he’s never been in a situation where he can’t even hear his own center. The noise at Arrowhead needs to be such that porch swings are swinging in the cool crisp air from Lee’s Summit to Kansas City.

If the Chiefs shut down Pryor, the Destruction Gene will kick in.

Addicts, how do you think we trigger the Destruction Gene this Sunday for the Raiders?!!


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  • Stacy D. Smith

    Pryor’s the key to the whole thing. His improved play has given hope to that organization and their fanbase. They’ve been screwing the pooch for years at the quarterback position. They might’ve just stumbled over a pretty good one. We need to put the kid on the ground over and over and over again on Sunday.

    • Michael Shaw

      I say just do what we did to Philly and we will be fine, right?!!

      • Stacy D. Smith

        That actually might be a pretty solid model for defending them.

      • Miles Yi

        Greate point, Michael. The Philly game plan would fit to a T!

  • berttheclock

    Hmmm, Matt Flynn released, you say? You mean that former GB QB of whom many fans of the Chiefs wanted to come to KC? That Matt Flynn?

    Denarius Moore, you say? You mean the young wide out from Tennessee of whom Pioli never even heard of? That Denarius Moore? The fellow who scored a 61 yard bomb against the Chiefs?

    Yes, the key will be Pryor. He has thrown 4 TDs and had an 8.8 average yards per catch out of his 71 completed passes He has, also, run for 229 yards. Even though he has been sacked 11 times, he has regrouped and played very well following being sacked.

    Dennis Allen is, first and foremost, a defensive coach who believes deeply in that old “Bend, don’t break”. The Raiders have had 13 sacks so far. BTW, big change in Oakland so far. They have only given up 200 yards on penalties. The Chiefs have given up 202.

  • berttheclock

    One bright note for the Chiefs. Although Pro Football Focus has the Raiders’ O-line rated at 17th and the Chiefs at 23rd, the biggest weakness of the Raiders line is the left guard, Lucas Nix. With a 2nd level center playing next to him, Poe should have a field day.

  • micah stephenson

    Chiefs gon beat down the raiders. This defense will do what they do including scoring some pts this game, special teams will turn n a lot of big plays, and Alex Smith will game manage us to a victory. Chiefs win 27-13.

    • Jason Seibel

      You going to be there?

      • micah stephenson

        Of corse ima b there!!!!! Are you coming to “The Tree” that’s where we tailgate.

        • Jason Seibel

          That’s what I wanted to know. Save me a beer. I’ll see you Sunday!

          • micah stephenson

            What kinda beer you like and do you drink vodka, crown, or Hennesy? :)

        • Bosco Cletus

          Do the gates really open at 7:30 this sunday? I’ve never known them to open before 8:30.

          • micah stephenson

            Not sure wat time they open this week. I’m going at 9. 2 1/2 hrs of tailgating is cool.

          • Bosco Cletus

            Im pretty sure its gonna be rockin regardless of how long they let people drink. haha

  • freshmeat62

    So we don’t know if this gene is genetic (the word alone seems it should be), or if maybe the gene makes them more susceptible to catching something contagious. Did that make any sense? I know what I meant. Lets hope it’s more to the contagion side, because there are a lot of new genes on the team.

    I think this Sunday we need Arrowhead to do it’s thing, so we don’t have to worry about genes.

  • Danny W

    Got to put a spy on the kid. He can take off with the best of them. Don’t let him beat you with his legs and we win the football game.

    • Miles Yi

      Do you think Berry the best guy to do play the spy?

      • mnelson52


      • Danny W

        Berry or DJ I think is quick enough too.

  • GGRaider

    Ah, but don’t forget Darren McFadden, He’s practicing at full speed. For a team as week against the rush as the Chiefs, they can’t afford to just focus on Pryor or DMac willl make them pay. Those two are very dangerous in the pistol formation.

    • ……ChiefsFan……

      KC isn’t really that weak against the run. Take out that Philly game, and they have been very good (minus a big run here and there). Good point though, they do need to watch out for a DMac sighting.

      • mnelson52

        Most of the yards given up have come on about two big plays a game. The rest of the game they have played the run very well.

    • WTF

      Dmac has had some good games against KC when healthy.

  • mnelson52

    When Pryor escapes, it’s always to the right. Play man to man and have Berry waiting on the defensive left side to pounce on Pryor when he heads that way.

    • mnelson52

      That’s if he can get around Houston

  • GDL40

    Not gonna be a sure win like many think……wish KC would have a HUGE game all around after losing at home to Oakland so much recently…..but not gonna be easy

  • WTF

    Not sure how many stones I would be throwing about failed QB position in Oakland. Finding a quality starting QB is difficult. Draft is crapshoot with few sure fire pics and free agency QB’s are difficult to find unless their coming off injuries. Teams dont let quality starters go. Coming off failed Cassel experiment and not having any noteable franchise QB yourself in recent memory I think five games in is a little too early to crow about Smith.