Raiders vs. Chiefs: Sketching out a Game Plan for Oakland

Divisional rivalry games are always more interesting than the garden-variety NFL game, even when the 2-4 Oakland Raiders play the 1-5 Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders and Chiefs have played poorly this season, and those who have been dubbing the game the "Toilet Bowl" are well supported in their assessment.

That doesn't mean that both teams don't have the talent to play much better football than they have this season. The Chiefs have been handicapped by turnovers and their quarterback situation. The Raiders have been handicapped by injuries and a new offensive scheme. The winner of the game may be the team which overcomes its handicap first. 

The Raiders could decide to try to exploit the Chiefs' weakness by going after Brady Quinn. That's probably a bad move because Quinn probably has a hard enough time playing good football. Quinn should be able to have a good day against Oakland’s secondary, but he’s not going to carry the Chiefs on his back to victory like Jamaal Charles can.

The Raiders should be most concerned with stopping Charles, who leads the league in yards per game and runs of 40 yards or more. Charles is also averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has probably run against more eight-man fronts than any top running back. 

One way to slow down Charles is to score, and defensively the Chiefs have allowed 30.5 points per game this season. Opponents have used big runs (8) to set up passing touchdowns (13) on Kansas City, and the Raiders should try to use the same formula. 


Stopping Charles

Charles is one of the faster running backs in football which makes him deadly in the open field. Even setting the edge in the run game against Charles is not always enough because he will just burst through a small hole and run past a linebacker.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did a good job of slowing down Charles in Week 6 and he...

About the Author