TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 15: Kansas City Chiefs At Oakland Raiders

Chiefs
Raiders
Matt Cassel (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Matt Cassel (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Quarterback
It’s all gone wrong for the Chiefs and Brady Quinn is not the answer. The Chiefs are a 2-11 football team this year and it’s not because head coach Romeo Crennel made a mistake with his personnel and hand Quinn sitting on the bench behind Matt Cassel. Quinn is just an ordinary player who lacks accuracy and big-play ability.
Winner Carson Palmer has given a great effort this season but the Raiders don’t have the talent to win consistently. Palmer has to be considered a failure because the Raiders are 3-10, but he has thrown for 3,805 yards and he has completed more than 60 percent of his passes with a 22-14 TD-interception ratio. With a better supporting cast, Palmer’s performance could have his team fighting for a playoff spot.
Offense
The Chiefs have a solid running game but it has not been enough to allow them to turn the corner. Jamaal Charles opened the game with an 80-yard TD run in Week 14 vs. the Browns and he has rushed for 1,220 yards this season. While Cassel and Quinn have been lousy, so have the Chiefs’ receivers. Dwayne Bowe is talented but he plays when he wants to.
Winner Running back Darren McFadden runs with power and purpose. Injuries have forced him to miss four games, but he leaves it all on the field every time he plays even if he is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Wide receivers Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey can’t always get open but they play with effort.
Defense
Winner The Chiefs have played much better defense than their record indicates. The Chiefs rank 16th overall in defense and 9th against the pass. Outside linebacker Justin Houston has the speed to turn the corner and has 10 sacks. Middle linebacker Derrick Johnson has a team-high 104 tackles and he has forced three fumbles.
The Raiders have struggled badly on defense, ranking 30th in the league. They can’t stop opponents on third downs and that’s been a major source of frustration for the coaching staff. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler and strong safety Tyvon Branch have played with effort all season, something few of their teammates could say. The pair have combined for 185 tackles.
Special Teams
The Chiefs have not gotten much from their special teams this season even though they have a very speedy returner in Javier Arenas. He has not had a kickoff or punt return longer than 27 yards this season. Placekicker Ryan Succop has been adequate, making 25-of-29 FG attempts this season.
Winner The Raiders have a big edge with placekicker Sebastian Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler. Janikowski still has the most powerful leg for field goals in the league, while Lechler gets excellent height and is averaging 47.3 yards per punt.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Winner Raiders
3 out of 4

The Raiders are struggling to play consistently, but they should have an advantage over a Kansas City team that has not figured out how to play consistent offensive football. The Raiders should have a good chance to register a convincing win at home over Kansas City.

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  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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  2. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
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  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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