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Tale of the tape

Week 15: Kansas City Chiefs At Oakland 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)

Chiefs

Raiders

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. Quarterback 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.
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. Offense 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.
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. Defense 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.
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. Special Teams 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)
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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