Week 8: Oakland Raiders At Kansas City Chiefs
- QuarterbackThe Raiders looked awful early in their Week Seven home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Carson Palmer upped his level of play and brought the Raiders back. He ran for the tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter andplayed like winning was the most important thing to him. That does not show up on an every-week basis.Brady Quinn has been named as the starter over inconsistent Matt Cassel. The Chiefs’ disastrous start is not all Cassel’s fault, but Romeo Crennel is hoping the team’s focus will improve with Quinn getting the start. Quinn has not displayed quick feet or top-level decision making, but he has really never had a shot as a legitimate NFL starter.
- OffenseThe Raiders will try to take it to the Chiefs with their running game. Darren McFadden is able to take advantage of any crease his offensive line can provide him. He can also get outside and run by tacklers. Darius Heyward-Bey has the speed to stretch the defense from the wide receiver position. Tight end Brandon Myers is an adequate possession receiver.The Chiefs have adequate skill position players. Jamaal Charles is one of the most explosive running backs in the league and he can get outside and take it the distance. While Dwayne Bowe is not consistent, he can make the tough reception and then make big yards after the catch.
- DefenseThe Raiders have a difficult time playing consistent defense from week-to-week.They started slowly in Week Seven against the Jaguars, but they turned it around in the second half. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour had four tackles and a sack against Jacksonville while outside linebacker Mike Burris had seven tackles and a sack.The most disappointing aspect of the team’s play besides its woeful showing at the quarterback position has been the team’s soft defense. The Chiefs have given up 183 points through their first six games and when you allow more than 30 points per game, that’s not going to get it done. Linebacker Derrick Johnson leads the team with 50 tackles.
- Special TeamsSebastian Janikowski has come a long way from the erratic kicker he was in his early years. He will always hit his game-winner when he has a chance, as he did in Week Seven against Jacksonville. Shane Lechler still gets the job done in the punting game.The Chiefs are not getting the job done on special teams. Despite the presence of speedy Javier Arenas, opponents are getting more yards on punt and kickoff returns than the Chiefs are. Punter Dustin Colquitt is a good directional punter but does not have exceptional leg strength.
The season has been disastrous for the Chiefs and a one-week break is not likely to turn things around for Romeo Crennel’s team. However, the Raiders are not a juggernaut and they tend to play worse on the road. That should give the Chiefs an opportunity to take this game into the fourth quarter.