Remaining 3-0 in the AFC West is not going to be a walk in the park for this weekends game. We are facing a resurgent Chiefs team, who also has something to prove. Records always go out of the window when it comes to a Rival Game, let alone a game with major playoff implications riding on it, even this early into the season.
The Raiders, riding a 2 game win streak and playing at home with a record of 3-1 in the Black Hole, will be facing a Chiefs team who is going to be playing 3 out of 7 on the road and are looking to get their 2 game mini road trip going on the right foot. Could all of those consecutive home games be a reason for their early success?
Well, I think it has to factor into it. I believe another major reason why the Chiefs are doing so well is strength of schedule, with games thus far against the Browns, 49ers, Jags, San Diego and Buffalo, who combined have a 11-27 record. So much for their 5-2 record.
Leading the Chiefs, Todd Hailey has an overall record of 9-14 as a 2nd year head coach, but prior to his stint in KC, he was the Offensive coordinator for the Arizona Team that went to the Superbowl in '08 ranked 5th in Offense. In addition to Todd, the addition of Romeo Crennell and Charlie Weiss this last offseason, added a wealth of Superbowl coaching experience obtained during their time in New England.
OK. Enough about the competition. What are the keys to this weeks game and Oakland pulling to within a 1/2 game of the lead for the AFC West?
To start, the intangible that no one really will admit, a Packed, Sold Out House! With the Raider Nation there in All Black, this is going to show the players that their efforts are not being taken in vain and provide the X Factor the Raiders will need to beat this team.
The Raider Nation has heard the call Rolando McClain and have answered it loudly. That 12th man has to be a factor.
Secondly, a healthy dose of Run DMC and Mike Bush. We have to control that line of scrimmage. The Chiefs employ a 3-4 Defense with quick moving linebackers. After watching some film on them, I found that they are good at pursuing the ball and fill their gaps well. Our stretch play will only work with good play action play calls up the middle which will suck in the ends and hard nosed running by both McFadden and Bush to wear down the line and pour it on in the 2nd half.
Third, smart, consistent and quick reads by Jason Campbell. He has to protect the ball and keep that Chiefs offense off the field, who has 19 scores in the red zone, 11 of them being Touchdowns. Jason has to be smart and look off the defenders and make sound accurate throws against this secondary of Kansas City, who have shown to be porous against the pass giving up a whopping 236.3 yards per game.
Here is how we stack up on all key stats against them-
Don't forget to leave a comment. What do you think will be the key factor to our victory?