Regular Season Week 10
Where: Oakland Coliseum
When: 1:05 p.m. PDT
2009 Records: Chiefs (1-7), Raiders (2-6)
History: Kansas City holds a 51-45-2 lead
Television: CBS, Blacked out locally
Line: Raiders by 2 points
SB Nation Chiefs vs Raiders Preview here
The Raiders have now had their mid-season bye-week and now it's time for all of us to get back to some football, Raider football that is, and I hope the Raiders will play "Raider Football".
During the first part of their bye-week, the Raiders were said to be concentrating on the things that had gone wrong during the season's first 8 games. Tom Cable has also stated that injuries to four key offensive players has played a roll in the offense performing way below expectations. Well, those four players, namely Robert Gallery, Cornell Green, Darren McFadden and Chaz Schilins are all healthy enough to play this Sunday against the Chiefs.
I don't know really how much improvement they are going to get with the return of Cornell Green, except that there will be more false start penalties, but to be sure, the return of Gallery to the O-line will be significant. In their last meeting with the Chiefs, McFadden was unable to find any room to run until the game winning TD run. Coincidentally, Gallery was out of that game and now will be the time to see if that was all that McFadden was missing. No excuses for McFadden, he needs to show NOW, why he was the number 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Chaz Schilins, with the 4 week injury that turned into a 10 week injury, is finally set to make his first appearance on the field for the Silver & Black. Schilins, who only caught 15 passes last season, has shown great potential because of his size and speed. He supposedly has a great rapport with JaMarcus Russell and that needs to show up this Sunday against the Chiefs. Russell needs to find his wide receivers and show that he has made strides resulting from the bye-week practices... NO EXCUSES.
The excuses from Cable are over and now it is time to start the 2nd half of the season with a victory against the Chiefs. Since the Raiders barely beat the Chiefs in their last meeting at Arrowhead, where the Chiefs thoroughly outplayed the Raiders statistically, this game Sunday is where we need to see that the Raiders made good work of the bye-week. There may not be any playoffs for this team this season, but they have to beat the Chiefs this Sunday. No excuses...NO EXCUSES, Period.
For the Chiefs, Jamal Charles has officially taken over for Larry Johnson in the Chiefs' backfield after Johnson was cut earlier this week. Charles has run 10 times in his last two games for a total of 69 yards, but is still looking for his first career rushing TD. This will be a good time for the Raiders run defense to show that they have made the strides from the bye-week practices and shutdown the Chiefs running game so that they can force the pass. Then they can unleash their pass rush from the defensive line to get to Cassel. The raiders defensive line may or may not have defensive end Greg Ellis available, but that's o.k., because rookie Matt Shaughnessy is ready and very capable of starting in his stead. Look for the Chiefs to crowd the box with extra defenders as the Raiders average only 25 passes a game, the fewest in the NFL. Russell struggles when he has to read the whole field and is pressured, so the Raiders want to run the ball early and often. Expect Kansas City to do everything possible to make the Raiders one-dimensional by taking away their strength, the ground game.
The Raiders will also have to protect the ball well, as when they play the Chiefs, there always seems to be a game changing turnover to kill the Raiders path to victory. The other key will for the Raiders will be to get out to an early lead in order to maintain confidence with the team, especially the defense, which gets demoralized easily when the offense is inept and puts the defense in a bad position.
Prediction: Raiders 23 Chiefs 16
What are your keys to the game and are you expecting the bye-week and the returning previously injured offensive players to have an immediate impact?