While the title implies that they offer excuses, that would be an incorrect assumption; however, should the Oakland Raiders lose, there won’t be a single reason anyone will accept.
Word came down from Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid a this morning that Marcus Peters will be suspended one game for his actions in Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets. Apparently fed up with the season and his play, Peters had what many are calling an “Office Space” moment and picked up a penalty flag and threw it into the stands.
VIDEO: Marcus Peters launches a penalty flag into the stands. Officials did NOT eject him. pic.twitter.com/4MZDpBzCcF
— KCTV5 News (@KCTV5) December 3, 2017
While this part is comical and funny, the suspension puts the Chiefs between a rock and a hard place in terms of options on defense. According to Pro Football Reference, the Chiefs have allowed exactly four fewer points than the Raiders on defense but have surrendered the fifth most passing yards in the league at 3,033 with a healthy Peters all season. The 4,586 total yards surrendered are the third most in the league and 434 yards more than the Raiders. The 1,553 rushing yards surrendered are third-most in the league and only 15 yards off of the league lead. Chiefs have surrendered the third most rushing touchdowns (13) and a respectable middle of the pack (18) passing touchdowns, also with a healthy Peters.
The cold and inclement weather has historically caused quarterback Derek Carr to slide off course and crash. He has yet to have a good game in the cold as a pro, he also hasn’t won in Kansas City, so he has some work to do.
Amari Cooper has yet to pass the concussion protocol but Michael Crabtree has been reinstated and is most likely looking to make a statement on the field, the correct way.
This Chiefs secondary was no match for the Raiders in their first meeting and while Cooper may not play, wide receiver was the deepest position on this team in the preseason. There is a reason for optimism because the farther down the receiver depth chart you go, it seems the more athletically gifted they get.
The offensive line is in sync. As Donald Penn would say to reporters in the locker room, they aren’t doing anything new or practicing anything different, just trying to get better at the things they do, mentioning double-team blocking with Kelechi Osemele and an overall level of increasing comfort.
Most importantly heading into this game is a healthy hungry eating Beast Mode. Marshawn Lynch has been hammering defenders like nails the last two weeks. Breaking the hundred yard plateau for the first time this season seeing the third-worst run defense in the league couldn’t have come at a better time for the Raiders.
Missing Cooper and Crabtree against the Giants secondary was probably exactly what Carr needed in terms of learning to be able to trust his other guys on the field. Ideally, this increased level of trust should limit his instinctual need to sometimes stare down his receivers instead of providing an opportunity to another.
Frankly, without Eric Berry and Marcus Peters and the run defense as awful as it is, there isn’t a reason why the Raiders should lose this game. They have too many options and the Chiefs are reeling and without their heart and soul and his left arm.