The magnitude of today’s collision is an understatement, to say the least.
The reeling Kansas City Chiefs have fallen from grace, while the Raiders may be hitting their stride at the appropriate time. Needless to say, it will be an all-out war for sixty minutes that will earn the winner a spot atop the AFC West with just three critical weeks remaining in the season.
Pound A Feeding Beast
Oakland has been running it more down the stretch lately thanks to a revitalized effort to hand Marshawn Lynch the football. He gashed Denver and the Giants the past two games with 177 yards on 35 carries and a score.
The plan to give him the rock should be early and often for the Raiders to test the Chiefs who rank near the bottom of the NFL in rush defense. The squad who gains more on the ground in this one should arise victoriously.
Air It Out Against A Suspect Secondary
Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters will not be on the field come Sunday afternoon. The Silver & Black, however, will possibly be without Amari Cooper who scorched the Chiefs last time out to the tune of 11 for 210 and two touchdowns.
A returning Michael Crabtree could be a godsend to the receiving core that needs him now to put on a similar performance with Peters out of the lineup. Todd Downing must also dial-up play calls for Jared Cook who has the potential to be a game-changer in this contest.
Isolate Mack & Irvin
Do whatever it takes for the reigning defensive player of the year and his sidekick to live in the opposition’s backfield. By getting to Alex Smith consistently it will force him into pressure moments that can lead to Oakland’s favor, while Chiefs fans continue to call for his rookie backup Pat Mahomes. John Pagano will definitely have his hands full attempting to do this while trying out how to guard the dangerous threats of Hill, Kelce, and Hunt as well.
Offensive Line Domination
Its been well documented that the Raiders have one of the elite lines in the league and they must show up to effectively put K.C. into submission Sunday. Tamba Hali might be available to bolster the pass rush that had regressed since years past. Their best linebacker, Dee Ford, was placed on IR just a few days ago. So the Raiders could conceivably control the line of scrimmage with all of Kansas City’s multiple ongoing deficiencies.
Special Teams King
A defensive dogfight may play out, turning it into a battle of field positioning. The Raiders would be wise to let Marquette “Kingpin” tote deep in their territory as much as possible. He is a proven top punter in the NFL and can help key the Raiders to a tight victory even in a punt fest.
It is the most imperative game up to the moment for both teams and the loser must surge forward with even more roadblocks to deal with. By any means, the Raiders must taste triumph in Missouri to go on and meet the destiny that only they hold in their hands for the remaining month of the regular season. Until next time, Ramble On Rider Nation!