With a 2-4 record and 0-2 in the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders travel to take on the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday afternoon. They have a chance to stay in the division hunt and continue to put wins on the board, but Oakland must be prepared to stop the Chiefs running game.
Kansas City is rushing for 164 yards per game this season, which is good for 3rd in the NFL. The Raiders have only allowed two teams to rush for more than 100 yards this year. They currently are ranked 13th in the NFL, allowing 102.2 yards per game. Last week the Raiders allowed only 54 yards rushing to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Whoever is able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball will come out with the victory.
“I definitely think this is a team that when you watch the tape and look at the way that they play, they’ve got the potential to be a lot better than what their record might state,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “We understand that this is going to be a big challenge. We understand that they have some weapons”
Running back Jamaal Charles leads the Chiefs rushing attack with 591 yards and two touchdowns this season. In week three, Charles exploded for 288 total yards against the New Orleans Saints that included a 91 yards touchdown run. With the Chiefs starting Brady Quinn at quarterback, Oakland will stack the box and force him to make throws to beat them. Allen is familiar with Quinn because they both were with the Denver Broncos last season. Quinn was the back-up to Tim Tebow and Allen was the defensive coordinator. Quinn would be the scout quarterback that prepared Allen's defense in practice.
“He’s a smart quarterback,” Allen said of Quinn. “He’s big; he’s strong. He’s got a strong arm. He’s got athleticism. I think Brady has grown as a quarterback as the years have gone on. I think he’s gotten better and better.”
Defensive end Lamaar Houston earned AFC defensive player of the week honors for his overtime forced fumble that led to the Raiders game winning field goal to beat the Jaguars. Houston added a sack and has displayed a tremendous motor and hustle all season. Against the Denver Broncos, Houston came from his defensive end position to recover a Demaryius Thomas fumble 40 yards down the field. Along with Houston, the other members of the Raiders front four must maintain their gap discipline to slow down Charles. If they do so Philip Wheeler, Miles Burris and Rolando McClain will be free to flow to the ball and contain the running backs.
“I’m extremely proud of him and the way that he’s played,” Allen said of Houston. “He’s a guy that has continued to get better, that’s really bought in to the effort part of playing defense. If he continues to do the things that he’s been doing, I think his talent will allow him to be a productive player.”
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