The Oakland Raiders will travel to Arrowhead stadium in Kansas City to face one of the NFL’s remaining undefeated teams. Arrowhead stadium is notoriously loud and is seen as one of the most difficult stadiums to play in. The Chiefs even plan on trying to break the record for loudest stadium that was set by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this season. Their defense is playing lights out and head coach Andy Reid has the offense clicking like it hasn’t in years.
But despite all of that, the Raiders should be able to pull off the win while simultaneously pulling down the curtain and revealing the Chiefs for the team they really are.
Everyone remembers the hot team early in the 2012 season, or do they? Many have likely already forgotten about the Chiefs of 2012, the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, the Cards went 4-0 to start the season and did so almost the exact same way as the Chiefs are doing it this season. Winning behind a strong defense and getting just enough out of a lackluster offense.
The reason that so few remember the hot start by the Cards is because after winning four in a row, they went on to lose nine straight and finished the season 5-11.
The Chiefs certainly look like a better team than the Cardinals did last season. Alex Smith is by no means a great quarterback, but he does what Reid is asking of him very well. The problem is, that offense can really only play well enough to win without an absolutely dominant defense.
The Chiefs are a dink and dunk offense in the truest sense of the term. Yes, they run a west coast offense which does involve a lot of short, dink and dunk style passes, but the Chiefs take that to an extreme. According to Pro Football Focus, of the 108 passes completed by the Chiefs this season, 93 of those passes were nine yards or shorter and more than a quarter of those 93 completions, 25, were passes behind the line of scrimmage.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have only completed 21 passes for 10 or more yards. Just think about that for a minute, the Chiefs have more completed passes that went negative yards than passes that went more than nine yards. In a league dominated by passing, those are not stats that indicate a team who will be able to continue on an undefeated path.
As the season progresses, teams will obtain more tape on the Chiefs and soon will be able to better pick apart that defense. Once that begins to happen, the NFL could witness another implosion. The offense is simply not capable of competing if the defense cannot hold opponents to minimal points.
Running back Jamaal Charles is easily the biggest offensive weapon for the Chiefs and even he is not having an amazing season. While he does have the sixth most yards in the league, he only has two rushing touchdowns and only one run of more than 20 yards. By comparison, Darren McFadden, who has really only had one good game this season also has two touchdowns but has four 20+ yard runs.
The Chiefs are better than the Cardinals were in 2012, but they are still just a mirage. The Raiders will likely prove to be a much bigger challenge than many assume and may be the first team to reveal the true nature of this Chiefs team.
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