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After missing the first five games of the season recovering from a preseason thumb injury, Kansas City Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin, their first-round pick out of PIttsburgh, made his NFL debut against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. While he was understandably rusty, he was excited to be back on the field again:
"It really felt good to get out there," Baldwin said. "I’ve been practicing for a few weeks, but to finally get out there was great. Being out there with my teammates competing and sharing in this win felt good. It always felt real, but finally getting into the real action was a great thing."
Baldwin, playing primarily out of the slot, caught one pass for 15 yards and was targeted by Matt Cassel five times on Sunday. Like most rookies, he was active on special teams, replacing Jeremy Horne on the punt-return team.
A 6'4 228 WR, he was drafted to take some of the pressure off Dwayne Bowe on the outside as well as give Cassel an additional weapon in the passing game.
Rookie wide-outs have one of the toughest transitions to make coming out of college, but the Chiefs can use any help they can to improve their anemic passing game. Kansas City averages only 173.7 passing yards a game, 30th in the NFL, and they've gotten almost no production this season from any of the WR's behind Bowe and Steve Breaston.
Peter King heartily approves the performance of the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday in their shutout of Oakland, 28-0. King gave his weekly Defensive Player of the Week nod to the Chiefs Derrick Johnson, who had 13 tackles on the day including an impressive performance that stopped the Raiders along the goal line. But King also gave Todd Haley his coach of the week title, an interesting statement about a coach rumored to be on the verge of being fired just weeks ago.
King writes, “There’s quite a bit of mayhem swirling around the Chiefs and their third-year head coach in the wake Kansas City’s historically bad start. But to go into the Black Hole with the Raiders all revved up after the big deal for Carson Palmer, and to have the team playing hard, and to have made the cool call of a seven-yard Wildcat touchdown for Javier Arenas … just a very impressive day for Haley’s ability to command his team, even with all the noise reverberating around his job status.”
Haley definitely added to his bag of tricks during the bye week and the NFL is taking notice of a resurgent Chiefs team that’s suddenly in competition for the AFC West lead. While we might say, “Hats off” to Haley, it’s clear that Haley isn’t removing his hat anytime soon.
In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Peter King today gave the Kansas City Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson his Defensive Player of the Week nod after Johnson’s stellar performance for the Chiefs in their 28-0 win over the Oakland Raiders. From the goal line stand early in the game to his ability to get into the Oakland backfield throughout the game, Johnson certainly made his presence felt.
King writes, “And not just for his 13-tackle game in the 28-0 shutout of the Raiders in Oakland. With the Chiefs up 14-0, Oakland drove to the Chiefs’ two-yard line early in the second quarter. This was the time they’d get back in the game — if they were going to get back in the game at all. On second-and-goal from the two, Johnson stuffed running back Michael Bush after a one-yard gain. Third-and-goal from the one: Bush, no gain. Team tackle. Fourth-and-goal from the one: Bush over left guard, stoned by Johnson. And that was Oakland’s best chance of the day.”
For the day, Johnson had 13 tackles (12 solo) and he now has 44 on the year.
The Chiefs' offense has relied heavily on the pass in these three victories and a lot of the credit can be attributed to Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe's 2010-type magic returning this season. Bowe currently sits at 5th in the AFC in receiving yards per game (82.7) and touchdowns (4), and comes in fourth in total receiving yards (496). He has cast little doubt on those who were questioning whether or not his 2010 season was a breakout year for a future star wide receiver, or a here-today, gone-tomorrow flash-in-the-pants receiver that happened to have a lucky season.
Bowe has showed us that he is a bonafide No.1 superstar wide receiver and the Kansas City Chiefs need to lock him up with a new contract extension just like they've recently done for Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali. The Chiefs have done well at keeping their talent in Kansas City and Dwayne Bowe needs to be the next guy on that list.
The emergence of Steve Breaston over the last three games (13 receptions, 205 yards, 2 TD's) has opened up the doors for this offense as well. Breaston is now showing Chiefs' fans what head coach Todd Haley was looking forward to when they signed him to a five-year $25 million contract in free agency from the Arizona Cardinals this past off-season. The thought of locking up Bowe to go along with Breaston should give Chiefs fans a reason to be excited about this wide receiving core moving forward.
That's not even to mention the rookie first-round pick that just made his debut against the Raiders in Jonathan Baldwin. The 6'4 230lb Baldwin had one catch for 14 yards on Sunday, despite getting five targets. The five targets was third on the team behind Dwayne Bowe (10), and Steve Breaston (9). Baldwins' lone catch was a 3rd down catch that gave the Chiefs a big first down early in the game. Bowe and Breaston both made several fantastic plays for Cassel, who didn't have a great game from a statistical standpoint. Cassel finished the game 15-30 for 161 yards and two interceptions.
The Chiefs need to go ahead and extend the contracts of both Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr. They are the two most important players' that are not currently under contract beyond this season and they are critical pieces to their respective sides of the ball. They could both solidify their positions with two key players' (Steve Breaston-WR, Brandon Flowers-CB) for the Chiefs for the next five years.
The Chiefs can use the franchise tag on one of these players if they don't have an extension worked out in time. But I think it's important for the Chiefs to continue to reward the players that are doing things the way the organization wants them to be done, and producing out on the field. Carr and Bowe both fit this mold, so let's get them paid and keep them in Kansas City for the forseeable future.
The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Oakland Raiders in a 28-0 win on the road in Oakland. Yet to look at the quarterback lines, it looks like everyone had a miserable day. That’s just how odd the Chiefs win was today in an afternoon that featured several defensive touchdowns, many penalties and a less-than-memorable debut for Carson Palmer in the silver and black.
Much is already being made of the Raiders quarterbacks in today’s game. Kyle Boller was miserable as the Raiders starter to open the game and finished with zero touchdowns and three interceptions. Carson Palmer came in to a standing ovation and delivered the same results as Boller: zero touchdowns and three interceptions. The interesting thing is how bad the stats look on the other side as well.
Matt Cassel of the Chiefs won by 28 and yet put up a similar line as his competitors. Cassel went 15 of 30 for 161 yards. He threw zero touchdowns and two interceptions of his own and his final QB rating for the game was 38.3. In other words, it looks like Cassel should have lost the game looking at his stats alone.
Still the Chiefs have to be overjoyed with today’s performance as a team and the Chiefs continue to do what it takes to win these last few weeks. Today was a dominating defensive performance against a team whose defense was celebrated all week leading up to the game. Despite Matt Cassel’s performance, the Chiefs are now ready to challenge for the division lead.
The Carson Palmer trade cannot look any worse than it does right now, and it’s clear that the quarterback is rusty having just come over to the Oakland Raiders from the Cincinnati Bengals less than a week ago. That said, it’s important to remember that time and momentum are still with the Raiders and that the team is still in the hunt for the division lead. Although it might be hard to convince anyone close to the Raiders at this point that there’s good news to take from today.
From here, the Raiders enjoy the benefit of a bye week and they could certainly use it. They’re banged up at this point with Rolando McClain and Darren McFadden both significant members of the team who were injured to one degree or another during the Chiefs contest. The quarterbacks combined to throw zero touchdowns and three interceptions apiece and, at this point, Palmer didn’t look any better than Boller. However, he’s just arrived and the bye week will help acclimate him to the team.
This shows more than anything how valuable it is to have a player in a consistent system. As talented as an NFL player can be any any position, it’s nearly impossible to just come in and succeed consistently from the outset. Each system is tailored toward specific players with specific timing. Carson Palmer needs time to learn and adjust to those facets of the game that he simply has not had time to do. Hue Jackson was looking idiotic for keeping Palmer on the sidelines through the entire first half, but this is likely something he envisioned — knowing the game against the Chiefs wasn’t simply a matter of pitch and catch with the Raiders receivers.
From here on out, the pressure will be on Palmer to perform. The Raiders were aiming for the playoffs before he arrived and they certainly expect nothing less in Oakland after the trade. He must prove he’s the future because the Raiders mortgaged the future. But it’s clear that he will get better with time and the Raiders have already proven they can win on any given Sunday this year so far. While they just laid an egg against the Chiefs, that doesn’t necessarily insinuate what must happen for the rest of this season.
Kansas City's Brandon Flowers welcomes Carson Palmer back to the NFL with a 58 interception return for a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 28-0 lead over the Oakland Raiders. Palmer entered the game in the second half and has struggled completing just 8 of 21 passes for 116 yards and three interceptions mid way through the fourth.
After taking a 14-0 lead into the half, Kansas City tacked on another score in the third quarter when Javier Arenas scored from seven yards out to make the score 21-0.
Palmer entered the game and nearly equaled the production of starting quarterback Kyel Boller in just one quarter of play completing 4 of 8 passes for 57 yards. He did throw one interception which was the Raiders fourth overall in the game.
Matt Cassel has 161 yards passing through three quarters but has thrown two interceptions. Jackie Butler leads the way on the ground for the Chiefs with 44 yards on 10 carries. Dwayne Bowe has six catches for 76 yards for Kansas City.
An already odd game continues to get weirder with each play, but it can’t get any better for fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. The latest turn came in the form of a trick play where cornerback and punt returner Javier Arenas lined up under center in the Wildcat formation before running it in 7 yards into the end zone to put the Chiefs up 21-0. You can catch the video below:
Carson Palmer just grabbed his helmet and it’s clear that Kyle Boller is not going to get the job done for the Oakland Raiders at quarterback against the Kansas City Chiefs. That means that the popular acquisition might be suiting up for the Raiders after all. There’s nothing official yet but the crowd cheered when Palmer grabbed his helmet and is now warming up. It’s clear that Palmer will likely be coming out to provide some passion for the home crowd and some hope for the Raiders. The Chiefs defense needs to be ready to match the level of emotion likely to come in once Palmer joins the team as the official starter.
Perhaps Kyle Boller won a bet somewhere. Perhaps his agent is also the Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson’s agent. But no matter the reason, it’s a head-scratcher for sure given that anyone remotely paying attention to the Raiders game against the Kansas City Chiefs is wondering how Kyle Boller remains in the starting quarterback position above anyone else on the roster — Terrelle Pryor or Carson Palmer included.
For the game so far, Boller is 7 for 14 for 61 yards with 0 touchdowns and three interceptions. This means that Carson Palmer is likely nowhere near as close as anyone originally believed despite the smokescreens given out to the media during the week. When it comes to Boller’s play, he’s done absolutely nothing to make the coaching staff believe in him, meaning the Raiders are woefully short on options under center. As long as Boller is in there, the Raiders’ chances in this game are as poor as his stats.
The Kansas City Chiefs are up 14-0 over the Oakland Raiders on the road in an unlikely first half that featured three interceptions by Raiders quarterback Kyle Boller, one of which was returned for one of KC’s touchdowns by Kendrick Lewis. The other Chiefs touchdown came on a touchdown run by Le’Ron McClain that was actually more of a fumble into the end zone recovered by Jon Asamoah. Either way, it’s an unexpected performance on the road for the Chiefs.
With a Chiefs win today and a Chargers loss to the New York Jets, that means next week’s game against the Chargers could be for the AFC West lead. Then again, there’s still one more half of football left and the Raiders are certainly a formidable team to contend with. On the road, the Chiefs still have their work cut out for them, but they have to be pleased so far.
The crowd is chanting for it. Every fan watching the game has to be wondering about it. After all, Kyle Boller’s performance in the first half of the Oakland Raiders game against the Kansas City Chiefs has been miserable with 3 turnovers and his team is down 14-0. In other words, everyone believes Carson Palmer couldn’t be any worse, despite a lack of time with the playbook and team.
Palmer will certainly come out at halftime as the starter. If not, then Palmer is much farther behind than anyone thought or Hue Jackson is determined to make Boller his starter for at least this game and give Palmer a couple of weeks with the upcoming bye before declaring him the starter for good. At this point, however, Jason Campbell would be better under center for the Raiders.
Paul Gutierrez of Comcast Sports says that Darren McFadden’s ankle is not only wrapped but that it “looks like a mummy” at this point, a sign that the talented Oakland Raiders running back might not be back in the game anytime soon. After he first went out early in the first quarter, he was reported to have sustained a sprained foot and went back in the training room. He did, however, come back out on the sidelines after that.
Still, it might be Michael Bush from this point on for the Raiders who couldn’t put it in with Bush as the primary back on first and goal earlier in the game. Bush has put up good numbers so far, however, carrying 10 times for 78 yards. The Raiders are loaded in the backfield, so they can sustain an injury there, but they’ll need Bush to go all the way if they want to beat the Chiefs here and come back for 14 down.
Steve Corkran is reporting that the official word on Oakland Raiders star running back Darren McFadden is out on the sidelines with a sprained foot and it’s not been determined whether or not he will come back into the game. It’s good news for Oakland, however, that McFadden is back on the sidelines after disappearing to the training room earlier in the game.
McFadden has already rushed for 610 yards this season and is the clear star for the Raiders offense. Without him, everything changes as illustrated by Michael Bush’s inability to get into the end zone in four tries from first and goal just a few minutes ago.
It’s been a crazy game, that much is for sure. Kyle Boller has been exactly what you’d expect thus far with two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. The Chiefs passing game has opened up with Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston proving valuable alongside Jonathan Baldwin, the first round choice of the Chiefs this spring getting his first taste of NFL action. Then a touchdown was overturned for Bowe only to have the Chiefs score on a fumble recovery from Le’Ron McClain that was jumped on by Jon Asamoah. Then it’s credited back to McClain. So goes to the 14-0 game between the Chiefs and the Raiders.
The Raiders are hurting in a couple of positions. Carson Palmer is not yet ready to take over the Raiders apparently and yet the team is also without star running back Darren McFadden who is still not on the sideline after going back to the training room near the beginning of the game. Michael Bush has taken over the starting RB role for now.
For all of the talk this week about the arrival of Carson Palmer in Oakland and the momentum the team is feeling so far in 2011, it’s been the Kansas City Chiefs who are in full control on the road in today’s action so far. In the first quarter, the Chiefs now have a 14-0 lead after Matt Cassel threw a 16-yard touchdown strike to Dwayne Bowe.
It’s Bowe’s fifth touchdown catch of the season. [Editor's note: Play was overturned and Chiefs scored one player later on a fumble recovered in end zone by guard Jon Asamoah.]
The Chiefs have now scored on offense and defense and you have to wonder whether or not Palmer will be coming out soon to replace Kyle Boller. After all, the Raiders have to be careful to not go down too much early in the game as a team predicated on their running game. Then again, the loss of Darren McFadden might change that. The Chiefs have to feel good about the way things are playing out so far in Oakland, that much is for sure.
Darren McFadden was being looked at on the sideline and then is now heading to the locker room — another top Raiders offensive performer injured after the team lost Jason Campbell just last week. However, the Raiders will miss Darren McFadden more than anyone else if there is really an injury of substance, despite the strong presence of a back-up in Michael Bush.
McFadden has rushed for 111 times for 610 yards on the season to go with four touchdowns. He’s easily the most dynamic performer on offense for a team that’s also going with Kyle Boller as the quarterback today even with the addition of Carson Palmer. If anything, the Raiders are a team in flux on offense today and the Kansas City Chiefs should take advantage throughout the game.
It only took one series for the Kansas City Chiefs to begin to call Jonathan Baldwin’s number. It only took a few minutes to get his first official catch. The Chiefs’ first round draft choice from back in April’s NFL Draft is now a part of the active roster and the Chiefs should be going to him time and again with a newly expanded passing game that will keep the Raiders defensive backs working all day.
For Chiefs fans wondering what Baldwin will bring to the table, they are getting their first look today with the 14-yard completion from Matt Cassel early in the first quarter. Baldwin’s rare size and agility should make him an elite target in KC for years to come.
The positive vibe that accompanied the news that Kyle Boller would earn the start for the Oakland Raiders today was validated within the first few minutes. That’s because the Kansas City Chiefs defense took advantage of an errant Boller throw and Kendrick Lewis intercepted and returned it all the way to the end zone. The result: Kansas City leads the game 7-0.
After a rocky start with several penalties against the Chiefs, it’s nice to see the Chiefs taking the lead on the road against a formidable Raiders team. If Boller keeps it up, however, you’d better believe Hue Jackson is going to put in his prized possession of Carson Palmer.
The Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher is reporting via Twitter that it looks as if Kyle Boller is going to get the start today for the Oakland Raiders against the Kansas City Chiefs over the newly acquired Carson Palmer.
If so, that’d be a surprise after all of the fireworks surrounding the acquisition from head coach Hue Jackson, but then again, it makes some sense given the short-term nature of Palmer’s familiarity with the Oakland playbook and even the fact that he hasn’t played since the end of last season.
We’ll keep you posted when it’s officially announced.
Earlier in the week, we heard Oakland Raiders' head coach Hue Jackson that he and he alone would be the one who decides who will start in place over the injured Jason Campbell in the Raiders upcoming contest versus the Chiefs. Now it looks like the much discussed former Cincinnati Bengals signal caller has the chance to make the decision himself.
Its a question of who's better prepared to lead the Raiders' to victory, for the short and long term. The shaky and inconsistent Kyle Boller, or a former Pro Bowl quarterback who hasn't seen the field since his days as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals in Carson Palmer?
Kickoff for Chiefs vs. Raiders is at 4:05pm E.T. in O.co Stadium in Oakland.
With the Oakland Raiders acquiring Carson Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals is quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The Raiders gave up their 2012 third round pick in the supplemental draft to land Pryor, and according to a league source via Pro Football Talk, Pryor could see action against the Kansas City Chiefs with a special package sete up for Pryor. Pryor is just two weeks removed from his five-game suspension and has not seen any action in the NFL, preseason or otherwise.
This week started with the possibility that Carson Palmer would start after joining the team Thursday prior to the game, then reports are saying that Kyle Boller wil get the start while Palmer may not play, and now this about Pryor.
This could be an attempt to make the Chiefs prepare for all three quarterbacks
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Oakland Raiders have decided upon their replacement kicker for Sebastian Janikowski with the rumored signing of Dave Rayner. It’s an unfortunate situation for the Raiders since their special teams have been excellent this year and Janikowski especially has been a major weapon, going five of six on 50-yard plus field goals.
Rayner, in his career, has played for five teams since 2005, earning spot duty for several teams from the Colts, Lions, Bengals, Chargers and even Kansas City. He definitely lacks the long leg of Janikowski with career numbers of 3 for 7 from the same distance. Overall, he’s 55 of 75 for a 73 percent field goal rate.
The big news all week about this game was the Oakland Raiders trading for Carson Palmer who may or may not start this weekend. This game is big for the Raiders as they are trying to keep pace with the San Diego Chargers for first place in the AFC West, while the Chiefs are trying to recover from their poor start to get back into the divisional race.
The line in this game opened at 3.5 points favoring the home Raiders, but the line has fluctuated between four to 6.5 points since the line was first released. That movement in the line is due to the uncertainty about Carson Palmer now being a Raider. However, the Raiders are set at the running back spot with Darren McFadden and look for a lot of McFadden since the Chiefs are 20th against the run.
For all of the odds on this week's NFL games and all kinds of other sports, check out Odds Shark. SB Nation also has all of the Week 7 NFL Odds. For more on the two teams, check out Kansas City Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride and Oakland Raiders blog Silver And Black Pride.
Every since the Oakland Raiders traded for Carson Palmer there was the question about if Palmer would be starting against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday. There were reports on Oct. 19 that said Palmer would be starting for the Raiders on Sunday, but now that may not be the case.
According to NFL.com's Steve Wyche, a league source went as far to say, "It doesn't look like (Palmer) is going to play." It is unclear if the source meant Palmer would not play at all or just not start. The other quarterbacks on the roster are Kyle Boller and rookie Terrell Pryor.
However, head coach Hue Jackson has been keeping the starting quarterback under wraps did say on Friday that he does know who the starting quarterback will be, but he also said that the Raiders could play multiple quarterbacks on Sunday against the Chiefs.
For more on the Oakland Raiders quarterback situation head over to Silver and Black Pride.
Speaking today from the Kansas City Chiefs practice, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel noted that the Oakland Raiders are going to present a “big challenge” for the Chiefs this weekend as they try to make it to 3-3 on the season and salvage a horrific beginning to the 2011 season. To do so, they are going to have to stop Darren McFadden, first and foremost, and Crennel says he realizes that’s the toughest job of any team facing the Raiders.
“We’ve come off the bye week and we’re trying to get back into it again — back in tune,” says Crennel. “Days off are nice, but you lose the routine, so you have to get back into the routine. We know we have a big game this week and have to go out there to Oakland. They’re feeling pretty good about themselves and they’ve been playing pretty good. So we have to go see what we can do. I don’t think they’re gonna change what they do very much, because they hand the ball off to McFadden. He’s running it good, so we’ve got a big challenge to show down and stop their running game.”
He also notes Michael Bush is another name to watch in the Oakland backfield and that both players will likely give the Chiefs a real challenge.
“They both are very good runners,” he said. “They both have speed. I think Bush is a more powerful guy inside when they run him inside, whereas McFadden, when he gets to the edge, he runs for touchdowns. Not that Bush can’t run for touchdowns, but they have a very good combination and they will use both of them. We will have our hands full.”
Darren McFadden has rushed for 610 yards on the season thus far.
It’s bad enough for the Oakland Raiders that they will be missing their kicker, Sebastian Janikowski, for this weekend’s game. It’s also clear that it could be several weekends until he’s ready to go again. That’s bad news for a team that is dangerous even from mid-field with Janikowski’s incredible 5 of 6 performance beyond 50 yards this season.
Adam Schefter is now saying that, ‘Raiders bringing in kickers today. They know they might have to shut down Sebastian Janikowski for a few weeks due to hamstring injury." No matter who they’re able to bring in, it’s clear that a major weapon of the Raiders has been shut down at this point. That puts more pressure on the Oakland offense to make sure to get down in the red zone. As if Carson Palmer wasn’t already facing enough as it is.
One of the NFL’s best kickers and one of the Oakland Raiders primary weapons is likely going to be out this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs. This puts an already dramatic week for the Raiders a bit more interesting as Jason LaCanfora reports the Raiders are currently looking at free agent kickers.
Janikowski has made good on the Raiders first-round draft choice of him over the years with his ability to kick from beyond 50 yards with surprising accuracy. This year, he’s 5 of 6 beyond 50 yards and hitting 92 percent of his kicks overall. That’s a major loss of a weapon for the Raiders if he’s not available for game day.
The most obvious answer to this question is Darren McFadden. Without over-thinking the idea it's simple to just grab their best player, and for the Oakland Raiders that is the NFL's leading rusher, McFadden.
McFadden and a healthy Jamaal Charles would be an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses to deal with for an entire game, hell, even from one play to the next they couldn't handle it. Obviously it's just wishful thinking but this idea will be a weekly Friday series for the rest of the season here on SB Nation Kansas City. We're going to select one player from the upcoming opponent that we would want to join the Kansas City Chiefs. We'll also select a below-the-radar guy that might not be as obvious to everyone out there like McFadden.
McFadden currently leads the NFL with 610 yards rushing for an average of 101 yards per game. Add eight rushes for 20+ yards and you have a pretty dynamic running back. McFadden has the strength to run between the tackles and the speed to get to the outside. If when he needed a breather defenses had to deal with Jamaal Charles, and vice versa, it would be a Madden-type beat-down each week for the Chiefs' opponents. But it's the Chiefs defense this week that is going to have to deal with McFadden. If the Raiders decide to go with Carson Palmer as their starting quarterback, the Chiefs will have even more pressure to stop McFadden.
The below-the-radar player that the Chiefs would benefit from adding to their roster is defensive lineman Lamarr Houston. The 6'3 305lb Houston would be a welcomed-addition to the Chiefs defensive line. The 24-year old second-year player out of the University of Texas has been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders after being drafted in the second round (No. 49 overall) in the 2010 draft. Houston had 39 tackles and five sacks as a rookie, including a forced fumble. He is a big part of the Raiders talented defensive line that includes Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour. While Seymour could also be a huge pickup for the Chiefs, Houston is younger and would provide more years of dominant play for the Arrowhead faithful to watch each Sunday.
Houston would be a perfect 3/4 end to rotate with Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. He has the versatility that Romeo Crennel covets from a defensive lineman and would make Wallace Gilberry expendable. Gilberry needs to be on a 4/3 team because of his struggles against the run and on the interior part of the defensive line. He tends to get shoved around when trying to hold his ground against the run, but when asked to get after the quarterback he excels. Houston provides the speed and strength to help get after the passer and anchor against the run.
There are two problems with these wishes. The first is that it won't happen and the second is that the Chiefs are going to have to play against both of these players this Sunday.
The Kansas City Chiefs head out west to take on the Oakland Raiders in an AFC West rivalry match-up this Sunday. It's no secret that the talk leading up to this game has been all about Carson Palmer, and the trade that brought him to the Raiders from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Despite the impact that Palmer might make on the Raiders this season, it's not going to happen this weekend. The Chiefs will almost assuredly face Kyle Boller this weekend and that makes the Chiefs defense a possible sleeper this weekend. The Raiders do bring the NFL's leading rusher in Darren McFadden at 5.5 YPC and 101 yards per game with them on Sunday. But you'll be sure to see the Chiefs, who rank 14th in the NFL in rush defense, completely sell-out to stop the run and make Boller beat them through the air.
ESPN's fantasy rankings for this weekend aren't as high on the Chiefs defense as a possible starting option. via ESPN.com
Oakland might be in transition at quarterback, but that doesn't mean they're going to let Kyle Boller do much in the way of jeopardizing their chances at a divisional win. It's all about stopping Darren McFadden, and we're not sure the Chiefs can.
One of the popular 'sleeper' picks over the past two weeks has been picking up Jackie Battle because of his break-out game against the Indianapolis Colts. But temper expectations for Battle this weekend because the Chiefs have struggled in the past against big, physical defensive lines and that is exactly what the Raiders pride themselves on. via ESPN.com
Battle handled the added workload in fine fashion against Indy, and while we don't expect him to surprise Oakland to the extent he did in Week 6, he should be able to fill your flex spot quite nicely.
One of the 'safe' picks for the Kansas City Chiefs is wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. He has been an absolute stud (again) this year and is by far the safest starting fantasy player of all of the Chiefs' this weekend. Bowe is tied for second in the projections from ESPN this week for all receivers in the NFL. via ESPN.com
Bowe has now reeled off four straight games of double-digit scoring (ESPN standard) and has four touchdowns in his last three games. The Chiefs have finally appeared to recover from the blow of losing Jamaal Charles, and the offense is running much more smoothly. Bowe will continue to shine.
Usually bye weeks are a blessing, as teams get a chance to rest up. In Cassel's case, we think it might be a curse, as the ball had just started to roll downhill with a four-touchdown day against the Colts. Call this a case of momentum deferred.
The Kansas City Chiefs were forced to climb uphill a bit in their preparation for the Oakland Raiders, who currently sit at 4-2 in the standings, a half-game behind the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs buried themselves early in the division standings with an 0-3 start and have climbed their way back to 2-3 and hope to even up things against the Raiders this weekend coming off of the bye. With a little injury help, that task has become a bit simpler.
Kyle Boller is expected to be the starter for the Oakland Raiders and while the Raiders aren’t specifically a passing team, it’s clear that Campbell is the best QB on the roster by a wide margin. The loss of Campbell to a collarbone injury lessens the impact of the passing game, and gives Romeo Crennel some new things to consider when planning his defensive tactics for a quarterback who’s thrown four passes in the last two seasons.
In his career, Boller has never been an accurate passer, throwing for a 56.7 completion rate. He’s also prone to turning the ball over, and if head coach Hue Jackson insists on Boller trying to stretch the field and utilize the speed of receivers like Darrius Heyward-Bey, then the Chiefs secondary is likely to take advantage at least once.
For that reason, expect the Raiders to play things close to the vest and run Darren McFadden over and over. It still won’t be an easy game by any stretch — the Raiders are 4-2 for a reason — but certainly this changes the level of difficulty facing Todd Haley and the Chiefs.
If you noticed it was quiet around Kansas City this weekend, that’s likely because the Chiefs weren’t playing due to the NFL bye week on their schedule. Players and coaches both had some extra time to either prepare or relax a bit in mid-season. For some players, it was also a nice time to rest and heal from the rigors of the season thus far. But reading Le’Ron McClain’s Twitter page, it’s clear that the Chiefs are also ready to get back into the swing of things.
McClain wrote this morning, “Just had a great workout with the squad.. Everybody glad to be back in building and we’re ready to Keep this journey going.” That’s good news that they’re back and focused because they have a rare opportunity this weekend to take advantage of an Oakland Raiders team that has some momentum, but they’re also reeling from the season-ending injury to their starting quarterback Jason Campbell.
It’s unclear yet who the Raiders will start, but it will likely be Kyle Boller no matter who they trade for (Carson Palmer?) or sign (David Garrard?). That should make the Chiefs pass rushers rather happy and signal a big day for Tamba Hali. The Chiefs can even their record at 3-3 this week with a win over the Raiders.
First place San Diego will travel to the Jets this week, while the Raiders and Chiefs will face off in a huge game for Kansas City's season.