Prior to the Week 6 matchup, I had the bye week to review the Chiefs previous four games of the season. I tried to pick out the common aspects of why the Chiefs have been such a mixed bag this season. It was difficult I can tell you!
Having trawled through the footage of the previous game, it suddenly dawned on me whilst watching our matchup against the Raiders that, the Chiefs had gone back to basics. There was a recognisable difference in the team, it echoed the style of play from the 2015 season.
Instead of the Chiefs trying to force new plays and explore the new player abilities, they simply did the basics right, they had a game management plan right from the off, and it wasn’t a cautious one either.
The Raiders first drive was simply breathtaking, after a 50 yard kick return from Jalen Richard the Raiders looked to have a spring in their step, and as a Chiefs fan I feared the worst. The Raiders hit the ground running with a touchdown in just seven plays, it was a shell shock tactic by the Raiders and from a fans point of view, it worked!
The Chiefs began their offensive drive with Alex Smith being sacked twice in succession. However, Spencer Ware was looking very lively after gaining large yardage before the Chiefs were forced to punt.
The Raiders looked to take the initiative by slinging the ball around to the impressive receiving weapons of Cooper and Crabtree, but it was soon to be the Raiders downfall.
Derek Carr, looking to make quick yardage again for the Raiders to continue the “shock tactic” attempted to pick out Crabtree with a long bomb pass. The attempt almost looked like a “Hail Mary” the way Carr lofted the pass into the vicinity of Marcus Peters. Crabtree slipped due to the terrible conditions in Oakland and Marcus Peters gathered another Interception to add to his collection.
For me this was the turning point in the game, Peters had suddenly got into Derek Carr’s head by making that interception. A few plays later, the running attack of Spencer Ware and Jamaal Charles ensured the Chiefs were level.
The Raiders began their next drive with cautious running plays and sideways passes. The long bomb passes looked to have gone the distance in favour of holding the ball, but the Chiefs Defensive line handled it extremely well.
Where the Raiders failed in their running attack, the Chiefs would show it was their bread and butter. Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware would begin to make the Raiders Defensive line look very average. Charles looked to be back to his old self by dancing through the scrimmage line like it wasn’t there, before powering through the Raiders Defensive line for a touchdown… “welcome back JC!”
Dontari Poe even got in on the action on the Raiders goaline. With the now infamous play call “Hungry Pig Right”, Smith took the snap and quickly passed to his right into the waiting arms of Poe who then proceeded to power over the packed line of scrimmage to score.
From that point onwards, the familiarity of the Chiefs Offense was beginning to show. The running attack was back to basics, Smith didn’t throw too many long passes, but when he did, they hit their mark with precision. Smith kept the Raiders guessing in all four quarters with a masterful display of game management.
The Chiefs Defense looked compact and was chasing everything down with purpose. Dee Ford, who’s taken quite a bit of flak in recent weeks, found two sacks and a forced fumble, proving that the Chiefs fans shouldn’t give up on him yet.
A fantastic win that now makes it 2-0 in the AFC West division and 3-2 so far this season. Well done Chiefs, onwards to Arrowhead against the visiting Saints in Week 7.