For the first time in a long time, the focus of the NFL has been on the Oakland Raiders quarterback. We just don’t know who that quarterback is going to be…
Hue Jackson is dancing with the media; winking, hinting, manipulating, and enjoying every second of it. Reports came out early in the week that newly acquired Carson Palmer would start after just three practices. Yesterday ESPN and several other news sources stated that it was “unlikely” Palmer was going to start on Sunday.
We may see Kyle Boller, Palmer, and even Terrelle Pryor at some point against KC. Hue Jackson is an absolute wild man with his play-calling…he will throw everything at you. We’re not even halfway through the season and we’ve seen a fake punt, fake field goal, flea flicker, and numerous reverses. How can we have the slightest idea of what to expect?
One thing you can bank on, Darren McFadden will be a very busy man. Everybody knows it including Kansas City Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel. McFadden will have a heavy workload, regardless of the quarterback so the key will be getting him the ball in more creative ways as the Chiefs will likely crowd the box with eight or more bodies. Running screens and flexing McFadden out in the slot may work. Anything the Raiders can do to get the ball in McFadden’s hands, expect to see Sunday.
Kansas City is playing better football over the past few week, but that isn’t saying much. The Chiefs couldn’t play any worse after getting blown out in the first two weeks by a combined score of 678 to 6. The Chiefs strung together two wins in a row against Minnesota and Indy, opponents with a whopping combined record of 1-11. Todd Haley is treading on thin ice and the bandwagon has been sold to the pilgrims.
Dwayne Bowe is starting to heat up and running back Jackie Battle (who sounds like a character from some 1970s funk movie) is coming off an impressive 100 plus yard performance. Don’t bet your house on the Chiefs’ offense against an improving Oakland defense at home.
The Raiders will continue to blitz and pressure the quarterback. Matt Cassel should get to know the Raiders’ defensive line well on Sunday. The Chiefs’ offense will have to BATTLE for yards all game long. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
The Raiders will be without Sebastian Janikowski for a couple of weeks due to a hamstring injury. Not only will the Raiders field goal game suffer, but their kickoff coverage will as well. The Raiders will have to do better for Dave Rayner than the 43-yard line.
Even without Janikowski and with a Kyle Boller sighting the Raiders will take this one. Although it may be a little closer than previously expected. Raiders 27, Kansas City 20