And so, we meet again.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders reunite for another chapter in the storied rivalry that dates back to the 1960s. Fast forward to 2013, when the Chiefs are playing for win number eleven of the year, but against a tough Raiders team, fans and "Black Hole" included.
“I know their head coach [Dennis Allen] is one of the great defensive minds in the league, and the things that they do, I think, they’re doing very well," coach Reid said. "The way they’re executing the defense has been better than the first time we played them and we punted the first five times we had the ball. I got it, I think they’re very good and we’re preparing for a good defense.”
When the Chiefs offense is on the field, it'll face a Raiders defense that is stingy against the run, allowing just 105.9 net rushing yards per game. Chiefs OL
“They’re really talented," Allen said. "Not just on a defensive front, but across the board. They've improved a lot as a team as the season’s gone on. They’ve gotten a lot better since we played them here at home, so we need to be prepared and come out and play our best game.”
Allen and the Chiefs offensive line will try to provide and impenetrable wall, protecting QB
“You know, to be honest, I haven’t really even thought about it," Smith said of returning to California. "Right now, the focus is on getting ready to play Oakland and another game. It’s a division game and that kind of outplays all of the stuff and we have a chance to clinch (a playoff spot).”
“Don’t turn the ball over and convert on third downs," Bowe said. "We need to keep our momentum from last week going and take care of business."
“It doesn’t change the game plan as much," Sutton said. "The system that they’re running is still very similar, a little less zone-read. One of the things McGloin has brought is quick decision-making. He hasn’t been sacked nearly as much and that comes from decision making. He’s been pretty accurate, throwing the football into tight windows. He's done a remarkable job for a guy that just came in. I think he’s come in and sparked them. He’s done some really good things. He’s cut down the turnovers; he’s cut down the sacks and so, we have our work cut out for us."
Oakland's rushing attack is fourth-best in the league, averaging 134.4 net rushing yards per game. One of the team's dual threats is RB Marcel Reece, who has 200 yards and two TDs rushing, along with 25 receptions for 242 yards and two more scores.
“Reece is a heck of a player," Johnson said. "We have a lot of respect for him. He’s a guy that plays all over the field. He’s a guy that can get on a linebacker or a safety and actually be a mismatch for them. He’s a fullback/running back/receiver, tight end; he kind of does it all. You’ve got to know where ‘45’ is, because if you look up and he’s on a cornerback, the cornerback knows that he is not a decoy, the ball can come to him.”
As for the Chiefs CBs,
“Oakland is the team that everybody in the league knows, when you hit Oakland, you hit speed," Flowers said. "Oakland has big guys that can go over the top and get the football also. They don’t have just small quick guys anymore; they are definitely capable of making plays, down the field. We will have a big test, but we had a great week of practice, so it should make for a great game.”
“(Sebastian) Janikowski has a strong leg and if we get one (kick-return opportunity), we’ll be lucky to get one in our hands, especially out there in the warmer weather," Toub said. "If we do get the ball in our hands, we hope we can do something.”
One of the Chiefs kick returners, rookie RB
“We know what we have to do, when we go down there," Davis said. "We just expect to have another big game and have to execute in all three phases to make it happen.”
Chiefs fans are hoping Davis and his teammates perform in three-phase fashion, like in Week 14, which could lead to a victorious exit from the "Black Hole", with a ticket to the playoffs in hand.
Game Release: Chiefs vs Raiders
Inside the Lines: KC vs OAK