The Kansas City Chiefs need a win on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. To prepare for the sequel of Chiefs-Raiders, I talked with Levi Damien over at Silver and Black Pride. He does predict a Chiefs victory but we both predicted a Chiefs victory last time and ... well, you remember.
Here's what Levi said about Sunday's Chiefs-Raiders game.
1. The Raiders have played a few solid games this year. What is the common theme for their success in those games?
Damien: The most common theme has been the defense. The secondary has been superb and the pass rush has actually begun showing up as well. As is usually the case, those two things go hand in hand. Putting pressure on the quarterback makes the cornerbacks jobs easier while good coverage in the secondary can also allow more time to get into the backfield.
The 52-0 beatdown in St Louis may not suggest the defense has been any good, but that game first of all was a bit of a fluke based and secondly had much to do with the issues on offense. The whole team came into that game ill-prepared while they were still on a high from getting their first win in a calendar year. The Rams were on point with everything as they are fighting for a playoff spot. The Raiders were outcoached and outperformed across the board. Outside of that game, the defense has done pretty well.
2. The Chiefs can't stop the run. Is there any doubt the Raiders will try to run it again?
Damien: No doubt. The Raiders are committed to the run with Latavius Murray now. He got 23 carries last week in the win over the 49ers and though he didn't have big numbers as he did against the Chiefs a couple weeks earlier, he presented a constant threat which helped greatly in play action which helped Derek Carr carve up the 49ers defense through the air. That balance is absolutely crucial to the success of this team.
3. Will the Raiders clean house this year? Should they?
Damien: Yes, they will. And they should. I like Tony Sparano and the staff has done well of late, but the Raiders have some potential here and can attract a staff that will get the most out of these players. I'm not sure I've seen that in the past three years with this staff. And that isn't just relegated to the coaching staff. It goes higher than that. The Raiders also haven't gotten the most out of free agency either. They appear to have hit on a few draft picks but even that is debatable because you have to ask yourself how many of their players would sniff the starting lineup on a good team.
4. Is Derek Carr the quarterback of the future?
Damien: This and the last question. Every week. It's like "How ‘bout now?" On that note, last week for the first time he showed the ability to carry the team. As I said, the threat of the run was there, which most quarterbacks need, but it wasn't a big day on the ground. The 49ers forced the Raiders to beat them through the air and Carr did that. It was a big step in his progress as it is the one major thing he had yet to show he was capable of doing. It's too early to tell if he will be greatness but he is at least the Raiders quarterback of the near future. That being into next season.
5. What's your prediction for the game?
Damien: (Puts hand to temple) I predict the game will be held at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on December 14, 2014. I'm seeing a grass field. A chill in the air. A lot of red. And a dude in some wolf / coyote looking costume running around on the sideline.
I don't know what kind of betting lines there are on those predictions, but my visions are pretty clear on this one, so call your bookie and put down your mortgage.
Oh, and let's say we flip the script and go Chiefs win 24-20.