Oct 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Chiefs could only enjoy beating the Raiders for only a little while before having to shift their focus on to a tough task against the New Orleans Saints in Arrowhead on Sunday.
Kansas City showed its ability to run the ball and control the clock. If it wants another win on Sunday the game plan should look very similar.
The Chiefs head into Sunday’s matchup at 3-2. While coming out of the bye week they looked pretty healthy, that changed quickly yesterday. Defensive starters Allen Bailey and Justin March were placed on I/R and look to be done for the season. Bailey had been great on the line but just March had started to come on in the last couple of games. The Chiefs now have more holes to fill on a defense that has struggled at times.
Complicating matters is another injury to Phillip Gaines. If there was a game you felt like you needed all hands on deck for it would be this one. Kansas City will probably be without Gaines for a game or two, maybe more. One of the other moves they made yesterday was to call up Terrance Mitchell from the practice squad. With a seventh corner now on the roster it’s easy to see Gaines will miss some time.
Andy Reid pulled out multiple new plays in the win over the Raiders. He ran a lot of two TE sets on offense and used Anthony Sherman more than he had played the entire season combined. Reid showed that the Chiefs have a very capable running game and that they can use it to set up the pass. He must continue to do the same type of things moving forward.
Oct 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jamaal Charles helped the running game as a good change of pace from Spencer Ware. Both running backs are great running the ball and both are very good receivers. Ware doesn’t possess Charles’ speed or awareness but few do. Charles is a player that the Chiefs can allow to come along slowly through the rest of the season. While there is a step down to Ware from a healthy Charles, I would say that currently Ware is the better back until Charles is fully up and running.
The biggest key to the Raiders win was Alex Smith taking what the defense gave him and then some. Smith had several passes that challenged the Raiders DBs more than you would expect. His deep ball to Maclin was fantastic even with the DB with him step for step. The Raiders game is Smith’s best game by far and if he continues to perform the way he did Sunday, KC could be in for a long playoff run.
When the Chiefs take the field on Sunday they need to start out red hot. Reid needs to get the team ready to fire on all cylinders before the game. The offense can not wait for Marcus Peters to make a play to step up and play well. Alex Smith needs to continue to challenge the defense as well. He needs to take shots even when they might not be there because that’s what will set up the Chiefs running attack.
Andy Reid needs to make a simple game plan for Sunday against the Saints. Attack the Saints defense from the start. I wouldn’t mind seeing a deep ball or two or three in the first two series. Use the threat of a downfield attack to set up the running game. Use the Chiefs ability to move in space to their advantage and run a couple of screens.
I’m not asking Reid to go back to throwing the ball over 75 percent of the time, but do what got you a win last week. Run the ball early and often. Use play fakes to set up passing plays. Get Alex Smith comfortable early, and keep the ball out of the hands of Drew Brees.