Yes! Yes! Yes! Daniel Bryan style. No I’m not a fan of his, but I wanted to start this piece with some humor, because the rest is not fun at all.
If any Raiders fans watched the game on Thursday, they should be freaking out by now. And rightfully so. The Raiders lose to, I mean, play the Chiefs twice a year and this season we will also face the Patriots in the Tequila Bowl in November, so I decided to watch the season opener to get a better idea of what awaits us (ok, I was missing football like crazy and I’d even watch Browns vs Jets if that was the opener, but you get the gist).
It was a bad idea.
Every human being on earth thought the Patriots would simply demolish the Chiefs. Except Maurice Jones-Drew, of course.
Anyway, playing at home. After the 5th Super Bowl banner hanging ceremony. Brady. Belichick. Robert Kraft holding the Lombardi trophy and all. It was a slam dunk.
People just forgot to tell this to the folks in Kansas City.
If I want to suffer a little more I will watch the game again, but from what I saw on Thursday, either there was an extremely rare Patriots meltdown, especially in the second half, or Andy Reid’s people decided to take over the world. Or a little bit of both.
Things were so bad for New England that I can’t even think of how the next practice in Foxboro will be. Brady and company will bounce back but NFL Network’s Erin Coscarelli pretty much summarized the idea:
In the meantime we have just learned that Eric Berry suffered an Achilles tear and is out for the season, which is a bummer. I hate the Chiefs, but I also hate when players get hurt, no matter where they play.
Berry’s absence may change things a bit in the Chiefs’ defense, especially considering how well he covered the game’s most dominant tight end in Rob Gronkowski. Just so you have an idea, Gronk finished with a meager 2 receptions for 33 yards. This is a Clive Walford-esque performance.
His presence was also felt when the Chiefs denied the Patriots twice in 4th-and-1 situations. Berry’s tackle on Mike Gillislee was a thing of beauty. Study his film and learn, Raiders defense.
But everything I say here will be assuming Kansas City’s defense will continue playing at the same level, no matter who replaces Berry from now on.
So without further ado let’s get down to business and see how these teams will, in theory, match up with the Raiders, both on offense and defense.
First, the victors.
As I said, the Chiefs were outstanding in Foxboro. We all expected a strong defense with Justin Houston and Dee Ford handling the line, and the Berry/Peters combo manning the secondary, but their offense was the surprising unit.
I still don’t know who that guy wearing #11 for Kansas City was but it wasn’t Alex Smith. Whoever that guy was, his stat line was 28/35 for 368 yards and 4 TDs. Plus a couple of huge strikes to Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, just a few short throws and dump offs, and only 5 passes to his security blanket, Travis Kelce. See? It was certainly not Alex Smith.
In the backfield, my God, what was that dude Kareem Hunt? He fumbled in his very first carry of the game – after never losing a fumble in Toledo – but then the rookie got into a phone booth and became superman.
148 running yards in 17 carries, which gives an average of 8.7. Yes, 8 point freaking 7 yards per carry. This is absolutely, positively insane. This was the guy’s first game as a pro, for crying out loud. Oh, and another 98 yards out of 5 catches. The average? 19.6. And of course, 3 TDs.
When we finally get rid of Jamaal Charles (we may still see him in Denver, but behind C.J. Anderson and in a much reduced role), someone else picks up the slack just to continue to blow defenses out of the water. Please make it stop.
And Hunt’s backup, the dude with one of the weirdest names on the league, Mr. Charcandrick West, also left his mark with a nice run on his single attempt for a 21-yard TD which sealed the victory.
Among receivers, that Tyreek Hill is a (tiny but) bad, bad man. 133 yards in just 7 catches. Also 19 yards per reception. He made a fool of Stephon Gilmore in a 75-yard bomb where he could have moonwalked into the end zone if he wanted to. God help the Raiders turtle-speed CBs against that guy.
Finally, as mentioned above, it was interesting to note that Kelce was barely targeted by the guy who took over for Alex Smith. Can you imagine the damage they will do against the Raiders, who are still offering invisibility cloaks to tight ends in general? The prospect is scary to say the least.
One more thing about the Chiefs’ offense. Seriously, Andy Reid? Kelce in the backfield and in the wildcat? Just because he was a QB in the past? You don’t need that to beat the Raiders’ defense so just stop it, ok? Please and thank you.
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