Eavesdropping on the Enemy

It's time again for our spy report. Each week this season I go undercover and spy on the opposing fans of each Chiefs opponent. I believe the fans are the true experts on the strengths and weaknesses of their team. Each week I'll attempt to find out how they view the upcoming game, how their offense will fare against the Chiefs defense and how their defense will fare against the Chiefs offense.

This week the Chiefs look to regain a thread of dignity as they make their annual trip to the black hole to face their long time bitter rival, the Oakland Raiders. Yes the Chiefs have very slim playoff hopes right now, but more importantly they seek to get off the losing train they are on. The Chiefs have lost three consecutive games and find themselves on the outside looking in after being in position to plan for games in January. The mantra now is to simply finish with a winning record.

To do so the Chiefs will have to correct the many flaws that have been displayed over the past three weeks, namely giving up big plays on defense and not creating any on offense.

This week I spied on Raiders fans from one message board: HomePort: Safe Harbor on the Seven Cyberseas at http://www.fansinblack.com/x/forumdisplay.php?f=3.. Raiders fans are frustrated with this season and are looking at free agents, draft picks and offensive coordinators. With rumors floating that Head Coach Art Shell may be fired, many fans are delighted and naming potential head coaching candidates.

Raiders Offense vs. Chiefs Defense

"We have a bunch of good parts but as a whole they stink. A lot of our players would be productive on other teams, but together they are a broken machine that needs to be scrapped.

Overrated, underachieving and overpaid. That about sums up our offense. I say we scrap the whole thing and start over. There's not one player on offense I wouldn't look to replace." jnova – HomePort

"It seems to me by the reaction from Sundays game that Shell may be starting Brooks because that's what the team wants, Sapp went nuts when Walter was brought in and the team seemed to give up." braider – HomePort

"Brooks to start vs. Chiefs; Whitted out for the year. It will be Interesting to see if our WR performs better with Curry, Gabriel, Morant (although Moss is questionable)." TerryMcDaniel – HomePort

The Spy's analysis

The Chiefs really need a solid game from their defense this week. They haven't gotten a complete game from them in a while. The last three weeks have been a mixture of blown leads, blown coverages and blown assignments leading to big drives, big plays and big losses.

The most discouraging point is that it has started with the run defense. The defense is flat not stopping the run and it came to a head on national TV for the second season in a row. The Chiefs gave up 199 yards and two touchdowns to Ladainian Tomlinson last week, reminiscent of the beat down Tiki Barber laid on them last season. If the Chiefs are to gain respectability on defense, they must shut down the run.

Raiders Defense vs. Chiefs Offense

"Nnamdi Asomugha got snubbed. The dude has 7 picks this year and a couple were of the spectacular variety. He plays on one of the top defenses and I believe plays more man coverage than most other CB's in this league. What does the guy have to do, make 13 picks and lead the league in tackles by a CB?" Ag ‘N Black – HomePort

"There is no counter argument to Nnamdi not going. The best they can say is that "other guys" had great seasons. With Lecher you could point to his touchback and downed inside the 20 ratio. With Sapp you could point to our run defense stats. I can buy that. But with Sapp not even making one of the 3 alternates it tells me players and coaches avoided voting for him. Like T.O. I believe his personality kept a lot of players and coaches from voting for him." banter – HomePort

"We really can't put too much emphasis on how big of a deal having our D play so well, and be so young, is going to mean for the future. Honestly, this D has a good chance to be very strong for the next five plus years. I would think (hope & pray) the Raiders will soon be able to field an average offense.

Obviously, I'm not saying we are knocking on the door of playing like that Ravens team... but I am saying we could be a lot closer and share more similarities than some may see right now.

Having a defense playing like it is right now (in the midst of a horrifying season, mind you) can very quickly (with the correct moves) greatly help a team become very competitive." JolleyRoger – HomePort

The Spy's Analysis

The Chiefs offense has been stagnant the last two weeks. It seems there is a need to put some creativity back in the offense. Boasting one of the leagues best running backs and best tight ends the Chiefs should be able to use playaction and misdirection to create opportunities on offense.

The Chiefs really need their wide receivers to create more separation. Defenses are keying on Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez. Eddie Kennison and Samie Parker need to start taking advantage of that. Even more important is that head coach Herm Edwards and offensive coordinator Mike Solari open the play book a little more. Now would be a good time to start planning for next year by attacking more on offense.

The Spy's Summary

Playoffs? Playoffs? Playoffs? Yes, Jim Mora certainly should have been the spokesperson for the Chiefs this week. The playoffs are almost a distant memory. The Chiefs need to do everything they can to just win a game. The season has lost it's luster and the only thing that will begin to gain it back is a 2-0 mark to end the season. A loss to a dismal 2-12 Raider team would be horrible.

Edwards will face a big firestorm this offseason. That firestorm will turn into an inferno if he loses to the Raiders. While the playoffs appear to be out of the picture, this is still a must win game.

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