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Oakland's first true test comes this Sunday at home.
The Chiefs come into this week after a nail-biting finish at home against the Buffalo Bills. In fact, KC narrowly escaped defeat in overtime, as the Bills missed a mid-range field goal, due partly to the trending ''Ice-the-kicker timeout' directly before the snap.
The Bills however have played exceptional over the last two weeks, going toe-to-toe, and into overtime with both Baltimore and KC. Both of these were on the road, in hostile environments.
Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are similar to Oakland's tandem, Michael Bush and Darren McFadden in some aspects; however, they are much different in most. Bush and Jones are power backs, but Jones has more finesse, and can hit the gas pedal when he needs to. Bush is more of a bruiser, and runs people over for a living. Not a whole lot of pretty play for Michael, although his catch and run after a tipped ball last week was pretty impressive.
McFadden and Charles are both the speedster, screen options for their teams. What McFadden lacks in speed, he makes up for with strength. Charles lacks nothing in quickness, and to counter McFadden's strength, Jamaal Charles relies on quick, decisive cuts to spring him into the secondary.
Nnamdi Asomugha is out for the Raiders, and you can bet, KC is already game-planning on how to expose Oakland's secondary.
Dexter McCluster will sit out for the Chiefs, which will be a relief for Michael Huff in film sessions this week. In fact, I consider McCluster such a game changer, especially against a 'no Nnamdi' Raider D, that if he were to play, I'd pick this game to end a little differently.
The Raiders are coming off two gigantic wins, and perhaps more impressively, have kept the point difference in their four losses to a minimum.
Kansas City has played Indianapolis and Houston as tough as nails. With Brandon Flowers back in the mix in the KC secondary, they will look to improve on a under-rated defense.
The Raiders will need to win the turnover battle, and will have to force Cassel to move around, and force passes. The matchup on Dwayne Bowe will be crucial for Oakland's success.
Oakland wins the battle: