Editor’s note: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Chiefs matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m., at Arrowhead Stadium.
Raiders run defense vs. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
Tale of the tape:
Raiders run defense: Ranked No. 24 in run defense (127.9 ypg)
Charles (25): 5-foot-11, 199 pounds, seventh season, Texas
Kansas City Chiefs all-world running back Jamaal Charles missed some practice time this week with knee and ankle injuries. When the injury report came out on Friday, Charles was probable and expected to carry a full workload during Sunday’s game against the Raiders.
The Silver and Black must have resented their buzzard’s luck. Stopping Charles is no easy task.
He can take over a game with minimal carries, able to make big plays any time he reaches open space. He’s caused havoc on the Raiders before, but they held him to just 122 yards total offense and a touchdown in a Week 12 victory at O.co Coliseum.
That sounds like a lot, but consider it a victory against such a dynamic playmaker.
The Raiders were dealt a bad hand before Sunday’s game, with weakside linebacker Sio Moore ruled out on Saturday morning with a hip injury. That leaves the Raiders with just four healthy linebackers in a 4-3 scheme. Only Khalil Mack and Miles Burris have made an NFL start. Either Ray-Ray Armstrong or recently-promoted practice squad player Bojay Filimoeatu will take Moore’s place with start No. 1.
Safety Larry Asante was also responsible for slowing Charles a few weeks ago, and he’s also out with shoulder and quadriceps injuries.
Generally speaking, the Raiders have handled Charles well in terms of rushing yards, allowing 4.06 yards per carry. That’s well below an astonishing 5.5-yard per carry career average.
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They’ve allowed 862 yards of total offense and a whopping 10 touchdowns – eight over the last three games -- totals they’d like to keep stagnant.
With injury troubles on the back end, the Raiders need the defensive line to perform well. That’s especially true of nose tackle Justin Ellis, who must clog the middle and allow others to focus on keeping Charles contained.