Raiders News: Chiefs start 3rd string right tackle on Sunday
Only one game separates the Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West and playoff standings, adding to the significance of this week’s Sunday night soccer game.
Since the Super Bowl where Patrick Mahomes was constantly under pressure and struggled to score points, the Chiefs’ offensive line has come under a lot of scrutiny, especially at tackle point. Before the big game, Kansas City lost its two starting offensive tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, to injuries and the Buccaneers were able to take advantage of that.
The Chiefs knew passing protection was going to be an issue going forward and chose to free Fisher and Schwartz, and retool his offensive line during the offseason. So far this has helped the inside of the line, but Mahomes has always been under pressure as the outside of the line remained a problem, especially in the right tackle.
Lucas Niang and Mike Remmers split the straight tackle starts in Kansas City and combined to allow 26 presses, five of which were either a sack or a hit, in just nine games.
Both players also battled the injury virus when Niang started the season as a starter, then Remmers replaced when Niang fell, but when Niang was finally healthy again, Remmers himself suffered an injury. . Thus, the starter of week 1 returned to his starting role, only to get injured two weeks later.
That brings us to this Sunday where the Chiefs have already ruled out Niang and Remmers, which means they will rely on their third option on the right tackle.
That player is expected to be Andrew Wiley, who has been a goalie for most of his career and returned a sack and earned a 41.0 blocking rating from Pro Football Focus in relief from Niang last week.
Tackling the quarterback has been a strength of the Raiders’ defense this season. Maxx Crosby leads the NFL in pressures with 50 and is mostly aligned on the offensive right, so he and Wiley should face off often. On paper, this game tilts in Las Vegas’ favor and could be the key to keeping Kansas City’s offense which has multiple explosive weapons at bay.
Crosby suffered 11 presses and a sack against the Cheifs last year, so hopefully he can continue to build on his success against the team’s fiercest rival and get the most out of his former college teammate. . Wiley and Crosby crossed paths at Eastern Michigan for two seasons in 2015 and 2016.