This passing play is the bread and butter of the Chiefs. Kansas City’s offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was able to get the best of the Bengals at times in his stint as coordinator for the Browns, but the Chiefs are facing a more formidable opponent than Daboll saw during his time in Cleveland.
In this play, Dwayne Bowe runs the deep crossing route that he has ran to perfection in Kansas City. With the slot receiver running a go route, drawing up the slot corner and safety, the middle is cleared by linebackers focusing on Charles and his dynamic pass-catching ability.
What the Bengals have to their advantage is superior man-coverage than the Raiders can provide. Bowe is a physical threat on any route, but can not get the separation that many elite receivers can provide. The Bengals’ cornerbacks must stay in his hip pocket, while Bengals’ linebackers have to resist the urge to go downfield to quickly, opening up passing lanes for the Chiefs quarterback on the crossing route.
Although he has been underutilized this season, tight end Tony Moeaki provides a threat on seam passes that teams must take into account. The Bengals linebakers have to make sure to get depth in zone when playing with two high safeties, because Moeki will split them every time.
On this play, Moeaki was open for the touchdown, but Matt Cassel simply could not hit him under pressure. Luckily, the Bengals will bring even more pressure than the Raiders, who are one of the worst units in the league for disrupting opposing quarterbacks.
If Reggie Nelson is back and healthy, this is less of a concern, but the seam pass against a Cover 2 shell is something that the Chiefs will likely look to complete, especially in this kind of red zone opportunity.