First of all, let me say that I really enjoyed watching the Raiders last week. It was one of the rare times that I sat there and watched a Raider game from beginning to end. To top it off, they really played well and came away with a 24-13 win over the 49ers. When I was a kid, I was told not to live in the past and look ahead to the future. Well, after that nice win, I thought the Raiders would go into Arrowhead Stadium and come away with yet another win. I should be put in front of a firing squad for thinking so optimistically.
The game started out the way a lot of Raiders-Chiefs games start. It was sort of a feeling out process. With a little over six minutes to go, punter Marquette King nailed a 57-yard punt that was fielded at the Kansas City 19-yard line by rookie return man De’Anthony Thomas. He proceeded to run up the left sideline for an 81-yard punt return. That gave the Chiefs the lead and they never looked back. Kicker Cairo Santos added a field goal with eight minutes to go in the second quarter and the Chiefs were up 10-0.
The Raiders managed to get on the board right before the end of the first half as Sebastian Janikowksi made a 53-yard field goal. That made the score 10-3 at halftime. It was good to see them score, but I was nothing but pissed off. Prior to that drive, the Raiders had the ball for six other possessions and all of them ended with a punt. Early in the third quarter, fortune smiled on the Raiders for a few seconds. Tight end Travis Kelce caught a short pass and fumbled. The ball was picked out of the air by defensive end C.J. Wilson. He took it up the right side and it looked like he might make it to the end zone. Seeing as the offense didn’t know how to score, maybe the defense could show them where the end zone was. No such luck. Wilson was dragged down at the Kansas City 15-yard line. All the offense had to do was gain 15 yards and they could tie the game up. FIFTEEN FREAKING YARDS!!!! They ran three plays and gained exactly ZERO yards. Janikowski made another field goal and the Raiders trailed 10-6.
That was the last time until late in the game that the Raiders would score any points. What follows is what happened after that field goal…
Knile Davis scored on a 3-yard run. Santos made the extra point
Travis Kelce caught a 20-yard pass from Alex Smith for a touchdown. Santos made the extra point.
Knile Davis caught a 70-yard pass from Alex Smith for a touchdown. Santos made the extra point.
While the Chiefs were doing all that scoring, the Raiders were fumbling the ball away and punting the ball away. That 70-yard touchdown by Davis made the score 31-6. With 34 seconds to go in the game, the Raiders finally found end zone when Derek Carr completed a one-yard pass to James Jones in the end zone. But it was far too little and far too late. The Chiefs came away with an easy 31-13 win. That win improved their record to 8-6 and kept their playoff hopes alive. The Raiders fell to 2-12 and nobody looked like they gave a damn.
Now, I think I have an answer as to why the Raiders punted on their first six possessions of the game. It was the play calling of offensive coordinator Greg Olson yet again. Early in the game, Latavius Murray was running the ball very well and averaging five yards a carry. If something is working, why do you change it? This is a question that I ask nearly every game. All of a sudden, they were calling pass plays and totally abandoned the running game. The defense was playing relatively well in the first half, but they weren’t getting any help from the offense. I sincerely do not understand what goes on in the mind of Greg Olson.
For the Raiders, Derek Carr completed 27 of 56 for 222 yards and one touchdown. James Jones led the team in receptions with eight and Andre Holmes had the most receiving yards with 70. Latavius Murray led the way on the ground with 59 yards on 12 carries. As a team, the Raiders rushed for 78 yards on 17 carries. That’s an average of 4.6 yards a carry. If they would have kept pounding the ball, there may have been a different outcome. But when you have a complete moron calling the plays, you aren’t going to win many games. Defensively, Khalil Mack led the team in solo tackles with six.
For the Chiefs, Alex Smith completed 18 of 30 for 297 yards and two touchdowns. Travis Kelce led the team in receptions with five and Knile Davis had the most receiving yards with 70. On the ground, Jamaal Charles led the way with 52 yards on 12 carries. As a team, the Chiefs had a total of 93 yards on 27 carries. Defensively, the Chiefs were in Carr’s face all day and sacked him four times. Defensive back Jamell Fleming led the team in solo tackles with eight.
Well, only two games to go. Up next for the Raiders is a home game against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are coming off a solid 21-13 win over the Packers. In that game, they pressured Aaron Rodgers and picked him off twice. However, the Packers had success running the ball. They totaled 158 yards rushing and averaged 6.3 yards a carry. Are you reading this, Olson? Are you going to watch the film and see how the Packers successfully ran the ball against the Bills? Or are you going to have your rookie quarterback throw 50 times against a very aggressive pass rush? I think I already know the answer to that question. Take it easy.
The Raider Guy