The Kansas City Chiefs headed west to Oakland, California to take on the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs were coming off a 30-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns and the Raiders were coming off a 26-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs won the toss and deferred to the second half.
In the first seven minutes of this game, the only “exciting” play was a 15-yard run by running back Darren McFadden. Other than that play, I felt like I was watching paint dry as neither offense could do anything. But, with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Raiders got the ball at their 40. Two runs by McFadden, a short completion to wide receiver Denarius Moore and an eight-yard run by running back Mike Goodson got the Raiders a first down at the Chief 35. Two more runs by Goodson made it first and goal at the nine. Like it’s been all year, the Raiders made it into the red zone and failed to get a touchdown. Quarterback Carson Palmer’s attempt to get the ball to Moore in the end zone on third and goal from the two fell incomplete and they had to settle for a field goal attempt. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski had no trouble making the 20-yard attempt and the Raiders led 3-0 with a little under two minutes to go in the first quarter. That’s the first time the Raiders had a lead in a game since they led Tampa Bay 10-7. For your information, that game was played on November 4th.
After that field goal, I watched some more paint dry until the 13 minute mark of the second quarter. On third down from the Chief 25, quarterback Brady Quinn looked for wide receiver Dexter McCluster and was picked off by cornerback Joselio Hanson at the 42. He returned the ball to the 39 and the Raiders were in business. Two plays netted them nine yards and McFadden ran up the right side on third and one. He was mauled by the Chief defense for a loss of two. That made it fourth and three and it was time again for the Polish Cannon. He nailed the 50-yard attempt and the Raiders now led 6-0 with ten minutes to go in the second quarter.
Three plays for the Chiefs amounted to nothing and punter Dustin Colquitt booted away another punt. He got all of this one and Moore had a hard time judging exactly where the ball was going to land. He looked like the right fielder in the original Bad News Bears movie. The ball finally came down and was downed at the 20. A five-yard illegal touching penalty on the Chiefs put the ball at the 25. McFadden and Goodson got the Raiders moving in the right direction and on third and six from the Chief 39, Palmer threaded the ball between two defenders and completed a ten-yard pass to wide receiver Rod Streater. Next was a nice 22-yard run up the left side by Goodson. But, a holding call on rookie guard Tony Bergstrom wiped that play out and moved them back ten yards. On third and 19 from the 48, McFadden caught a short pass and ended up being brought down just short of a first down. That made it fourth down and Janikowski came into the game again. This time, his 51-yard attempt was just wide to the left. It’s a rare occasion that you see a kicker walking up and down the sideline looking like he’s pissed off at the world. But that’s how Janikowski looked. He had a look in his eye that said “If I get another chance, I am going to kick that freaking ball all the way to Poland!” He really does take missing a field goal personally.
The inept Chiefs took over and once again, didn’t get a first down after three plays and Colquitt punted the ball away. It was downed at the Raider nine-yard line. With 56 seconds remaining in the half, Palmer went to work with the no huddle offense. Two completions to Streater and one to McFadden moved the ball to the 40. A seven-yard pass to Moore and a 14-yard pass to tight end Brandon Myers gave the Raiders a first down at the Chief 39. With no time to run another play, the determined Janikowski entered the game. This time, his 57-yard attempt was good and he had a look of redemption on his face. The Raiders took a 9-0 lead into the locker room.
At halftime, they showed the stats for the game and it showed that the Chiefs didn’t get one first down and they never even crossed midfield. They made the 2012 Raider defense look like the 2000 version of the Baltimore Ravens. But, as I have seen many times, the Raiders have left the field at halftime with a lead and come out looking terrible in the second half. I didn’t think a 9-0 lead was enough to win this game and was hoping to maybe see a player in a black uniform cross the goal line.
The Chiefs started at their 18 and guess what they did? After three plays, they punted? Right! The Raiders took over at their seven and on third and four from the 13, Palmer connected with Moore for a gain of eight and a first down at the 21. A short run by McFadden and a 19-yard pass to Streater had them moving again. On third and nine, Palmer threaded the ball between two defenders once again and completed a pass for 18 yards to Moore. That moved the ball into Chief territory and gave them a first down at the 40. They would get as far as the 12 and the drive would stall. Janikowski was called on once again for a 30-yard attempt and he made his fourth field goal of the day. The Raiders increased their lead to 12-0 with six minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Chiefs took over at their 20 and on third and six from the 24, Quinn found McCluster for a gain of eight and that play gave the Chiefs a first down. I guess they had to get one eventually. But, there’s more! Quinn found tight end Tony Moeaki in the middle of the field for a gain of 17 and yet ANOTHER first down. Also, safety Tyvon Branch was flagged for a helmet to helmet hit and that gave them 15 more yards and they made their first appearance in Raider territory. It looked to me like Branch led with his shoulder and it was not a helmet to helmet to hit. Either way, it gave them a first down at the Raider 36. Next, Quinn put one up the left side and cornerback Coye Francies was flagged for pass interference. That 27-yard penalty gave the Chiefs a first and goal at the nine. Three plays netted them five yards and they decided to go for it on fourth and goal from the four. On fourth down, the play clock was ticking away and Quinn was screaming for the center to snap the ball. For some reason, he didn’t and the play clock ran out for a five-yard delay of game penalty. Quinn was absolutely livid after that. From the nine, Quinn completed a pass to running back Jamaal Charles and the Raider defense pounced on him. The play gained one yard and the Raiders took over at their eight-yard line.
On third and eight from the ten, a draw to McFadden went for a gain of 15 and a first down at the 25. On second and ten from the 25, Goodson ran straight up the middle and got loose for a gain of 43 yards. He was dragged down at the Chief 32. They would get as far as the 23 and it was once again time for the Polish Cannon to do his thing. His 41-yard attempt sailed through the uprights and the Raiders now led 15-0 with 13 minutes to go in the game.
The Chiefs started at their 13 and got the ball moving on the strength of a 31-yard pass to McCluster. A short run, an 11-yard pass to Charles and a ten-yard pass to Moeaki moved the Chiefs to the Raider 33. However, two incomplete passes and a loss of nine on a sack by defensive tackle Tommy Kelly made it fourth and 18 and they were forced to punt again. But, the Raiders gave the ball right back to the Chiefs as McFadden fumbled on his own 22 after catching a short pass. That gave the Chiefs another opportunity to get the ball into the end zone. An interference call on Moeaki, an eight-yard pass to McCluster and two incomplete passes made it fourth and 12 from the 20. Quinn looked to his left and put one up for the end zone. It was incomplete and the Raiders took over at the 20 with nine minutes to go. After he got rid of the ball, Quinn was flattened by three Raiders who were coming at him from three different directions. He stayed down for a little while, but he would eventually get up and walk to the sideline under his own power.
The Raiders got a couple of first downs, took five minutes off the clock and punted. The Chiefs started at their 29 and on fourth and one from the 38, Quinn completed a pass to McCluster on the right side. Hanson was there to make sure he didn’t get the first down and did a great job of stopping him and forcing the Chiefs to turn the ball over. After that, the Raiders ran the clock out and got their fourth win of the season by a score of 15-0. It was also their first shutout since 2002. Coincidentally, that game was also a home game against the Chiefs. The loss dropped the Chiefs to 2-12 and they are tied with Jacksonville for the worst record in the league. It definitely looks like one of those teams will get the number one pick in the draft next year.
For the Chiefs, Brady Quinn completed 18 of 32 for 136 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Their running game was non-existent and they had a grand total of ten yards on ten carries. All ten of those yards were gained by Jamaal Charles. Dexter McCluster led all receivers with seven receptions for 59 yards. Defensively, safety Eric Berry led the team with 11 solo tackles, two tackles for a loss and one pass defensed. They registered zero sacks and never got anywhere near Palmer.
For the Raiders, Carson Palmer was suffering from flu-like symptoms and at certain points in the game, he looked like he was going to puke. Still, he completed 18 of 29 for 182 yards, no touchdowns and for the first time in seven weeks, he wasn’t picked off. Darren McFadden led the way with 110 yards on 30 carries. Goodson added 89 yards and as a team, the Raiders rushed for 203 yards on 45 carries. McFadden also added 39 yards receiving. Rod Streater and Denarius Moore each led the Raiders in receptions with five apiece. Streater had the most receiving yards with 62. I must say I was very impressed with the defense. The pass rush was consistent throughout the game and they did a great job of shutting down Charles. They were all over Quinn and he was sacked four times. Linebacker Philip Wheeler was one of those defenders who registered a sack and he also led the team in solo tackles with seven.
Well, I knew if I kept at it, I’d get to write about a win for the Raiders. It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take it. It says the attendance was just over 51,000. No way. There may have been 40,000 and even that’s a stretch. The weather was gloomy, the field was in bad shape and during one segment of the broadcast, it looked like there were about 25 buzzards flying over the stadium. That’s what you get when you have two bad teams playing one another.
Up next for the Raiders is their fifth and final trip into the eastern time zone to take on the Carolina Panthers. They are 0-4 in games where they have to travel across the country and have been outscored by the Dolphins, Falcons, Ravens and Bengals by a score of 147-63. I’m pretty sure that means the Panthers will most likely come away with a win too. Stranger things have happened, but the Panthers looked really good yesterday as they defeated the Chargers 31-7. My next article will not be up until probably Wednesday or Thursday of next week because I’ll be out of town for Christmas. Until then, take it easy.
The Raider Guy