From Arrowhead Stadium
The rumors had started before the Raiders season finale against the Chiefs had even kicked off. Reportedly, Oakland head coach Tom Cable will not hold that job next year. He may be fired within a week.
That would be a ridiculous end to what was a tremendous coaching job by Cable and his staff in this 2010 season. By crunching the Chiefs 31-10, they finished 8-8 on the season and 6-0 in the AFC West. They are the first team to go unbeaten in their own division and not make the playoffs.
Ignoring the rumors, Cable was in for celebrating on Sunday.
“We’re not losers anymore,” Cable said. “We’re 8-8. That’s not what we wanted. We wanted to be a playoff team, but we came here to get the eighth win which means we were 6-0 in the division and most importantly we’re done with that losing. We’re not losers anymore.”
It’s the first time since their Super Bowl seasons of 2002 that the Raiders finished the season without a losing record. In seven seasons (2003-09), they did not win more than five games.
They got eight this year by playing tough in their own division. At 6-0, they were 2-8 outside the AFC West.
“When we have taken care of the ball, we’ve been pretty good and it looks to be that way in all these AFC West games,” said Cable. “Outside (the division) we had too many turnovers and that’s what it really comes down to.”
In six division games, the Raiders had five giveaways and finished plus-10 in the turnover ratio. In the other 10 games outside the division, they had 21 giveaways and finished minus-12 in the turnover ratio.
So what do the Raiders need to do in 2011 to get back to the playoffs? They now have the longest post-season drought in the division with eight seasons out of the playoffs.
“I think we’ve got to come to grips with being able to take care of the ball better,” said Cable. “That’s the bottom line here. “I think we’re on the right path. We just need to get better and learn how to take care of the ball better.”
Apparently we’ll know soon about Cable and his future â€“ his contract calls for an option for the 2011 season to be picked up by January 18. He’s now 17-27 as Raiders head coach.
It was another one of those games where the number of butts in the seats was not what the Chiefs released as paid attendance: 67,045. There were empty seats in every section, although those at mid-field in the lower and upper level were pretty much filled. As usual, the club level was sparse in the end zones. It was the same with the upper deck in the end zones.
Overall, the crowd was into the game in the first half and certainly made enough noise that the Raiders got flagged for several false start penalties. Sometimes with the Raiders it’s hard to know whether it comes down to crowd noise or just the lack of discipline by the silver and black.
Although the Chiefs never talk about injuries after the game, the Raiders do. Isn’t that interesting! QB Jason Campbell suffered a right knee contusion when he was tackled running out of bounds by OLB Tamba Hali. He missed one series and then went back in the game. TE Zach Miller (knee sprain) and S Michael Huff (turf toe) left the game, but returned. The most serious injury for the Raiders was DE Matt Shaughnessy, who suffered an MCL strain in the first half and did not return to the field.
For the Chiefs, well it turns out that QB Brodie Croyle was injured; that’s why he was listed as the No. 3 quarterback for the game. But Croyle’s name did not appear on the team’s injury report during the past week.
SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT
KICKOFFS â€“ Ryan Succop had three kickoffs and did a great job of making life difficult for Jacoby Ford. Succop’s kicks went to the five, three and 11-yard lines. They were returned out no farther than the 25-yard line.
PUNTS â€“ Dustin Colquitt had six punts on the day that went for 34, 45, 46, 32, 50 and 25 yards. Only three were returned, for a total of three yards
OAKLAND RETURNS â€“ The longest of the day were a pair of 18-yard returns on kickoffs by Ford. Good job by Chiefs coverage.
CHIEFS RETURNS â€“ Javier Arenas returned three punts for an average of 6.7 yards, with a long of 14. Dexter McCluster had three kickoff returns for 78 yards, with a long of 36.
COVERAGE â€“ WR Terrance Copper had two tackles, while WR Verran Tucker, LB Demorrio Williams, LB Corey Mays and S Ricky Price had one tackle each.
Bill Leavy and his crew were in charge and they ended up walking off a total of 15 penalties for 116 penalty yards. They got the Raiders for 10 penalties and the Chiefs for five calls. Here’s where they got K.C.:
- Offense â€“ Intentional grounding â€“ Matt Cassel for minus-13 yards.
- Defense â€“ Illegal contact â€“ Brandon Flowers for minus-5.
- Defense â€“ Face mask â€“ Jovan Belcher for minus-15 yards.
- Offense â€“ 12 men in huddle â€“ Jamaal Charles did not come off for minus 1.
- Offense â€“ False start â€“ Branden Albert, for minus-5.
There were no replay reviews, so this allowed things to click along for a game that went 3 hours, 4 minutes.
Inactive players for the Chiefs were WR Quinten Lawrence, DB Donald Washington, FB Mike Cox, S Reshard Langford, LB Charlie Anderson, C Rudy Niswanger and DT Anthony Toribio. The inactive third quarterback was Brodie Croyle, supposedly because of some sort of injury, details of which remain sketchy..
Inactive players for the Raiders were WR Johnnie Lee Higgins, RB Darren McFadden, CB Walter McFadden, CB Jeremy Ware, G Daniel Loper, G Bruce Campbell and DT Richard Seymour. The inactive third quarterback was J.T. O’Sullivan.
With Seymour (hamstring) out, DT John Henderson started in his place. McFadden’s (toe) place in the starting lineup was taken by Michael Bush. The Raiders didn’t miss either one.
The Chiefs opened in a 1-1-3, with Chris Chambers, Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster all on the field, with RB Thomas Jones and TE Tony Moeaki. They then shifted into the Wildcat formation, with Jones taking the direct shotgun snap and Cassel running out to his right to lineup as a WR.
The Raiders used about a dozen plays where they brought OT Khalif Barnes as an extra blocker. He usually lined up on the right side, giving the Raiders the look of an unbalanced line.