Numbers: Chiefs vs. Raiders

The Chiefs defense stepped up big time last Sunday and the win at Oakland emphasized two key ingredients – turnover ratio and the ability to stop the run.

The six interceptions the Chiefs grabbed against Oakland were certainly the reason they won the game. Interceptions for touchdown are momentum-changing plays. Three picks stopped potential scoring drives with the Raiders in Chiefs territory. The other was equivalent of a punt.

Those negated the one significant interception tossed by Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel in the third quarter (I discount end-of-half interceptions.)

The Chiefs goal-line stand at the start of the second quarter was the second most important facet of the game because it too was a momentum-changing moment against a team that had beaten them up physically just a year ago. It was a continuing trend of the Chiefs becoming more physical against the run.

While the Raiders 5.7-yard average (27 carries for 125 yards) on running plays appears on the surface to be a failure, don’t fault the run defense for Kyle Boller’s three scrambles for 29 yards. And while the run defense did give up a 35-yarder that gave the Raiders a first-and-goal from the 5, they stoned them the next four plays.

Drop out the 29 yards of scrambles and the 35-yard run (yes, I know you can’t discount it) and the Chiefs run defense allowed an average of just 3.9 yards per carry.

Opp. Rushing

Runs/Yds*

3-less 

4-plus 

Big play

Def. Succ.*

Avg.

Raiders 

24-126

14 

10 

4

13 

5.25 

Season 

176-727

99

77

18

96 

4.13

*-Run attempts does not count kneel downs or scrambles. Defensive success does not include short runs for a first down or kneel-downs at the end of a half or game.

Turnover Ratio

Game

Chiefs

Opponents

 
Opponent

Interception

Fumble 

Interception 

Fumble 

Ratio

Buffalo 

1

2

1

0

-2

Detroit 

3

3

1

0

-5

San Diego 

1

0

2

0

+1

Minnesota 

0

0

1

0

+1

Indianapolis 

0

0

0

0

0

Oakland 

2

+4

Other defense

Besides the takeaways and run defense the Chiefs also were able to take advantage of the Raiders unsettled quarterback position between Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer. Although they had just one sack (on a 2nd-and-19 play), they were close plenty of times with 14 quarterback pressures. The downside was that when they did get pressure, they lost containment several times – thus Boller’s 29 yards on three scrambles.

Passing

Total

Less than 7 

7-10 yards 

10-plus 

Avg/Att 

Raiders 

15-35-177-0T-6I

5.06* 

Season 

113-185-1,452-12T-10I

39 

19 

55 

7.85

* Factor in Boller scrambles and the average is still just 5.42 per pass play.

Sacks by down

Game

First

Second

Third

Total

Passing situation*

Raiders 

0

Season 

1

*Passing situation defined as second- or third-and-long (more than 6), two-minute drill or second half when down by more than two scores.

ON OFFENSE

There was certainly nothing in the passing numbers that would lead one to believe that the Chiefs could beat the Raiders. Cassel had a relapse to early-season form with three interceptions and no touchdown passes. His passer rating of 38.3 and just 5.33 yards per pass play was a season worst on both standards. Nearly half (13 of 30) of his attempts came in the first quarter, and by halftime he had attempted 20 passes.

Only one of the two interceptions should be worrisome since the other came on the final play of the first half with the Chiefs at their 45 and his throw to Dwayne Bowe at the goal line was picked off.

Here’s an illustration of how one pass can affect a quarterback’s passer rating. If the Chiefs had called a kneel-down at the end of the first half and made no attempt, it would have bumped up Cassel’s passer rating to 53.95 – still an abysmal number. If he had completed it to Bowe for the touchdown and the additional 55 yards passing his rating would have been 73.75. You can find the passer-rating formula at www.primecomputing.com.

Keep in mind that the passer-rating statistic is not a quarterback rating because it doesn’t take into account the quarterback’s entire contribution to a win or loss.

Passing

Total

Less than 7 

7-10 yards 

10-plus 

Avg/Att 

Raiders 

15-30-161-0T-3Int

5.37 

Season 

108-160-1,086-8T-8Int

42 

15 

36 

6.78* 

* Includes sacks and scrambles.

The receivers

Bowe continues to be Cassel’s favorite target, 10 times against the Raiders. We got our first glimpse of Jonathan Baldwin in a regular-season game, and Cassel did not shun him – targeting him five times with Baldwin grabbing a single reception.

Bowe ranks 10th in the NFL in receiving yardage and is tied for third (with many others) in touchdowns. But he’s also ranked fifth in dropped passes with five for the season.

Dexter McCluster, whose big-play potential has been noted, seems to have gone MIA in the passing game in recent weeks. Perhaps his increased duties running the ball have made him less relevant as a pass receiver.

vs. Raiders

Target

Catches

Yards

Big plays

Bowe 

10

6

76

3

Breaston 

9

5

64

4

Baldwin

5

1

14

1

O’Connell

1

1

6

0

McCLain

2

1

4

0

McCluster 

2

-3 

0

Pope

1

0

0

0

Totals 

30

15

161

8

Season

Target

Catches

Yards

Big plays

Bowe

52

29

496

19

McCluster

24

19

59

Breaston

29

19

293

13

Pope

1

11 

77 

Colbert

11

65 

Charles

6

McClain

8

4

23

Urban

5

Battle

5

23 

Baldwin

5

1

15

O’Connell

3

3

27

Cassel

1

-4 

Jones

4

Copper

2

Totals

171

108

1,104

42

Worst to first?
The Monday night game against the Chargers gives the Chiefs a chance to move into a tie for first place in the AFC West – something unimaginable to most fans after the debacle of the first two weeks of the season. Two of the Chiefs three wins have come on the road, including the division win against the Raiders on Sunday. The Chargers have one road win, the Raiders and Broncos two home losses each.

The opponents’ records for division rivals: San Diego opponents 15-24, Raiders opponents 25-19, Chiefs opponents 18-22 and Broncos opponents 23-17.

AFC West

vs. AFC East

vs. NFC North

Other 

vs. AFC West

Chargers 4-2

L/Patriots (R)

W/Miami (H)

L/Jets (R)

W/Vikings (H)

Jaguars

Ravens 

W/Chiefs (H)

W/Broncos (R)

Raiders 4-3

L/Bills (R)

W/Jets (H)

L/Patriots (H)

0-0 

W/Texans (R)

W/Browns (H)

W/Broncos (R)

L/Chiefs (H)

Chiefs 3-3

L/Bills (H)

L/Lions (R)

W/Vikings (H)

Steelers

W/Colts (R)

L/Chargers (R)

W/Raiders (R)

Broncos 2-4

W/Dolphins (R)

L/Packers (R)

W/Bengals (H)

L/Titans (R)

L/Raiders (H)

L/Chargers (H)


6 Responses to “Numbers: Chiefs vs. Raiders”

  • October 27, 2011  - Craig says:

    Great Post as always Bob. I am still not convinced Cassel can quit playing Dr Jeckel Mr Hyde. That will be our weakest link. Unless our defense can continue to shut out folks, then any QB will do.


  • October 27, 2011  - jim says:

    I am waiting for McClain to come to the fore during the seccond half of the season. Here’s hopin he makes a noticable contribution other than blocking.


  • October 27, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Let’s not make excuses for Cassel (if…buts…candy/nuts). “5.33 yards per pass play was a season worst”…against the Bills in game 1 it was actually musch lower at about 3 yards.

    As a 29 year old man, the annointed leader of this team, recipient of a big $$$ contract…Cassel should be held accountable for his inconsistent performance. Cassel has to get it going and has to get it going now or it is going to get ugly with the looming schedule.


  • October 27, 2011  - Blake says:

    Bob where is he chiefs rushing offensive statistics? I want to see how many of Thomas Jones carries ended up with positive yards. I do believe I only saw him run for plus yards on two out of nine carries. He looked like a deer in headlights out there. Every time he got the ball he would just freeze and let the defense tackle him behind the line of scrimmage.


  • October 29, 2011  - Kent Pulliam says:

    Sorry Blake, I thought I put that in the story. I will get that up here in a few minutes. I did chart the stats.


  • October 29, 2011  - Kent Pulliam says:

    Thomas Jones: 9 carries, 19 yards. they were -3, 0, 11, 6, -2, 1, -2, 14 and -6. By my stats, 3 successful carries, two big plays

    McCluster 10 for 38. Runs of -3, 0, 19, 9, 3, -2, 8, 2, 13, -2. Four successful runs, two big plays.

    Battle was 16 for 76. Runs of 6, 3, 2, 3, 5, 7, 2, 7, 5, 4, 4, 1, 2, 24, 1, 0. Eight successful runs, one big play.

    McLain. One run, 1 yard, but it was a touchdown, so it was a success.

    As I said Blake, sorry it wasn’t included in chart form.

    Thanks
    Kent




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