Oakland QB Meaningless as Chiefs Crush Raiders

From the O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California

So much was written and said during the week about the Oakland Raiders quarterback position. With Jason Campbell out with a broken collarbone, the little used Kyle Boller ready to step in, and then the Raiders made a blockbuster trade for holdout QB Carson Palmer.

None of it mattered Sunday. What decided the game was a Kansas City Chiefs team that seems to have finally found its stride. Coming off the bye week, they picked up right where they stopped before the quickie vacation, thumping the Raiders 28-0.

It was the Chiefs first shutout victory since October 1, 2006 when they beat the other Bay Area team, the San Francisco 49ers 41-0. It was the first time the Raiders had been shutout in defeat since October 25, 2009, when they were drubbed 38-0 by the New York Jets.

It also gives the Chiefs a 3-game winning streak heading into next Monday night’s game against San Diego at Arrowhead Stadium.

Most importantly, they dug themselves out of the 0-3 season opening hole of their own making. The decisive victory established them in a spot where they can truly start to think about defending their AFC West title.

“It was a big one,” head coach Todd Haley said of the victory. “I hope the guys enjoy it for the next day. But I hope the guys understand it’s just a win. We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter of the season and we are really just trying to get back.”

Said QB Matt Cassel: “All we did with this victory was get ourselves back in the race. There’s a lot more to do, like a big game coming up with San Diego.”

It was a strange day for the Chiefs defense. They gave up 322 yards, including 155 rushing yards. But they intercepted six passes, returning two of those for touchdowns. They added two more scores on offense, although one of those TDs actually belonged to another defensive player.

Despite two Cassel interceptions and 10 penalties, the Chiefs were able to easily win the game because they kept snuffing out any thoughts the Raiders had of getting into the end zone.

“We obviously did enough things that hurt you and could have made that game go the other way with turnovers and penalties,” Haley said. “But we made enough plays to put ourselves in position to win. We’ve got to understand going forward we have to be a smarter team.”

The Chiefs secondary had struggled this season, but they were all over the Raiders on this afternoon. Brandon Flowers picked off two passes, including one that he returned 58 yards for a score. Kendrick Lewis had the game’s first interception, returning it 59 yards for a touchdown. CBs Brandon Carr and Travis Daniels, along with SS Jon McGraw also had interceptions.

The Raiders had 13 offensive possessions and only two moved inside the Chiefs 20-yard line. That included a 1st-and-goal situation at the Kansas City 5-yard line in the second quarter. Four runs by Oakland RB Michael Bush produced four yards, as he was stopped short of the goal line on the fourth down run by ILB Derrick Johnson.

“That was big, big, big for our defense,” said Haley. “Any time you keep anybody out of the end zone in the NFL, that’s a tough thing to do.”

The first half was total domination by the Chiefs, something they had not done in the previous five games. Through the 2-3 start, they had scored just three points in the first quarter and held the lead just once, after a Ryan Succop FG gave them a 3-0 lead over the Vikings.

It wasn’t the offense that came out fast, but the defense. Oakland won the toss and decided to defer and after the Chiefs had a penalty field possession that ended up losing 10 yards, the Raiders took over at their own 48-yard line. On a 3rd-and-6 play from that spot, Boller was hit as he threw and that took some steam off the ball, where it was headed for WR Jacoby Ford. Lewis stepped in front of the pass, caught it and then ran 59 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

The replay official reviewed the play at the end when Boller came close to knocking Lewis out of bounds between the five and 10-yard lines. But the replay showed Lewis did a tight rope walk and got into the end zone without going out of bounds. Succop’s PAT gave the Chiefs their first 7-0 lead of the season.

After the teams traded possessions, the Raiders had to start at their own 2-yard line thanks to a great Dustin Colquitt punt that was downed by CB Jalil Brown, who tossed the ball back into the field of play as it was heading to the end zone. Three plays later, Boller was again hit as he threw and his pass fluttered down the right sideline for WR Denarius Moore where it was picked off by Flowers.

That set up a 9-play, 61-yard drive for the Chiefs offense as they scored their first touchdown in the first quarter. They picked up a couple key third down conversions on Cassel throws to WR Dwayne Bowe and WR Steve Breaston. A 1st-and-10 pass from the Oakland 16-yard line appeared to go for a score as Bowe stretched the ball across the goal line. But after being ruled a score, the replay booth overturned the call and gave the Chiefs possession at the Raiders 1-yard line.

That’s where FB Le’Ron McClain scored on a 1-yard run. He also fumbled as he landed in the end zone, but the zebras said it was a score. The Chiefs recovered the ball anyway as blocking OT Jared Gaither fell on the ball. Succop’s PAT kick made it 14-0 and again the Chiefs were in very unfamiliar territory for them this season.

Neither offense found much traction in the second quarter and by intermission that 14-0 score stood. The Raiders had just 51 passing yards in the half, although they were able to run for 126 yards. The Chiefs offense meanwhile relied on the pass, picking up just 28 rushing yards on 11 carries, but Cassel threw for 125 yards.

The Chiefs put another touchdown on the board in the third quarter, scoring with a bit of offensive trick-er-ation. Taking over at their 36-yard line, Cassel led the offense down the field and got a bit of help with a pair of 15-yard penalties against the Raiders defense, for a facemask and then unnecessary roughness.

On a 3rd-and-2 play at the Oakland 7-yard line, CB Javier Arenas came into the offensive huddle. He lined up in the shotgun behind center, while Cassel went wide right as a receiver. Taking the direct snap, Arenas went between right guard and tackle and scored untouched for the Chiefs third TD of the day. Succop’s PAT made it 21-0 with over 10 minutes to play in the quarter.

It was after that third score that the Raiders went to the bullpen, bringing in the newly added Carson Palmer. He hit his first throw, for 18 yards to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and then got another 15 yards added on when OLB Tamba Hali was flagged for hitting Palmer below the knee as he released the ball.

But even that 33-yard play couldn’t get anything going for the Oakland offense, as punter Shane Lechler was the most overworked guy in the building. Then on the second play of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs defense scored again. Flowers jumped an out route from Palmer and returned the ball 58 yards for a touchdown. With the Succop PAT kick, the Chiefs led 28-0 with 14 minutes, 20 seconds to play in the game.

They added another interception later on a tipped pass that was grabbed by SS Jon McGraw and then Palmer overthrew a desperation heave – weren’t they all by the fourth quarter – and CB Travis Daniels got the interception No. 6.

By the end of the final quarter, Cassel was taking a knee, running out the clock for a road victory in the AFC West.

“I thought it was a complete game victory,” Cassel said. “Every part of this team stepped up and contributed. The defense gave us the takeaways, and that helps our offense with our confidence that they have our backs and the special teams did a great job with field position.

“It’s a huge win for us. Any time you can go on the road and get a win against a team that has been playing the way the Raiders have been playing, it’s a great win for us.”

3 Responses to “Oakland QB Meaningless as Chiefs Crush Raiders”

  • October 23, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Today was amazing! 3 straight wins. Beat the Chargers at Arrowhead next Monday night and we are 1st place! Wow!
    Cassel haters have to be pretty bummed :-)

  • October 23, 2011  - ED J says:

    No one hates Cassel. And we won game because of defense not Cassel. We all want to see Cassel do well he just needs be more consistent he actually played awful today. He missed Baldwin couple times today both Baldwin was running wide open. ONe he overthrew another he never even looked his direction instead he forced one to Mcclain. Great victory but Cassel will have to play better if we plan on beating Rivers Monday Night.

  • October 24, 2011  - K.C. Defense Bedevils All Raiders QBs in 28- Victory : BobGretz.com says:

    [...] GAME STORY: Raiders QBs don’t matter vs. KC defense. [...]

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