From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
All season the Chiefs have been able to run the ball. In four of their first seven games, they had over 200 rushing yards. It’s what led them to the No. 1 position in the NFL in rushing yardage last week with an average of 190 yards per game.
Things were not so successful on Sunday in Oakland. The Raiders did the best job of any opponent this year in keeping the Chiefs running game contained and it helped them grab a 23-20 overtime victory.
“We can’t just run the ball to win,” said Thomas Jones after the Chiefs ran for 104 yards on 34 carries against Oakland. “We have to make plays in the passing game as well. It’s a total team effort. I think a lot of people build up a certain part of your team and are disappointed when it doesn’t work. We are the Chiefs offense, not the Chiefs running game. It’s a team effort. That’s how we look at it.”
The offensive team effort wasn’t very good and it started with the running game, because that’s where all things start with the Chiefs offense. They had 34 carries, and only one went for more than 10 yards. That was a 13-yard run by Jamaal Charles in the third quarter.
Of those 34 carries:
- Three went for negative yardage, a total of minus-11 yards.
- Seven went for no yards.
- Three more carries went for just one yard each.
That’s 13 carries that produced a total of minus-8 yards. There was more given the three holding calls the offense added as well.
“They were loading up the box and they were in zero situations where they didn’t have anyone in the deep middle of the field and there’s just an extra body you cannot block,” said head coach Todd Haley.
With the middle of the field open, the Chiefs should have been able to take advantage of that, but that didn’t happen much either. QB Matt Cassel averaged just 6.2 yards per passing attempt in the game, and the longest pass play was just 23 yards.
And the running game just kept spinning its wheels.
“Without guessing, when you have penalties it puts you in situations a little more difficult to run,” said Haley. “The field didn’t seem to be helping us too much. We had too many guys on the ground and allowing penetration at times. I’ll have to look at the tape to give a really good answer. I don’t want to guess. At times it felt like we could make a little progress and at times we couldn’t.”
The Rush Brothers of Jones and Charles combined for 85 yards on 29 carries, a average of just 2.9 yards per carry. That’s so unlike what they’ve been able to do all season.
“We just couldn’t get going,” said Jones. “They played a great game. It was a defensive struggle. We played pretty well against their run early on and they played pretty good against our run.
“It was just one of those games. There were a lot of penalties. The weather the ball is wet. It was just one of those games. The Raiders came ready to play and we came ready to play, they just made a few more plays than we did.”