The Raiders recorded their first shutout since 2002 with a 15-0 victory over the hapless Kansas City Chiefs, today. The game was the team’s last home game of the season.
The Chiefs were terrible on offense the entire game, failing to get so much as a first down until the second half. Brady Quinn, who was once in the conversation for the number one overall pick along with JaMarcus Russell, was under fire throughout the game but also failed to be very effective in doing anything for the 2-12 Chiefs. His receiving corps, minus starter Dwayne Bowe (on IR), didn’t help him much, though, dropping many passes throughout the afternoon.
All of the Raiders points were scored on Sebastian Janikowski field goals. Janikowski made 5 field goals, total, with the longest a 57 yarder. He also missed from 51 yards.
The Raiders’ running game looked revived against the KC defense. Darren McFadden crossed 100 yards for the first time since week 8, also against Kansas City, when he went for 114 yards rushing on 29 carries. He had a very similar stat line today, ending with 110 yards on the ground and receiving 30 handoffs.
First year Raider Mike Goodson, acquired in a trade in the offseason, ran for an additional 89 yards on only 13 carries and the Raiders offense averaged 4.5 yards per carry while the Raiders defense held the Chiefs to only a 1 yard per carry average.
This game had some repercussions on the draft but obviously none on the season as both teams were eliminated from playoffs weeks ago. The teams were also expected to use the game as an audition, of sorts, for their young players.
To that end the Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen had said that he would get 2nd year QB Terrelle Pryor some playing time if the situation presents itself which is what he’s also said in recent weeks. Apparently the situation that Allen has been waiting for was for the Raiders to face a long field at the beginning of the second quarter because when Pryor was put in the Raiders were on their own 15 yard line. Mike Brisiel promply falsely started, giving him 1st and 15 on the teams’ own 10 yard line.
Pryor handed off the ball once, tossed once to McFadden on an outside sweep and then, on 3rd and 7, threw a pass low to Darrius Heyward-Bey who was crossing over the middle. There was almost no information the team could learn from tape of that series.
The receiving corps each struggled a bit and each featured a former first round wide receiver who was held without a catch. For the Raiders it was, of course, former 7th overall pick Darrius Heyward-Bey who was targeted 5 times but ended with zero receptions. He didn’t seem very interested for much of the game and several times catchable balls came into his vicinity but he didn’t seem to make an effort to get them.
On one pass, for example, he had a comeback route but instead of coming back to the ball and plucking it out of the air as receivers are taught to do, he waited for the ball to come to him and the DB was able to close and make a play on it.
For the Chiefs it was the disappointing Jon Baldwin – taken in the first round of the 2011 draft – that was held without a catch. He was targeted 4 times by Quinn.
The Raiders offense was able to essentially double the Chiefs over the course of the game. They had over 40 minutes of time of possession of the 60 minutes on the game clock. They ran almost double the amount of plays Kansas City was able to run.
The Raiders defense held the Chiefs to one third down conversion in the game on 12 drives and didn’t allow a fourth down conversion despite Kansas City attempting three.
Other standouts were DT Desmond Bryant who made some great plays early on in the game to set the tone – he sacked Quinn and also made a great solo tackle on the ballcarrier on the next series – and LT Jared Veldheer who played very well against DE Tamb Hali.
It was not the prettiest win nor one that seemed especially hard won but it was a win and victories are always hard to get in the NFL and it may be able to allow the Raiders to gather some important momentum as they are on the road the last two weeks against Carolina and then San Diego, both of which are 5-9 right now with Carolina beating San Diego 31-7 today.
The Raiders would love to win at least one of those but will take being competitive in both so they can show some progress going into the offseason.