We already knew there were a few cards dealt to the Raiders in this division matchup that on their face could pose daunting for the Silver and Black, but little did we know that Kansas City would be as dominating defensively as they were on Sunday, shutting out the Raiders 28-0.
In what was a perfect storm for the Chiefs, the leagues leading rusher Darren McFadden came up lame on his first reception of the game for 4 yards early in the first quarter. After heading off the field and into the dressing room, the Raiders immediately paid the price for their instability at quarterback with an early interception thrown by Kyle Boller. Michael Bush took advantage of the opportunity by having a solid game and the Raiders defense did what they could constantly working against a short field, but 6 (that's right we said SIX) interceptions would prove way too much to overcome.
Sunday was Boller's chance to show the Raiders and potentially a future suitor that the former 1st round draft pick was capable of being a solid quarterback in this league. The injury to incumbent starter Jason Campbell and the short time afforded to newly signed Carson Palmer in his understanding of the Raiders offense, would translate into Boller starting an important division game against the Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs as expected sent numbers at the line hoping to slow down the 2nd rated rushing attack in the NFL and force Boller to make the throws, often against single coverage, that the Raiders would need to thwart the defense's agression. Boller was hurried and innacurate and had thrown 3 interceptions before the half, completing 7 of 14 passes for 61 yards. What made things even worse is Boller actually completed passes for more yards for the Chiefs, including a 59 yard pick six than he would for the Raiders. The Chiefs offense didn't do much and they didn't need to. Their defense did all the scoring they would really need.
In what may of been the plan all along, Hue Jackson made the call to play Carson Palmer to start the second half. Without the half-time break to analyze what plays were being run for Palmer, Hue and company may of felt that they could give him a handful of things to work from in the second half. Down 14-0, and after the 3 interceptions by Boller, nothing happened in the first half to change his mind. Whether that was the case all along or if the first half performance by Boller was what decided it for the Raiders is anyone's guess but Palmer showed why Hue didn't put him out there to start the game. Mixed in with some nice connections over the middle, Palmer showed the rust of not playing in the league for over 9 months. Not only was he just working himself into making the throws but his timing was off with his receivers. The ball was placed in positions on occasion on outs and plays near the perimeter where he and his receivers were clearly not on the same page. The inconsistency resulted in 3 additional interceptions thrown by Palmer for a combined six on the day for the Raiders. Michael Bush would finish the day with 99 yards and filled in admirably for McFadden but the quarterback carousel for the Radiers developed into a perfect storm for the Chiefs as the Raiders get exposed against KC. Final score in Oakland, 28 to nothing.
The Raiders will look to put this behind them and get healthy going into the bye week. The additional reps and time with the playbook should benefit Palmer as he begins to build timing with his recievers and an understanding of where they are going to be. Hopefully for the Silver and Black, tests on McFadden's foot come back negative and Janikowski uses the time to rehab and work out the issues he's having with a hamstring that kept him out of this game. The Raiders did receive the benefit of finding out that the Chargers had lost at the Jets and still only sit one game back in the West. After a horrible start to the season, KC is now unbeaten in 3 games and look forward to a matchup next week with the Chargers in a divison that is turning out to be the wild wild west. This has been another installment of GMtalk here on Silver and Black Pride. Thanks for making us a favorite place for all that is Raider Nation.