I am a little split on how I feel about this game. I do consider this a signature win for the defense even though the Chiefs had field goals that they passed up. The offense did not score a touchdown which bothers me but overall though I am very happy with how the Raiders played in this game.
A shut out is a shut out and I give the defense a lot of credit for that. There had only been 2 shutouts all season before this weekend (3 shutouts this weekend) and that means no matter the points the Chiefs left off the board its still a big deal. Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver said he felt like the defense was really grasping his system finally and this game proved that there is truth to that.
Dennis Allen also was very proud of his team in this game. He needed something to be excited about and to build on for next year and now he finally has something. He says the guys needed something for some confidence but I think he might have been the one most in need of a lift.
"It's extremely hard to shut anybody out. It doesn't matter who they are. That's an accomplishment that we take great pride in," says Dennis Allen. "I think it's huge. Our guys needed something where they get a little bit of confidence."
What is even better to me is how absolutely shut down Jamaal Charles was, especially considering the first game between these teams too. Shutting down Charles a second game this year was bigger than the shut out because it was stated as their number one goal in their defensive game plan. It showed that the Raiders could state a goal publicly and accomplish it, and it showed they can successfully game plan. The shut out is great but I enjoyed the Raiders telling the world their plan and accomplishing it even more.
The offense on the other hand could not get the dang ball into the endzone. I was happy with the commitment to the run game but still I want to see touchdowns. With 5 field goals it showed an ability to move the ball but not score touchdowns.
The Raiders have always been built on scoring points. This year it has been their biggest weakness though. Whatever the Raiders do in the off-season they absolutely need to fix the lack of touchdowns being scored. If they want to play Raiders football again they will need to get the ball past the pylon much more often.
Darren McFadden had a good game but Mike Goodson was the real star in this one. McFadden got his 110 yards because he was given the ball 30 times but Goodson nearly matched him with 89 yards on only 13 carries. It is too bad we have missed this running back combo for so much of the year because they do make a good combination.
I have been quite critical of DMC because I am so tired of seeing him miss games but this team is definitely better with him. The Raiders have only won 4 games this year and in 3 of those wins DMC ran for 100+ yards. When the Raiders have McFadden it takes pressure off of Palmer in a way that hasn't been possible without DMC in the line up. I am not sure if McFadden will be a Raider next year but this win did not hurt his cause.
As for Carson he did exactly what I asked of him. That was to have a turnover free game. I do not believe its a coincidence that they won the game with Palmer not turning the ball over. It also is not a coincidence that Carson threw the ball less than 30 times in this victory.
The Raiders can not win if they overly rely on Palmer's arm but they can win if they take enough pressure off of Carson. When the pressure is on he does too much and running the ball 45 times to only 30 passing attempts definitely relieved some of that pressure. It is just nice to write this article without having to complain about a dumb throw or a bad fumble.
All in all this win was big for the Raiders. It has come too late to make any difference this year but they are now playing for next year anyway. Hopefully they can build off this win and finish the season strong. This season has been a terrible one but they will not be finishing last in the division and they will not be drafting number 1 overall.
It is also another season sweep of the one team in our division with an overall winning record on us. It is always a good thing to beat the Chiefs and it is even better to sweep the season series.
Lets hope this game does give this team confidence and that the Raiders won't go through this type of season next year. If they have a good year next year we should all remember this game and how this shutout lit a fire under the Oakland Raiders.