Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The last time the Raiders had a win like this one against the Chiefs was that last time they played the Chiefs. Unfortunately in the six weeks between then and now, they have been horrendous and lost all six games.
Naturally in a game like this, there are many fine plays and players to be lauded for their performances. The Chiefs and their fans would like you to think the fault lies only in them. It's their way of attempting to give no credit to the Raiders for their suddenly solid performance. And while that may be true for the most part - the Chiefs have just two wins on the season - there are a some stats which are indisputable.
One such stat is the stopping of Jamaal Charles. It is the second time the Raiders have stopped him. He now has 14 yards on 14 carries against them this season. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry before that with three straight 100-yard games and was fifth in the league in rushing. It may be strange but it is neither a fluke nor a coincidence.
The Raiders have only won four games this season. Two of them were close, hard-fought games and the other two were dominating wins over the Chiefs to sweep the season series.
Here are those Raiders who rose up to the challenge of their rival.
After a good start to the season, his play had fallen off a bit for a while. He returns to be top Baller this week as the Raiders leading tackler. The Chiefs didn't have a first down in the first half and Wheeler did his part to ensure they didn't. Their third series of the game, he made every single tackle. He started with a sack on Brady Quinn to put the Chiefs in 2nd and 20. He then tackled the Chiefs receivers on short catches for the following two downs to force a punt. Two drives later, after a holding penalty put the Chiefs in first and 20, he had the first two tackles of the drive on short catches and it ended with yet another three and out. His final big play was late in the fourth quarter with the Chiefs going for it on 4th and 12. The Chiefs had gotten the ball in scoring position after a Darren McFadden fumble and were desperate to try and get in the endzone. They were down 15-0 and a field goal would not do. Wheeler was sent on a blitz and he along with Lamarr Houston and Andre Carter teamed up to pummel Quinn just as he released the ball. The ball fell incomplete and Quinn paid for it. Wheeler finished with 7 solo tackles with a tackle for loss, a sack, and 2 quarterback hurries.
He has been on a tear for much of this season and it continued on Sunday. He had a run stuff for no gain on the Chiefs' first series and a run stuff for one yard on the second series. Later in the second quarter, he and Tommy Kelly pressured Quinn into throwing the ball into the turf. On the Chiefs' first drive of the third quarter, he had a tackle for a loss of two, and with the Chiefs in fourth and goal at the nine yard line, he pressured Quinn into a quick short throw that was stopped for a one yard catch and a turnover on downs. Then he finished things off in the fourth quarter when he and Andre Carter nailed Quinn to force an incompletion.
This unit must get some serious credit for the work they did in this game. That means Jared Veldheer, Cooper Carlisle, Stefen Wisniewski, Mike Brisiel, and Khalif Barnes. They didn't give up a single sack the entire game and Carson Palmer had good time to make his throws. This despite going against two solid pass rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. They also opened up holes and sealed the edge to allow the Raiders to nearly have two 100 yard rushers. This group had zero holding penalties as well. They had just two false start penalties - one by Brisiel while Terrelle Pryor was behind center, and one by Wisniewski.
Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson
McFadden got his third 100 yard game of the season. The last time he went over 100 yards was the last time the Raiders played the Chiefs in week eight. He had 114 yards that day. He had 110 yards on 30 carries Sunday. He added 4 catches for 39 yards for a total of 149 yards from scrimmage. His one mistake was his fumble on a screen pass to give the Chiefs one of two chances to score.
Goodson had 89 yards rushing on the day along with one catch for 14 yards for 103 yards from scrimmage. He also had a special teams tackle to stop the Chiefs at their own 13 yard line. For most the game, Goodson was getting the tough yards between the tackles. He was breaking tackles and picking up tough yards. One such broken tackle resulted in him taking off for 43 yards to set up Janikowski's final field goal from 41 yards out. He finished with an outstanding 6.8 yards per carry average.
He missed just his third field goal of the season in this game. It came from 51 yards out and just missed left. But he also made five field goals including two others from outside of 50 yards (57, 50). He came into the game tied with the ageless Morten Anderson for third most career field goals of 50 yards or more. He now sits alone in third place all time. He accounted for every one of the Raiders points in this game.
For the third week in a row, he is the team's best receiver. His first catch came in the second quarter with the Raiders up 6-0 and driving. He caught a ten yard pass on third and six to keep the drive alive and put the Raiders in field goal range. The Raiders were able to get the ball back again with under a minute left in the first half. He had the first two catches of that drive. The second of the two catches went for 15 yards on a ball that was thrown behind him. He reached back, pulled the ball in and took a hard hit but held onto the ball. Those two catches went for 24 yards to help the Raiders drive 52 yards in 53 seconds to tack on another three points on a 57 yard Janikowski field goal before halftime.
He picked up where he left off in the third quarter by catching two passes for 28 yards to help the Raiders drive for another field goal and a 12-0 lead. He finished with a team leading 5 catches on 6 targets for 62 yards. That now makes 258 yards receiving in the past three games.
Quite a find Ross is turning out to be. He came in the game in relief of Mike Mitchell who left with a neck injury and Ross played quite well. It always seemed like he was in the right place to make the tackle. He came into the game early in the second quarter and quickly had a run stuff tackle for no gain. The next Chiefs series, in third and 11, he tackled the receiver on a short catch to force the punt. He had another tackle on a short catch on the next three and out series. Late in the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs in scoring position, they went for it on fourth and 12. Three Raiders got pressure on Quinn to force a throw but the only man he could get the ball to was covered by Ross so Quinn opted to throw the ball into the turf instead. Seems he figured it was better a turnover on downs than a pick six.
He continues to eat into Matt Shaughnessy's playing time. This game, he was on the field for 65% of the snaps with Shaughnessy seeing the remaining 35%. Those percentages were opposite to that in previous games. It yielded positive results. Carter finished with a sack, a tackle for loss, and three quarterback hurries. His first QB pressure forced the Chiefs first punt. Then in the second half he sacked Quinn, and pressured and hit him twice - the final hit being of the bone jarring variety.
Huff didn't give up a single catch on the day. There were two times in which his receiver got their hands on the ball and both times, they dropped it. The second time, Huff was there to stop it had it been caught so it wouldn't have mattered.
Hanson gave up two catches but obvious nothing crucial. He had the only interception of the game and he made the game's final tackle when on fourth and one, Dexter McCluster caught the ball and Hanson stuffed him for no gain.
Carson Palmer - He didn't do anything above and beyond in this game, but he also didn't turn the ball over. He had at least one interception in nine straight games coming in and that streak finally ended. Although, the offensive line gave him great time to throw and the run game gave him plenty of support and he still couldn't turn it on.
Desmond Bryant, Tommy Kelly - Jamaal Charles was held to 10 yards on 9 carries in this game. Bryant and Kelly didn't make the tackle on most of those occasions but they were there to clog up the middle and allow others to make the tackle. They also each had a sack in this game. It was Kelly's first sack of the season. Both added tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry. Kelly also had a batted ball at the line.