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Raiders week 13 Ballers & Busters vs Chiefs

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

This game was far more competitive than anyone thought it would be. There were things that worked and it was a one-score game until late in the fourth quarter. At this point, that’s about all you can ask for.

Ballers

Derek Carr, Jared Cook, Jordy Nelson

He needed a game like this. His seven straight games without an interception are pretty much meaningless if the offense isn’t doing anything and the team is losing games by considerable margins. This one meant something. It was a division foe and arguably the best team in football. He did plenty to keep it close and he had some sure hands in Cook and Nelson along the way.

As in the previous six games, he didn’t have any interceptions in the game. But in this one he also threw for three touchdowns and made several big time throws for long gains. His first was a 24-yard back shoulder toss to Jordy Nelson up the left sideline. That drive stalled with the first of three Raiders fumbles.

Two drives lost to fumbles later, and Carr was finally able to orchestrate a scoring drive. It began with a 29-yard connection with Cook, was kept alive by a 16-yard pass to Seth Roberts on 3rd and 13 that put the Raiders in the red zone. They matriculated for the score a few plays later to pull to 13-7.

Down 26-10, in the third quarter, the offense needed to come to life if they wanted to make sure another game didn’t get away from them. A 6-yard catch by Nelson was followed by a 20-yard pass and catch with Cook in which he leapt over a diving defender. The Carr to Cook connection would finish it off as well, with a perfect throw over the middle for the touchdown from 24 yards out. A failed 2-point conversion kept it a 10-point game.

Yet another fumble would lead to a Chiefs touchdown to put the Raiders down 33-16 in the fourth quarter. Another answer was needed, and another answer was given. It started with a couple big runs, but may have ended short if not for a 9-yard Nelson catch on third and four. Then in 2nd and goal from the one, the Raiders loaded up to run, but instead of blocking, Lee Smith went out wide. His assignment was Justin Houston who came free right into Carr’s face immediately. Carr threw quickly with Houston in his face and Smith made the catch for the score.

Finally the Raiders got a defensive stop to allow them to have a chance to close the gap. And finally, there wasn’t a fumble. There was another connection with Nelson, this time for 20 yards and the drive was finished off with a 9-yard jump ball touchdown from Carr to Marcell Ateman.

Had the defense been able to make one more stop, the Raiders would have had a real shot to tie or win it. A ten-yard completion to Cook and a 17-yard pass to Nelson on third and 10 helped them add a field goal to make it a one-score game. But they would rely on the onside kick and when it failed, that was the game.

Nelson would lead the team in catches with 10 for 97 while Cook would lead the team in receiving with 100 yards and a TD on 7 catches.

Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson

There was a lot of good running by the Raiders against a pretty stout Chiefs defensive line. It didn’t start out that way with Hudson giving up a pressure for a run stuff and being flagged for holding on fourth and one. But he was come around to have a great day along with the man to his right.

Both laid huge blocks on several huge, crucial runs in the game. On their first touchdown drive, Hudson made the block on a 5-yard Doug Martin run that gave the Raiders a first down at the 12-yard-line. Then Jackson pull blocked to the left side to give Martin the push he needed for the score from one yard out.

The next touchdown drive, Jackson and Hudson both made big blocks for Jalen Richard to go on a 30-yard run to set them up at the 19-yard-line. Two plays later, they were in the end zone.

The two of them again cleared the way on the next scoring drive for Martin to break off a 17-yard run. Later in the same drive, they were the key blocks for Richard to go for 16. You block that well and you have the Chiefs selling out to stop it at the goal line, which had Lee Smith all alone for the touchdown catch.

Gareon Conley

He gave up one catch for five yards and had a rather bogus holding penalty called on him. That was the worst you could say of Conley’s work in this game. He also had a pass breakup in the end zone that was very nearly an interception (and probably should have been). They were able to hold the Chiefs to a field goal on that drive.

Dwayne Harris

The 8-yard NFL veteran showed every bit of that veteral savvy when he followed a kick off to the corner of the field, stepped out of bounds, and kept it from tumbling into the end zone to give the Raiders the ball at the 40-yard-line. He also had two special teams tackles, and a 31-yard kick return to set the Raiders up at the 32-yard-line. This time they would take their favorable field position and drive for a touchdown.

On offense, he had one catch in which he juked the defender to pick up nine yards, moving the Raiders into the red zone at the 17-yard-line. They would score the TD on that drive as well.

Lee Smith

Blocked on a touchdown run and caught a touchdown on his own. Thus executing both of his primary duties as a tight end.

Karl Joseph

Had perfect coverage on a deep ball to Tyreek Hill to force an incompletion. He also stuffed a run at the goal line and very nearly did it again on the next play. A touchdown was thrown into his coverage, but it was a perfect pass and he still very nearly got a hand on it.

Daniel Carlson

Gave the Raiders their second score of the day by kicking a career high 50-yard field goal. With seconds left, he hit a 44-yard field goal and gave the Raiders a very good chance at having another shot, with an excellently executed onside kick. They were unable to field it, but not thru any fault of his. Carlson has now made 8-straight field goals and is 9 of 10 since joining the Raiders in week eight. His one miss came in week nine and bounced off the right upright from 45 yards out.

Honorable Mention

Marcell Ateman – His jump ball touchdown was just the kind of play the Raiders need from him. It was the first touchdown of his young career.

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