I was trying to figure out exactly how to describe the 56-31 loss the Oakland Raiders took at the hands of their divisional rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs. I like to think of myself as having a certain level of intelligence, yet I find myself resorting to social media slang. This game was an epic fail from beginning to end.
It started on the opening kickoff. Quentin Demps fielded the ball at the one yard line and brought it out to mid-field. One play later, they had a touchdown. I should have gotten a clue right then, but, no, not me. I remained hopeful. I thought we’d realize we had to cover Jamaal Charles. We’d have to watch for screens.
Jamaal Charles was responsible for 195 of the 318 passing yards the Chiefs garnered against our unable to tackle someone in crutches and a walking boot defense. Harsh? Maybe, but it is accurate. Well, somewhat accurate. They didn’t even have 100 yards on the ground on 24 rushing attempts. The longest run allowed was in the 4th quarter by the 2nd string running back Knile Davis. That’s not exactly a household name. I am less than comforted that at least it wasn’t his longest career rush. Oh, it was good for a touchdown, too. It was the score that put the game out of reach, barring a miracle, and the Raiders ran out of miracles back in 1970, it seems. But the defense did have trouble tackling on the screen and swing passes. Focusing on Charles , 4 out of 5 of his touchdowns were on pass plays.
The one that befuddled me the most was when the defensive brain trust had Miles Burris covering Charles. Now I love Burris. But he was injured for a LONG time. That is tough coverage for a healthy player, let alone one just getting back into playing shape. (Burris left the game with an ankle injury.) I looked at the person next to me and asked if I had seen what I thought I had seen. I was told yes.
Basically the defense needed to do 3 things. 1) Get Alex Smith on the turf. We managed that only twice. At least this week both were by defensive linemen, after being blanked for that last few weeks. Thank you Pat Sims and Jason Hunter. (2) Stop the run game. I think we were pretty successful at this. (3) Keep Charles and Dwayne Bowe covered in the passing game. This is where the epic fail was. When almost 2/3rds of all passing yards are from 1 player, and over half of his yards came on 2 plays? That’s an epic fail. Oh, he was 8 for 8 , too. There wasn’t a single incomplete pass in Charles’ direction. That means we didn’t have him adequately covered. It is beyond mind boggling how this guy , one of their most productive players was able to do so much. I can’t wrap my mind around it.
Not that the offense helped.
Matt McGloin struggled. He didn’t get pressured much. He didn’t get sacked. But he didn’t go through his progressions. He locked onto to receivers and 4 of his passes were picked off. One was because the ball appeared to be tipped at the line of scrimmage. But others? They read his eyes, and he made it easy. One out of every 9 of his passes was an interception.
That is better than Terrelle Pryor. Pryor threw 4 passes. He had one completion, 1 interception. Oddly some people were still calling for him after this performance. Maybe because he could run. He was the 2nd leading rusher , having 19 yards. He had a long of 15 yards. The official play-by-play has him losing 3 yards, running for no gain, running for 4 yards, and scrambling for 15 yards. Frankly, he looked as lost as Matt McGloin, but he has had a lot more time to learn how to read the defense.
Even as bad as Matt looked, and all the mistakes he made, he was able to put up 31 point on the board.
He did put the defense in some untenable positions.
Again there was a miscue between Stefen Wisniewski and McGloin. Matt was unable to recover the ball. Why this seems to happen only when we are deep in our own territory is beyond me.
Some of his passes were just bad. One time he threw the ball and I couldn’t tell where or to whom he was throwing. One play there seemed to be miscommunication between him and whomever the intended receiver was. Again it was a mystery. Marcel Reece was closest in my mind. The pass went through the end zone, and Reece was standing on the 1 yard line. (Again, off memory and a side view of the play, which leaves my perspective somewhat lacking.)
Special teams did it it’s part to add to the mess that was this game.
Background, we score, and bring the game within 4 points. KC has the ball on the 20. First down – an 8 yard pass. 2nd down – a 1 yard Charles run. 3rd and 1 , and Charles gets the pass and run for a 71 yard touchdown play. I believe this is the one where we had Burris covering Charles. Ok, so now it’s an 11 point game again, but hey, there IS enough time. There is still another full quarter.
So Taiwan Jones gets the kick off. All he has to do is run and hang on to the ball. One of the reasons he isn’t a full time running back, though – his ball control issues. Instead of going down at contact, he tried to fight for extra yards. He lost the ball. 4 plays later, TD KC. 49-31.
Early in the 4th, the teams exchanged turnovers, and interception on us, and a fumble by them. Then Matt threw his 4th interception of the game. Stacy McGee helped them out giving them 15 yards on a horse collar tackle. The bad part? This was a 1st and 20 play, and they had only covered 10 yards. 3 plays later the nail in the coffin score.
There is some good.
KC’s running game was pretty much thwarted. Two defensive linemen were in the top 4 in tackling.
Offensively, we converted 50% of our 3rd downs, going 7 for 14. We converted our only 4th down attempt, a fake punt, when Marcel Reece tossed the rock to Chimdi Chekwa. It was a beautifully designed and executed fake. We were 4 for 5 in the rezone, and 3 for 3 with goal to go. We had time of possession by 8 plus minutes. Rashad Jennings showed no ill effects, ran for 91 yards, averaging 4 yards a carry, and scoring 3 touchdowns. 12 players were targeted, and 8 had receptions. Rod Streater and Andre Holmes both were just shy of 60 yards each. Holmes and Mychel Rivera scored our other two touchdowns.
And we did fight back.
Overall, whatever could go wrong did at the worst possible time.
It was painful to watch, after being so hopeful in the 3rd quarter when we brought the game within 4 points. Like I said above : epic fail
There is nothing to play for but pride, and I am hoping the team can scrape some together for the next game.
That’s it for this one.
Win, lose , or tie, RAIDERS til I DIE!