Good teams find a way to win, bad teams find a way to lose, really bad teams find a way to go 2-25 over their last twenty seven games which is a worse record than the Detroit Lions over the same time period and they went 0-16 last year. The Chiefs may have reached a all time new low, Sunday at Arrowhead stadium their 13-10 defeat to the Oakland Raiders marks their third strait loss at home to the Raiders and their third consecutive loss in their home opener. To make matters worse the Chiefs out gained the Raiders in total yards 409 to 166 and dominated time of possession 38:39 to 21:21 and Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell went 7 for 24 passing with 109 yards.
The loss falls squarely on the shoulders of head coach/offensive coordinator Todd Haley and the Chiefs offense. The defense is exempt from blame in this one even though they did give up a 9 play 69 yard drive in the last 1:31 capped of by a five yard touchdown run by Darren McFadden. The defense did everything in their power to get a victory against the Raiders, before the game winning drive JaMarcus Russell was 3 for 18 passing …….that means the Chiefs held him to a mere 3 completions for 58 minutes. Three completions in 58 minutes is unheard of and Oakland did not move the ball on the ground either Michael Bush and Darren McFadden combined for 70 yards on 21 carries.
Missed opportunities by the offense is what did the Chiefs in, the first mistake was made by Matt Cassel who facing a third and nine from the Oakland 13 threw a short pass over the middle to Bobby Wade for eight yards one yard short of the first. The Chiefs settled for the field goal leaving behind four points after that mistake the Chiefs would out do their selves just before half. With 14 seconds and no timeouts left and well within Ryan Succop field goal range Matt Cassel threw a one yard pass to Dantrell Savage who did not get out of bounds and time expired leaving a 26 yard field goal on the field. The first drive of the second half was no better Matt Cassel was intercepted setting up a 54 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal and bringing the total amount of points given away by the Chiefs to ten.
Two drives later a very similar story Cassel leads the Chiefs down to the 33 yard line (within Succop field goal range) only to be picked off by Michael Huff costing the Chiefs another three points. It was not all bad for Matt Cassel he did go 24 for 39 passing for 241 yards and had a 29 yard go ahead touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe with 2:45 left in the game. By my count the Chiefs left 10 points on the field and gave the Raiders 3 points, a loss that will surely drive Todd Haley crazy as he now has a whole week to stew over a game that very easily could have been a victory for the Chiefs 20-10. The Chiefs have played well for two weeks in a row with no victories to show for it, that is the mark of a bad team.
Grading the keys to the game
1.Get L.J. going: The Chiefs finally found a way to get L.J. involved in the game as he finished the game with 78 rushing yards on 24 carries and had 3 receptions for 41 yards. While his yards per carry average will not wow you he did help the Chiefs win the time of possession and allowed the Chiefs to control the tempo of the game. All in all L.J. had 27 touches for 119 yards not a bad game at all.
2. Protect the quarterback: The only time Matt Cassel was touched in this game was two Greg Ellis sacks, besides those two sacks one of which was a coverage sack the O-Line played one of it’s best games in seasons. The Raiders were neutralized by the Chiefs O-line and Richard Seymour after having two sacks last week was held to a mere two tackles this week.
3.Stop the Raiders running attack: Darren McFadden and Michael Bush are both players who are electric and could contend for starting jobs on 90% of the teams in the NFL. The Chiefs held this dynamic duo to 70 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. If they the just could have kept D-Mac out of the end zone they would have been graded out with an A.