In almost every aspect of the game except for that pesky final score box...
Yes, I know the Kansas City Chiefs lost that game. But each week, as my eyes scroll past those Raider game stats, I keep asking myself, "Wait, how did we lose that game again?"
Here's what I'm talking about from Week 2. The Chiefs' offense had:
- 409 yards of offense, by far the best performance of the year
- 173 yards rushing on 38 rushing plays
- 236 yards passing, five yards less than Matt Cassel's best game of the year
- Only given up two sacks, the lowest sack total of the year
Somehow, the Chiefs only managed three points in the first three quarters. How did the defense fare? Really well actually. Here's what the Chiefs gave up to the Raiders on defense:
- 166 total yards
- 11 first downs
- Two sacks
- 67 yards rushing
- 99 yards passing
- Jamarcus Russell only completed seven passes
- The Raiders were only 3/13 on third downs
Exactly how did the Chiefs lose this game?
- The Raiders emphasized stuffing the run and it for the most part it worked. The Chiefs rushed for quite a few yards but it was never a consistent threat that KC could rely on. It was more about random rushes that succeeded than the Chiefs imposing their will.
- Matt Cassel had two INTs, one at the beginning of the third quarter and one at the begining of the fourth.
- DE Wallace Gilberry's personal foul (a bogus call by pretty much every account) on Jamarcus Russel with just over two minutes left gave a struggling Raiders' offense new life. On that go ahead scoring drive for the Raiders, they would commit three penalties themselves but Gilberry's late hit call was on 1st on 15 and gave the Raiders the ball at the Chiefs' 48-yard line.
- On the Chiefs' final drive of the game, Cassel was sacked on 3rd and 1, pretty much ending any hopes for a win.
- The Chiefs were tackled three times behind the line of scrimmage running the ball. The first TFL created a 3rd and 15, killing that drive. Might as well have been a drive killing sack.
And these points bring me to my cliched "keys to the game:"
- Win the turnover battle. It was huge against the Raiders in the first meeting and will probably be huge again.
- Minimize the penalties. Even though Wallace Gilberry's late hit call was BS, the Chiefs still had seven penalties for 70 yards. Jamarcus Russell's career is still alive because of free yards like that.
- Eliminate those periods in the game where two good minutes by an opposing offense or a couple of big plays make the difference in the game. The Raiders played terribly except for their final scoring drive of 78-yards. They can't do much consistently on offense so they'll live and die by the big plays we give up.
We really should win this game today Chiefs fans. If I'm looking at Todd Haley right now I'm telling him....You better win today.