The Kansas City Chiefs have two more to go. After beating the Oakland Raiders 31-13 on Sunday, the Chiefs are now 8-6 on the season and face two more must-win games at Pittsburgh and at home against San Diego. The Chiefs playoff hopes remain alive for now.
Kansas City's first half against Oakland made me think the Chiefs who lost the last three games had shown up. They were making mistakes and not moving the ball on offense. But then the second half came and Alex Smith and the Chiefs suddenly became a big play offense.
It was the type of day where in the first half the Chiefs 48-yard pass to Albert Wilson was the longest passing play of the season. And then the second half came and Alex Smith hit Knile Davis for a 70-yard touchdown, marking a new longest pass play.
It's a good day for the Chiefs who did what they were supposed to against an inferior Oakland team.
DAT has the highlight of the day
This is the highlight we're taking out of this game:
DAT SPEED http://t.co/5QCzCXWXLS— Clay Wendler (@ClayWendler) December 14, 2014
Note the flip into the end zone.
This return was especially important because the Chiefs offense could not score early on in this game. The Chiefs needed a touchdown from somewhere else and DAT delivered. These are the types of plays we were hoping to see more of from him down the road.
O-line change: Jeff Linkenbach replaced Mike McGlynn
And it seemed to go pretty well? I need to re-watch the tape to see how Linkenbach did but the line seemed to be better in this game. It's not fair to pin it all on one person but McGlynn's play had slipped to the point where it was becoming a constant issue (Andy Reid suggested he was injured earlier). Linkenbach is no savior by any means but it did seem to help against the Raiders.
The Chiefs big play offense
- Albert Wilson had a 48-yard catch.
- Dwayne Bowe caught a ball for 37 yards.
- Travis Kelce's touchdown was from 20 yards out.
- Knile Davis took a short pass 70 yards to the house.
This was the same team whose longest pass play until this point was 41 yards. It was not the dominating performance the final score makes it out to be because the Chiefs own mistakes in the first half kept it close but the big plays were a big part of the reason they were able to pull away in the second half.
Travis Kelce is good at TDs ... and fumbles
Last week's fumble was very questionable. This week's fumble was more obvious. Smith hit Kelce in the middle of the field and as Kelce turned upfield he was met by a Raiders defender and the ball just popped out of there. It landed in the arms of another Raider who took it back to the Chiefs 15-yard line. Oakland kicked a field goal on the drive after the Chiefs defense shut them down.
The good part of this is that Kelce is also good at scoring touchdowns. He made it in on a 20-yard pass from Smith and appeared to be celebrating the touchdown before he actually got in.
Observations during the game
- There were so many flags in this game. I hate games like that.
- Former Raider Vance Walker was a captain in the game.
- Chiefs DL Jaye Howard nearly had an interception when he stepped in front of a screen pass. But he dropped it. The Chiefs were second in the NFL in dropped interceptions entering the game, according to PFF.
- Cairo Santos missed his first field goal since Week 2. He had made 14 straight.
- Dwayne Bowe dropped a couple of balls on the Raiders side of the field. One came as he was going out of bounds and couldn't get both feet in (which Andy Reid did challenge). The other was a bad pass from Smith but he still should have caught it.
- Raiders QB Derek Carr fumbled the snap and Chiefs LB Frank Zombo was lucky to be right there to recover it.
- Justin Houston was briefly injured in the game but came back. Josh Mauga was also injured during the game.
- Alex Smith was so close to his first 300-yard passing game in the regular season for the Chiefs (297).
- Dee Ford picked up a half sack in the game.
To buy tickets, visit the NFL Ticket Exchange.