In a classic AFC west showdown, the Kansas City Chiefs were able to snap a six year losing streak to the Oakland Raiders at home. Both Defenses were able to shut down the opposing offenses for much of the game, but many other factors contributed to a heart breaking Oakland defeat that saw the score at 7-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Here are five takeaways from the game.
Denarius Moore continues to impress and make plays- If you read last week’s “five takeaways” post, you would remember one of them being Moore solidifying himself as the number one receiver. Well Moore continued his streak of consistency with Terrelle Pryor at the helm with an impressive showing. He finished with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown against a superb Chiefs defense. The only negative to take away from Moore’s performance was that he had two drops, but one of them was inaccurate throw that would have been a very impressive catch if he did snag it.
The offensive line remains in shambles- LT Khalif Barnes, LG Lucas Nix, C Mike Brisiel, RG Lamar Mady and RT Matt McCants. That is the offensive line that Terrelle Pryor had to work with most of the game. Considering how spectacular the KC pass rush is and the fact that the Raider’s OL consisted of 2nd and 3rd stringers, the OL having allowed 10 sacks seems like a blessing. Decimated by injuries, this offensive line is a far cry from what we saw in training camp when we had Wiz, Veldheer, Pashos and Gurode all healthy. Now we see how much of a factor the offensive line came into play when deciding a starting quarterback, just imagine how many sacks Flynn would have taken this game.
Pryor still making learning mistakes- Lets all come done from cloud 9 now. At one point in this game, Terrelle Pryor had the Raiders up 7-0 with a QB rating of 150.0 heading into the closing minutes of the second quarter. Then everything started to go downhill, the Chiefs scored before the half and rode that momentum into the second half where they collected seven more sacks and 3 interceptions. You can’t put a lot of the blame on Pryor after you saw the offensive line he had to work with though, because he did keep his team in the game until the end of the third quarter. In the 4th quarter it seemed all the injuries combined with the deafening noise of the stadium got the best of him, as he was picked off 3 times trying to throw the ball into coverage. These resulted in 17 points for the Chief,s as they ultimately won by…17 points.
The defense thrived - The defensive shootout started right as the whistle was blown as there were six sacks among both teams just at the end of the first quarter. The Raiders defense played a spectacular game, limiting Jamaal Charles to just 78 yards and 3.5 yards per carry and Alex Smith to just 14/31 for 128 yards and a 56.9 rating. The defense was not the reason the Raiders lost this game despite the lopsided score, they gave the offense multiple opportunities with all the 3 and outs it produced. It limited the Chiefs to virtually no offense the entire game and the Chiefs first points came when they had excellent field position and another 7 points came from a pick-6 by Pryor.
The Raiders will have to play almost flawlessly to have a winning season- While this was a given before, considering how poorly they performed last year, it struck me many times today. In what is the best division in the NFL based on wins, the Raiders have to deal with the best offense and what could be considered the best defense in the NFL, twice a year. In order to not automatically have 4 loses on their record, the Raiders cannot afford any mistakes or stupid penalties if they want to beat either the Chiefs or the Broncos. Penalties killed this Raiders team toward the end of the game and kept stopping or pushing back offensive drives.