The Oakland Raiders win their final home game of the year in a shutout of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs managed only 17 yards of offense in the entire first half, they were out-gained in terms of first downs, 12-0, and it wasn’t until 5:37 in the 3rd quarter when they moved the chains for the first time. The biggest disappointment for Kansas City was the fact that they could not run the ball. They managed only 10 yards rushing and did not look good during any facet of the game. Well, scratch that. Dustin Colquit had a nice game punting the ball. He averaged 51.9 yards/punt and boomed a 71 yarder… that’s about all the Chiefs fans can feel good about.
For Oakland, they had a nice game on offense (in terms of moving the ball). They racked up 385 yards and 21 first downs while holding the ball for 40:06. That is the epitome of playing keep-away in the NFL. Unfortunately, a score of 15 points usually means that there were a ton of field goals kicked. Case in point; Sebastian Janikowski had a very busy right foot on the day. He kicked through five field goals and missed another totaling six on the afternoon. This is very problematic. The Raiders inability to punch the ball into the end zone is something that has haunted them all season long. One area of concentration for this team as they close out this season is to find a way to be more efficient when it comes to the red zone. They need to be scoring touchdowns, not field goals. Oakland could have buried the Chiefs 30-0 if they had converted a couple of drives into seven points instead of three. The game was really not all that close, but the score would indicate that it was. The Raiders are lucky they were playing Kansas City this week, and not some other team.
The Chiefs simply do not execute on offense. They could not run the ball, they were dropping passes, and making dumb mistakes (i.e. Ryan Lilja not snapping the ball on a fourth down and goal situation and causing the team a delay of game penalty). Granted, Dwayne Bowe was unable to play in this one, but somebody else has got to step up for this guy. One area of focus for Kansas City is to find another wide receiver, along with a quarterback during this off-season. Last year they thought that Johnathan Baldwin was going to be the guy, but he just has not grown into the player that they thought he would be quite yet. They simply do not have a big, play-making wide-out to complement Bowe in the passing game.
All and all, the story of this game was the running game for the Oakland Raiders. They have struggled so many times this season with regards to this and it was a welcome breath of fresh air to see it gel in this contest. Mike Goodson did a great job spelling McFadden as he also ran for almost 100 yards. The Raiders are better than the Chiefs; but just about every single team in the NFL is. At the end of the day, Oakland fans can feel good about being able to run the ball, or bad about not converting on scoring opportunities. Either way, there is something that can be taken out of this game despite the lack of action within it.