Ed Zurga - AP
For the first time since 2002, the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Oakland Raiders, dropping a heart-breaker, 20-17 Sunday. It was yet another disappointment in a season full of disappointments, but this loss was special.
The Raiders hadn’t won an AFC West game since 2004. Sure, it was bound to happen, but the Chiefs didn’t want to be the team to give Oakland that first division win. The loss puts the Chiefs way behind in the race to win the AFC West, and they may now find themselves a hole they can’t dig out of.
Chiefs Quarterback Line: 12/23, 128 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 1 Interception
Quarterback Brodie Croyle made his first start in Arrowhead today, and although it was his second start, the Chiefs refused to turn him loose. True, the Raiders have one of the NFL’s best pass defenses, but Croyle’s proving that he deserves to be allowed to get the ball downfield more often. The Chiefs shackled Croyle today, and until they open up the playbook, it’ll be tough to grade him.
The interception was Croyle’s fault. He should have seen Michael Huff out in space.
Chiefs Running Back Line: 37 Carries, 164 Yards, 4.4 Yards Per Carry, 2 Touchdowns
The Chiefs were not afraid to let the running game loose, and rode rookie Kolby Smith all day long. Making his first career start after Priest Holmes’ retirement, Smith tore through the Raiders’ porous run defense, racking up 150 yards on 31 carries and scoring twice. It was the most successful rushing day the Chiefs have had all year.
Had the Chiefs converted on a fourth and one late in the game, the outcome could have been much different.
Raiders Quarterback Line: 15/22, 159 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions
Daunte Culpepper and Oakland’s passing attack were largely limited throughout the day, but were able to convert big plays when they needed them, especially late in the game. Wide receiver Jerry Porter got his swagger back against the Chiefs, contributing a couple of big plays on his way to 75 yards receiving. Jared Allen was largely ineffective, but Tamba Hali was able to register a sack.
The Chiefs didn’t allow a 100-yard receiver, or a passing touchdown.
Raiders Running Back Line: 29 Carries, 153 Yards, 5.3 Yards Per Carry, 2 Touchdowns
Running back Justin Fargas buried the Chiefs. They couldn’t find an answer for him all day, and Fargas was the catalyst for Oakland’s win. Late in the game, the Raiders used Fargas as their closer, keeping the ball away from KC’s offense. Old nemesis Lamont Jordan got in on the act too, scoring Oakland’s first touchdown.
A disappointing effort for a team that’s supposed to be so much better on defense.
Once again, kicker Dave Rayner missed a field goal and this time, it truly affected the Chiefs. Herm Edwards couldn’t trust his kicker late in the game, and was forced to attempt a fourth and one late in the game instead of trying a game-tying field goal.