"Our goal this season is to win the AFC West, and that's what we're trying to do," Darrius Heyward-Bey said before the Kansas City Chiefs game on Sunday. "Tom Cable has done a great job in keeping in mind what our goal is and we're all on the same page, we're all on the same path."
It was a circus of crooked officiating today at the Coliseum in front of a sellout crowd, the first in 11 games for the Oakland Raiders. In all twenty seven penalties were called while the officiating crew struggled to pay attention during what may have been the worst officiating job of the season.
An early bad P.I. call on Chris Johnson lead to the Chief's first score of the game. Chris Johnson was phantom flagged for a 30 yard penalty, that led to a Matt Cassell touchdown pass to Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki. That play would be overturned by the Raiders first challenge flag on that particular drive, leading to 4th and one. Chiefs go for it and there is a holding penalty on the play.
Then the refs then royally screw up by giving the Chiefs a 4th and one at the one yard line...because it was supposed to be a third down conversion for the Chiefs. They had gained the yardage nessesary to convert. But because of the holding on the 4th down play...that now no longer exist...the refs over rule their call, call it first and goal on the 11 yard line where Cassell throws a converted TD pass to Tucker. Raiders challenge again and don't get the call in their favor. Suddenly, the Raiders are out of challenges.
And this type of stuff happened throughout the game. Such as the time the referees decided to have a press conference while players rolled around trying to strip a ball from each other for a good minute and a half while the refs have a hypothetical discussion about how the Raiders don't have any challenges left and they should award the ball to the Chiefs to give them the momentum back in this game because the NFL loves to screw the Raiders...especially at home in front of a sell out crowd.
But ultimately, Richard Seymour pretty much summed up the day with his sarcasm at the 50-yard line during the coin toss to decide who gets the ball first in overtime. The call by the Chiefs captain was heads, the coin was heads, but Seymour said, "But we need a re-do...I thought it was our ball."
Darren McFadden, Jason Campbell and the Oakland Raiders offense got off to a slow start. Campbell would have four completions in ten attempts in the first half for 18 yards and an interception. It wasn't until late in the third quarter that the offense actually got going. The play calling could be considered suspect in the first half as both teams used trickery, including fake punts by both teams.
Oakland introduced a small wildcat package with Darren McFadden at quarterback and that was about the extent of their success in the first half as they struggled to get on the same page without tight end Zach Miller and wide receiver Louis Murphy. McFadden would finish the first half with seven carries for 28 yards and a fumble in the sloppy rainy weather. That fumble would be the first turnover in two games for the Raiders.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, found the most success they would have on offense in the first half. They jumped out to an early lead 10-0, mostly with their passing game in the absence of Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
Chris Johnson did make up for his miscues (minus the P.I. that wasn't really P.I.) in the second half with a nice pop hit on a wide receiver...perhaps the best hit of the day, and a knockdown on third down on that same opening drive of the second half for Kansas City. On the other cornerbacks positions, Stanford Routt and Jeremy Ware played lights out, allowing nothing in their area. Routt has done a fine job this year and Ware is a very promising rookie for the Raiders.
While the Raiders and Chiefs are supposed to be two of the best ground games in the league, both rushing defenses played well today. The Chiefs would allow 112 and the Raiders would allowed just 104 yards. The Raiders pass game that started out odd and sloppy in the first half would shine rays of heavenly sunlight on the Coliseum in the second half of the game.
Jacoby Ford's six catches for 148 yards plus a 94 yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the second half definitely kept this game obtainable at the end for Oakland. Ford had a huge game and showed the Raider Nation and the world why he surpassed Johnny Lee Higgins and Nick Miller on the Raiders depth chart. Ford was in the zone in that second half. I remember the game when Louis Murphy showed us what kind of player he was when the Coliseum was last sold out on opening day 2009. Ford proved today that he has extraordinary potential to be a deep threat.
Ford had this to say about the transition from first to second half for the Raiders, "I think we just had to re-group ourselves a little bit. You know, we were just kind of pressing. It really wasn’t going our way in the first. So we had to go out there in the second half, relax and just go out and play. Just let the game come to us and not try to rush anything."
A 50 yard bomb from Jason Campbell to Ford in overtime set up a run by Darren McFadden to get it in the middle of the field. On second and 10, early on in overtime, Sebastian Janikowski delivered the final blow with a field goal that sent the Coliseum into an uproar.
All in all it was a great game for both teams. The Raiders really earned their stripes today, keeping the fans on their feet down to the last second of the game. After going down 10-0 early, they fought back and won the second half of the game with great effort and laser passes as well as immaculate receptions and won the second half 23-10. This team definitely learned something about themselves today and the fans learned something about the team as well. The Raiders have an identity.
"Just get ready," said safety Mike Mitchell following the game. "We're not the Raiders of old. It's not going to be easy. You can't defeat us by getting up on us early. You're going to have to play four quarters, 60 minutes to beat our team, because we're a team that just fights.
"Coach says that all the time and I love that mentality," said Mitchell. "I'm an ultimate fighting fan so I can relate to that a lot. Just go out and fight. To beat us you're going to have to fight us and you're going to have to fight longer and harder than us. And if you do that, then we'll tip our hats to you, but we'll see what happens."
|TD||14:31||Verran Tucker 11 Yd Pass From Matt Cassel (Ryan Succop Kick)||7||0|
|FG||11:08||Ryan Succop 43 Yd||10||0|
|TD||14:48||Jacoby Ford 94 Yd Kickoff Return (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||10||7|
|FG||09:41||Ryan Succop 25 Yd||13||7|
|TD||06:13||Khalif Barnes 2 Yd Pass From Jason Campbell (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||13||14|
|FG||09:46||Sebastian Janikowski 23 Yd||13||17|
|TD||06:13||Dwayne Bowe 20 Yd Pass From Matt Cassel (Ryan Succop Kick)||20||17|
|FG||00:03||Sebastian Janikowski 41 Yd||20||20|
|FG||12:07||Sebastian Janikowski 33 Yd||20||23|
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-4||1-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
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