Last Look: Chiefs vs. Raiders

In the 101st regular season meeting in this storied rivalry, the Chiefs and Raiders mixed together the best elements of their previous hundred meetings: trash-talking, penalties, bruising hits, and utter madness. For the first time in eight seasons, the Raiders came away with a home victory against their archenemies and left the Chiefs with only a half-game lead atop the AFC West.

No matter how epic the game turned out to be, 26 combined penalties and five turnovers made the division-leading Chiefs and resurgent Raiders both look more pedestrian than powerful on Sunday. The newfound quarterback-receiver connection that is Jason Campbell and Jacoby Ford was the main reason why Oakland beat Kansas City 23-20 in overtime, and the Chiefs' suddenly beleaguered defense continued to let the overall team falter.

The loss put Kansas City's overall record in regular season overtime games at 13-16-2, and was their second game which surpassed regulation time in as many weeks. A week ago, the Chiefs survived the Buffalo Bills in a 13-10 victory in the final seconds of overtime.

Campbell – who finished the game 19 of 33 for 229 yards with a touchdown and an interception – filled in for regular starter Bruce Gradkowski and led the Raiders to their first three-game winning streak since December 2002. Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel had yet another modest showing with 216 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

The Chiefs' rushing attack, spearheaded by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, hit a roadblock and only amassed 104 total yards on the ground, well below their league-leading average of 179.6. They were outshined by the Raiders' ground game, which was second to the Chiefs in the NFL stat books so far in the 2010 season.

The weather didn't help any in letting the Chiefs stand their ground on the road at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Several plays – by both teams, in fact – fell flat due to the slick turf because of a pre-game rain shower. During most of the game, a light drizzle affected play and caused some passes to be dropped and others to be straight up fumbled. Some receivers were just a step behind passes that came their way.

Both teams emptied out their playbooks and offered up fake punts, touchdown receptions to offensive linemen, pooch kicks, flea flickers, and wildcat formations. Most of the tricks came early in the game; right around the same time that the referees were getting fooled themselves. A puzzling incident happened early in the second quarter when the officials lost track of downs when Kansas City was knocking on the door of Oakland's end zone, resulting in the men in stripes publicly negating their own calls.

The confusion led Raiders head coach Tom Cable to use his second coach's challenge of the game in just a handful of minutes, and well before halftime. It was because Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki appeared to have crossed the plane on a play where he scored Kansas City's first touchdown of the game. It turned out that Moeaki's knee was down at the one-yard line, but an ensuing play let Chiefs receiver Verran Tucker score the touchdown and let the Chiefs strike first blood.

The Chiefs and Raiders exchanged fumbles just a few minutes later and just added to the comedy that was taking place in the Bay Area. To sum it up, this Chiefs-Raiders game was a comedy of errors that showcased the two best teams in the AFC West, but made them look like the bumbling franchises they previously were in the past few years.

No matter how sloppy the beginning part of the game was, a 72-yard punt return by Chiefs return specialist Javier Arenas made it seem like the Chiefs were preparing to pack their bags to get out of Oakland and register their sixth win on the year. However, an illegal block in the back by Eric Berry nullified the play and kept the Raiders alive. It was just another penalty to add to the game's tally.

More than anything, the Raiders were penalized on what seemed like just about every other play. Entering the game, Oakland was averaging nine penalties a game, but on Sunday, the Raiders recorded 15 penalties for 140 yards.

At times, it seemed almost natural to laugh when a yellow penalty flag was tossed in the air, because more than likely, it was against the undisciplined Raiders. If you ask me, the Raiders should look into changing their jersey colors from black to yellow, that way they're more inclined to accept the color of penalization.

Penalties didn't kill the Raiders for the entire game – in fact, there were occasions where their young, talented team would show why they just might be the Chiefs' biggest threat in the AFC West. Most notably, rookie receiver Jacoby Ford pounded a dilapidated Chiefs' secondary and registered 148 receiving yards on only six receptions.

It was the highest total receiving yards that the Chiefs' secondary has allowed from a single receiver all season, and continues to prove why Kansas City's pass defense continues to rank towards the bottom of the league. Similar to the effort by Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin in 2009 against the Chiefs, Kansas City continues to show that there are still holes that need to be filled in order to stop opposing deep threats.

Ford's biggest catch of the game came late when the Raiders needed it most. As a pass intended his way came within reach of Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers and was surely about to be intercepted, Ford showcased his skills in grabbing the pass in a tight situation. He reached out in front of Flowers and snagged the ball that would continue Oakland's game-tying drive at the end of regulation.

The only real shining spot for the Chiefs' secondary came when safety Jon McGraw picked off Campbell towards the end of the second half. McGraw nearly recorded two more interceptions from Campbell, but just couldn't get a definite hold on the passes. Regardless, McGraw continues to show that although he makes rare appearances in the secondary, he can still prove to be a force when necessary. In fact, McGraw led the team on Sunday with seven solo tackles.

Kansas City's overall defense registered four quarterback sacks, two coming from rookie safety Eric Berry, who proved his worth in short, run-stuffing situations. Wallace Gilberry was accountable for one sack, his third in four games, and Tamba Hali tallied another sack to raise his total to eight on the season.

In retrospect, Ford's kickoff return for a touchdown set the tone for the Raiders to begin the second half and left the Chiefs stunned with their lead cut to only three points. The thing is, since Oakland received the ball to begin the second half, I think the Chiefs missed out on their best opportunity to seal the win.

Going back to the final seconds of the first half, Cassel had the Chiefs within Oakland's territory and well within striking range for Ryan Succop to kick a modest field goal. Kansas City was leading 10-0 with about 30 seconds remaining. Starting a play on 2nd and 10 on the 14-yard line, Cassel opted to toss towards the end zone in the direction of tight end Tony Moeaki. The pass was intercepted, stopping the Chiefs' chances of capitalizing on McGraw's interception of Campbell.

The team could have run at least one more running play and milked the clock so that there could have been just a few of seconds left before halftime. Instead, the Chiefs bypassed the chance to get three points on the board and rather chose to be gutsy and go for the touchdown. This play puzzled me because, while I've been a critic of head coach Todd Haley's gutsy play calling all year, this symbolized my idea that a simple field goal can just about cost this team a victory in any game. Had the Chiefs kicked a field goal, their lead would have been 13-0 heading into halftime. That lead could very well have held up and kept the Raiders out of reach of the comeback victory. The final score of this game could very well have been 23-17 at the end of regulation, and overtime would have been avoided.

Cassel's interception came in the end zone and it was his first since September. The pass was tipped in the air and recovered by Oakland, and the Raiders would continue to punish Cassel as they registered three quarterback sacks on the day.

Cassel would find himself scrambling in the pocket most of the day and would have trouble either finding his receivers down the field or connecting with them. He finished 20 of 35, but would occasionally make the most of his surroundings and rush for extra yardage.

It was yet another example of either Cassel making a simple mistake or Haley passing up the chance to kick a field goal and be a hero. We may never know or fully agree on the outcome, but one thing is sure: the Chiefs missed an opportunity to seal the win.

I completely understand the notion that Haley wants to send a message to his players and say that he wants to win at all costs, but seriously: four consecutive weeks with roll-of-the-dice play calling has made his gutsy calls dull, if not unsurprising.

Eventually, Haley needs to know that the novelty of gambling and risky play calling is going to wear off, and in Oakland, it just about did for me. This team can't afford to blow a playoff berth with a dumb call on fourth down or a call where they could have easily registered three points.

Three points are more than no points. Period. No fan of the National Football League or mathematician can ever argue with that.

The plays that symbolized the game for the Chiefs were ones that were right in front of their faces: Flowers had a sure-fire interception right in front of his face that was snatched up by Ford at the end of regulation,No matter how epic the game turned out to be, 26 combined penalties and five turnovers made the division-leading Chiefs and resurgent Raiders both look more pedestrian than powerful on Sunday. The newfound quarterback-receiver connection that is Jason Campbell and Jacoby Ford was the main reason why Oakland beat Kansas City 23-20 in overtime, and the Chiefs' suddenly beleaguered defense continued to let the overall team falter.

The loss put Kansas City's overall record in regular season overtime games at 13-16-2, and was their second game which surpassed regulation time in as many weeks. A week ago, the Chiefs survived the Buffalo Bills in a 13-10 victory in the final seconds of overtime.

Campbell – who finished the game 19 of 33 for 229 yards with a touchdown and an interception – filled in for regular starter Bruce Gradkowski and led the Raiders to their first three-game winning streak since December 2002. Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel had yet another modest showing with 216 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

The Chiefs' rushing attack, spearheaded by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, hit a roadblock and only amassed 104 total yards on the ground, well below their league-leading average of 179.6. They were outshined by the Raiders' ground game, which was second to the Chiefs in the NFL stat books so far in the 2010 season.

The weather didn't help any in letting the Chiefs stand their ground on the road at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Several plays – by both teams, in fact – fell flat due to the slick turf because of a pre-game rain shower. During most of the game, a light drizzle affected play and caused some passes to be dropped and others to be straight up fumbled. Some receivers were just a step behind passes that came their way.

Both teams emptied out their playbooks and offered up fake punts, touchdown receptions to offensive linemen, pooch kicks, flea flickers, and wildcat formations. Most of the tricks came early in the game; right around the same time that the referees were getting fooled themselves. A puzzling incident happened early in the second quarter when the officials lost track of downs when Kansas City was knocking on the door of Oakland's end zone, resulting in the men in stripes publicly negating their own calls.

The confusion led Raiders head coach Tom Cable to use his second coach's challenge of the game in just a handful of minutes, and well before halftime. It was because Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki appeared to have crossed the plane on a play where he scored Kansas City's first touchdown of the game. It turned out that Moeaki's knee was down at the one-yard line, but an ensuing play let Chiefs receiver Verran Tucker score the touchdown and let the Chiefs strike first blood.

The Chiefs and Raiders exchanged fumbles just a few minutes later and just added to the comedy that was taking place in the Bay Area. To sum it up, this Chiefs-Raiders game was a comedy of errors that showcased the two best teams in the AFC West, but made them look like the bumbling franchises they previously were in the past few years.

No matter how sloppy the beginning part of the game was, a 72-yard punt return by Chiefs return specialist Javier Arenas made it seem like the Chiefs were preparing to pack their bags to get out of Oakland and register their sixth win on the year. However, an illegal block in the back by Eric Berry nullified the play and kept the Raiders alive. It was just another penalty to add to the game's tally.

More than anything, the Raiders were penalized on what seemed like just about every other play. Entering the game, Oakland was averaging nine penalties a game, but on Sunday, the Raiders recorded 15 penalties for 140 yards.

At times, it seemed almost natural to laugh when a yellow penalty flag was tossed in the air, because more than likely, it was against the undisciplined Raiders. If you ask me, the Raiders should look into changing their jersey colors from black to yellow, that way they're more inclined to accept the color of penalization.

Penalties didn't kill the Raiders for the entire game – in fact, there were occasions where their young, talented team would show why they just might be the Chiefs' biggest threat in the AFC West. Most notably, rookie receiver Jacoby Ford pounded a dilapidated Chiefs' secondary and registered 148 receiving yards on only six receptions.

It was the highest total receiving yards that the Chiefs' secondary has allowed from a single receiver all season, and continues to prove why Kansas City's pass defense continues to rank towards the bottom of the league. Similar to the effort by Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin in 2009 against the Chiefs, Kansas City continues to show that there are still holes that need to be filled in order to stop opposing deep threats.

Ford's biggest catch of the game came late when the Raiders needed it most. As a pass intended his way came within reach of Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers and was surely about to be intercepted, Ford showcased his skills in grabbing the pass in a tight situation. He reached out in front of Flowers and snagged the ball that would continue Oakland's game-tying drive at the end of regulation.

The only real shining spot for the Chiefs' secondary came when safety Jon McGraw picked off Campbell towards the end of the second half. McGraw nearly recorded two more interceptions from Campbell, but just couldn't get a definite hold on the passes. Regardless, McGraw continues to show that although he makes rare appearances in the secondary, he can still prove to be a force when necessary. In fact, McGraw led the team on Sunday with seven solo tackles.

Kansas City's overall defense registered four quarterback sacks, two coming from rookie safety Eric Berry, who proved his worth in short, run-stuffing situations. Wallace Gilberry was accountable for one sack, his third in four games, and Tamba Hali tallied another sack to raise his total to eight on the season.

In retrospect, Ford's kickoff return for a touchdown set the tone for the Raiders to begin the second half and left the Chiefs stunned with their lead cut to only three points. The thing is, since Oakland received the ball to begin the second half, I think the Chiefs missed out on their best opportunity to seal the win.

Going back to the final seconds of the first half, Cassel had the Chiefs within Oakland's territory and well within striking range for Ryan Succop to kick a modest field goal. Kansas City was leading 10-0 with about 30 seconds remaining. Starting a play on 2nd and 10 on the 14-yard line, Cassel opted to toss towards the end zone in the direction of tight end Tony Moeaki. The pass was intercepted, stopping the Chiefs' chances of capitalizing on McGraw's interception of Campbell.

The team could have run at least one more running play and milked the clock so that there could have been just a few of seconds left before halftime. Instead, the Chiefs bypassed the chance to get three points on the board and rather chose to be gutsy and go for the touchdown. This play puzzled me because, while I've been a critic of head coach Todd Haley's gutsy play calling all year, this symbolized my idea that a simple field goal can just about cost this team a victory in any game. Had the Chiefs kicked a field goal, their lead would have been 13-0 heading into halftime. That lead could very well have held up and kept the Raiders out of reach of the comeback victory. The final score of this game could very well have been 23-17 at the end of regulation, and overtime would have been avoided.

Cassel's interception came in the end zone and it was his first since September. The pass was tipped in the air and recovered by Oakland, and the Raiders would continue to punish Cassel as they registered three quarterback sacks on the day.

Cassel would find himself scrambling in the pocket most of the day and would have trouble either finding his receivers down the field or connecting with them. He finished 20 of 35, but would occasionally make the most of his surroundings and rush for extra yardage.

It was yet another example of either Cassel making a simple mistake or Haley passing up the chance to kick a field goal and be a hero. We may never know or fully agree on the outcome, but one thing is sure: the Chiefs missed an opportunity to seal the win.

I completely understand the notion that Haley wants to send a message to his players and say that he wants to win at all costs, but seriously: four consecutive weeks with roll-of-the-dice play calling has made his gutsy calls dull, if not unsurprising.

Eventually, Haley needs to know that the novelty of gambling and risky play calling is going to wear off, and in Oakland, it just about did for me. This team can't afford to blow a playoff berth with a dumb call on fourth down or a call where they could have easily registered three points.

Three points are more than no points. Period. No fan of the National Football League or mathematician can ever argue with that.

The plays that symbolized the game for the Chiefs were ones that were right in front of their faces: Flowers had a sure-fire interception right in front of his face that was snatched up by Ford at the end of regulation, and Bowe – just minutes earlier – saw a pass drop right through his hands on a critical third down with just over two minutes remaining.

Whether it was because of the slippery climate or unforeseen factors such as blown calls, trick plays, and sloppy game play, this game just slipped away from the Chiefs' hands. Now at 5-3 but still atop the AFC West, the Chiefs just hope the division lead doesn't slip from their hands as well. and Bowe – just minutes earlier – saw a pass drop right through his hands on a critical third down with just over two minutes remaining.

Whether it was because of the slippery climate or unforeseen factors such as blown calls, trick plays, and sloppy game play, this game just slipped away from the Chiefs' hands. Now at 5-3 but still atop the AFC West, the Chiefs just hope the division lead doesn't slip from their hands as well.

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