Raiders vs. Chiefs: Report Card

Kansas City earned their fourth straight victory on Saturday defeating the Raiders 31-30. Once again the offense came to play for the most part but the errors and a lack of a running game almost cost the Chiefs the game. As for the defense, they showed some character in the second half holding the Raiders to just three field goals.

PASSING OFFENSE: B - Trent Green was very solid in hitting 32 of 45 for 358 yards with two TD's of 2 and 26 yards to Tony Gonzalez in the first half. But Oakland's 31st-ranked pass defense, playing without starting corners Charles Woodson and Phillip Buchanon, routinely gives up that kind of yardage. Moreover, Green's first-series interception off Eddie Kennison's hands gift-wrapped a 10-yard TD drive for the Raiders. And while Green was outstanding in slipping away from several would-be Raider sacks, his fumble near midfield while attempting to do so with 1:46 left and the Chiefs trying to protect a one-point lead nearly proved fatal.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C - RB Larry Johnson averaged only 3.2 yards a carry in rushing for 79 yards, and the Chiefs did only 3.4 as a team. Having LT Willie Roaf playing sore feet, the result of battling gout all week, didn't help.

RUSHING DEFEENSE: C - With the Chiefs playing both safeties back in coverage out of concern for Kerry Collins' ability to throw deep, the Raiders ran more effectively than they have in weeks. They averaged 4.5 yards on 22-100 with four different Oakland backs all having runs of 6 or more yards.

PASS DEFENSE: B - A solid effort in holding Collins, playing without Chief-beater Ronald Curry, to 18-37, 217 yards. The only major breakdown was a 32 yard TD pass to Alvis Whitted on a third-and-10 play just 24 second before halftime that allowed the Raiders to tie the game at 21-all at the break. Rookie DE Jared Allen had one sack with one other wiped out by a holding call downfield.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A- - Dante Hall's clutch 49-yard return of the kickoff following Oakland's go-ahead field goal with 1:03 left merits a (A) if nothing else does. But new punter Nick Murphy had an impressive debut with two punts for 53 and 58 yards -- a season-long -- with a 42 net. Better yet, he was money in holding on Lawrence Tynes' game-winning 38-yard field goal. But Tynes had an earlier 43-yarder blocked by 6-8 Raider tackle Langston Walker, and he hit the crossbar with an end-of-half 50-yard try that could have broken a halftime tie.


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