Drum Beats: Run Defense Stands Tall

Once again, safety Jarrad Page saved the Chiefs in Oakland. The Chiefs defeated Raiders, 12-10, in a strange, strange game, but it's a win that puts the Chiefs firmly atop the AFC West at 4-3.

For the second time in as many years, Kansas City needed a late Page interception to stem a Raider comeback. The two teams pawed at each other for the better part of three quarters until Dave Rayner missed a sure field goal that would have put the Chiefs up 9-0, immediately followed by the Raiders' blitzkrieg, two-play touchdown drive that put them up by one.

Larry Johnson scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run, and the Chiefs were able to hold off the Raiders, stalling them for the final time with Page's pickoff of Daunte Culpepper.

Passing Offense

Chiefs Quarterback Line: 16/32, 164 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 1 Interception

Once again, quarterback Damon Huard did what he could with what he had. He weathered some drops peppered here and there throughout the day, including a couple of big ones by Johnson and Kris Wilson, but never really seemed to get into a groove. The Chiefs started off strong for the second consecutive week getting points on the first drive, but the passing game kind of sputtered along all day long. A couple of big plays to Dwayne Bowe were the highlights.

Larry Johnson got into the passing game with a red zone attempt to Tony Gonzalez that overshot the mark by a few yards. It was nice to see some creativity and risk taking from the offensive coaching staff, but there wasn't any real danger of that pass connecting.

Grade: C

Never really got into a rhythm today. The offensive line struggled at times, Huard fell in love with the football, and receivers dropped the ball.

Running Offense

Chiefs Running Back Line: 32 Carries, 126 Yards, 3.9 Yards Per Carry, 1 Touchdown

Johnson rushed for 112 yards on the day, including a career long 54-yard gallop. The Chiefs seemed to get a little bit enamored with the running game, even running draws on third and eight deep in Raiders territory. Kansas City controlled most of the game with the running game, and even Priest Holmes, returning after two years of inactivity, was able to get in on the action.

Grade: B

Congratulations to Holmes, for making it back from an injury no one thought he'd be able to.

Passing Defense

Raiders Quarterback Line: 18/29, 213 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 1 Interception

I'm pretty sure that right before Daunte Culpepper went to his locker after the game, he looked behind him to make sure Allen wasn't there. Allen continued his league-leading NFL sack parade on Culpepper. Except for a big play by Jerry Porter, the Chiefs kept Oakland's passing game under wraps.

Grade: B+

Additional props to the safeties, who played great today.

Running Defense

Raiders Running Back Line: 24 Carries, 55 Yards, 2.3 Yards Per Carry, 0 Touchdowns

Fifty-five yards on 24 carries. That's as dominating a performance as the Chiefs have had this year.

Grade: A+

Special Teams

Today was an epic battle of the two best punters in the NFL. Both the Chiefs' Dustin Colquitt and the Raiders' Shane Lechler were at their absolute best. Colquitt had eight punts with a 46.4-yard average, and Lechler had nine punts with a 51.9-yard average.

Grade: C-

Dave Rayner missed an important field goal that gave the Raiders momentum in the second half.

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