Chiefs Play Poorly, But Still Beat Raiders

The Chiefs finally did it. Against the Raiders Sunday, they played a bad football game and won. They lost the turnover battle, Matt Cassel had an abysmal game, Ryan Succop missed a field goal, and Todd Haley called a questionable game. Yet, the Chiefs had more points on the scoreboard when the clock hit zero.

If your quarterback has a bad game, you turn the ball over three times, you convert one out of 15 third-down conversion attempts, and you lose the time of possession battle, you're not supposed to win, ever. But the Chiefs did, so what does it mean? Yes, it does mean they played the woeful Raiders.

It also means the Chiefs did some good things, one key being third-down defense, as they allowed Oakland to convert only two third downs. So while the Raiders' defense didn't allow the Chiefs to convert, KC's defense reciprocated.

If the Chiefs' quarterback was going to play poorly, throwing an interception and fumbling twice, Oakland's quarterback was going to turn in an equally poor performance. JaMarcus Russell completed nine passes for 67 yards Sunday.

In addition to accepting some generously poor play from the Raiders, the Chiefs thrived off good play of their own. Several individuals had an impressive outing in Oakland, including Jamaal Charles, who recorded the second 100-yard rushing performance (18 carries, 103 yards) of his young career. That's almost six yards per carry, in comparison to Larry Johnson's 3.3 yards per carry against Oakland earlier this season.

You're going to read and hear a lot about Charles this week - how Haley should have been starting him all along, how he can hit the "home run" play, that he creates opportunities with his speed, and that after Kolby Smith's performance, how the starting role is his to lose.

Another young stud, and fellow member of the 2008 draft class, had a good game Sunday - Brandon Flowers. He made numerous disruptive plays in the passing game and some timely open-field tackles. If it weren't for his webbed hands, he'd have also grabbed two interceptions.

Another bright spot for Haley's crew was the play of the defensive line, which showed real promise despite several impressive runs from Michael Bush. If the Chiefs are going to win more games than they lose next season, this unit will have to continue improving.

Glenn Dorsey logged five tackles, Alex Magee had a sack, and Wallace Gilberry shared one with linebacker Tamba Hali. Each week, these youngsters continue to impress, and prove why they're on an NFL roster. For the first time in a long time, it's starting to look like the Chiefs have selected some real talent up front.

In fact, it appears the 2007, 2008 and 2009 drafts are all paying off. Sunday's top receiver, rusher, cornerback, defensive lineman and offensive lineman all fit in that group.

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