Raiders-Chiefs Game Grades

In the regular season finale, Oakland dominates the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium en route to a 31-10 victory and an 8-8 finish to the year. The Raiders became the first team since the merger to miss the playoffs despite sweeping their division. The defense stifles the league's top ranked running team while Jason Campbell and Michael bush lead the way for the offense.

Quarterback: B+

An early injury scare did not stop Jason Campbell from finishing the contest and leading the offense to an impressive output of 344 yards.

Campbell did an excellent job of managing the offense on the team's first three scoring drives. In the second quarter, Campbell led the team on its longest scoring drive of the season—14 plays and 91 yards—that was culminated by a 5-yard pass to a wide open Chaz Schilens in the back of the endzone.

Despite being sacked three times, Campbell also did a good job in motion. He made some difficult (and dangerous) throws across his body but also knew when to either throw it away or tuck it and run.

In the middle of the season, Campbell's play would have likely earned him a higher mark, but at season's end, it's clear that the Raiders realize what they're capable of on offense. Campbell has been a relatively steady game manager all season, but moving forward to 2011, he'll need to step his game up and become a proactive force.

Running Game: A+

When it wasn't there, the Raiders didn't shy away. However, thank goodness it was there for most of the day.

Without the services of Darren McFadden, Michael Bush carried the load and finished with 137 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Jacoby Ford scored on a ten-yard end around following Michael Huff's fourth quarter interception. Jason Campbell also added 33 yards on only four carries.

Passing Attack: B+

There aren't any blistering numbers but the receivers simply got the job done.

Jacoby Ford caught one pass for 35 yards. Michael Bush was a threat out of the backfield, finishing with 34 yards on four receptions. Louis Murphy had two catches for 29 yards and backup tight end Brandon Myers caught one pass for seven yards.

Zach Miller, who suffered a nasty looking knee injury in the first half, came back to lead the team with five receptions for 31 yards. Chaz Schilens had the lone touchdown reception in the second quarter. Although he only tallied catches in two games this season, it's evident that when Schilens is on the field, he's a dependable target for Campbell. It will be interesting to see how Schilens and Campbell can develop upcoming offseason and of course, if Schilens can stay healthy.

Run Blocking: A+

This is the type of run blocking the Raiders will need week in and week out in 2011. The Raiders out-muscled the Chiefs defensive front in the trenches, opening up holes and getting blocks down field for Michael Bush and company.

All year long, the Raiders offensive linemen have done an excellent job of moving laterally and making key blocks in open space. Jared Veldheer, despite being tortured by Tamba Hali in the pass protection, and Samson Satele made some key blocks in the flats for Bush. The entire right side of the line dominated and Bush exploited those running lanes.

Pass Blocking: C+

They did enough to get the victory but the Chiefs were getting good pressure on Campbell all game long. Hali finished with 2.5 sacks and was nearly impossible to contain in one-on-one situations. Glenn Dorsey also got some good penetration into the backfield as well.

A lot of credit has to go to Jason Campbell, who despite the pressure, did a good job of moving up in the pocket and avoiding the rush as much as he could.

Run Defense: A+

Run defense simply comes down to how much more physical can you be in trenches than the opposition. On Sunday, the Raiders were more physical, played tougher and simply wanted it more than the Chiefs offensive line.

Without the services of Richard Seymour, John Henderson stepped in and played like his old self. Tommy Kelly finished a successful season off with three tackles and reserve Desmond Bryant led the way with four tackles and a sack.

Lamarr Houston, who moved inside for a few series, had three tackles and a sack. Houston has been solid all season long and it's safe to say the Raiders stole a first rounder in the second round.

Oakland held the league's top ranked running team to only 115 yards. Save for Jamaal Charles' 47-yard scamper, Oakland dominated in the trenches.

Pass Rush: A+

The pass rush was in the backfield all game long and punished quarterback Matt Cassell. Cassell was sacked five times and his backup Tyler Palko didn't fare any better with two sacks himself.

Cassell was under pressure all game long and the two interceptions he threw were thanks in large part to that pressure. Even when the Raiders didn't get to him, they made sure he felt their presence. Cassell was on the ground for most of the game and that led to a season-low in passing of 115 yards.

Linebackers: A-

There were a few occasions when the linebackers were beat by the Chiefs downfield blocking but overall, it was an impressive display of physicality and versatility by the linebackers.

Kamerion Wimbley finished with two tackles and had three sacks on the game. He finishes the season with a career high 12 sacks. When the Raiders acquired Wimbley during the offseason, fans were unsure just what they were getting with Wimbley. After all, his play had severely diminished since his 11-sack rookie year but it's looking more like the Raiders have found themselves the dynamic pass rusher they lacked in the past few years.

Rolando McClain led the team with eight tackles and had one of the better games of his rookie year.

Secondary: A+

A lot of the credit for the two interceptions goes to the pass rush, but cornerbacks and safeties still have to make the plays. Michael Huff and Stanford Routt did just that. Huff's interception set up Jacoby Ford's 10-yard touchdown run while Routt returned a pick 22 yards for the score.

Special Teams: B

Sebastian Janikowski, who got snubbed for the Pro Bowl, nailed his lone field goal of 38 yards. Pro Bowl-bound Shane Lechler punted away five balls for an average of 46.8 yards.

Jacoby Ford, Rock Cartwright and Nick Miller didn't get much going in the return game. In coverage, Dexter McCluster broke a few big runs, including a 36-yard return, but it was ultimately for not.


SB Report Top Stories