ReFo: Chiefs @ Raiders, Week 12
Noting the Thursday Night standouts, Khaled Elsayed looks at the Raiders' primetime win over Kansas City.
ReFo: Chiefs @ Raiders, Week 12
The Oakland Raiders charge to the Imperfect Season came to an abrupt Thursday Night halt, as the Kansas City Chiefs gave the Football Trap Gods a victory they will long remember.
Fresh off a convincing win over the Seattle Seahawks, this was supposed to be the a gimme that allowed the Chiefs to enhance their playoff push. Instead, their limitations were exposed against a tough Raiders outfit who ground out a big win, with a seven-minute drive capped with a touchdown their most impressive moment of the year.
Let’s look at some of the key performances.
Kansas City Chiefs – Performances of Note
Justin Houston, OLB: +7.4
Breakdown: A superstar second half replaced a quiet first 30, as Houston was near invisible as the Raiders built their lead. But as the Chiefs surged and Oakland struggled, Houston went to town on Menelik Watson. By the end of the day he’d beaten him for three pressures and a sack (another nullified by penalty) as he figured out the Raiders’ right tackle.
Signature Play: His sack owed some to David Carr stepping up into it, but look at the speed he beats Watson round the edge to start the fourth quarter. That kind of play has ramifications in hurrying a quarterback up.
Mike McGlynn, LG: -5.8
Breakdown: A tough outing for McGlynn who struggled against the run for the most part before developing a complete inability to handle a stunting Khalil Mack on the Chiefs’ final drive. You don’t normally see a linemen off his feet so much in pass protection. Colts fans won’t be surprised to see how McGlynn has performed, because for all the toughness he brings he remains the biggest liability on the line.
Signature Stat: His five hurries allowed represent a season worst, while he’s now given up penalties in four consecutive games after not allowing one prior to that.
Jamaal Charles, RB: +1.6
Breakdown: Engaged in an interesting psychological battle of the blitz with Charles Woodson, that once saw Woodson pick up a sack, and another Charles a touchdown (after some excellent work after the catch). Easily the most dynamic player on this offense, his grade was only lowered by a fumble.
SignaturePlay: He’ll take whatever blocking you give him. Or don’t as the case may be. With 11.59 to go in the third Charles makes a couple of nice cuts to make rookie sensation Khalil Mack look a little silly on his way to a first down.
Oakland Raiders – Performances of Note
Khalil Mack, OLB: +3.1
Breakdown: He’s likely had better games, but Mack once again made himself known. His work in the run game stood out as he manhandled Travis Kelce, but he continues to show the flashes of a pass rusher who will wreak havoc one day.
Signature Play: “Say, aren’t you former first overall pick Eric Fisher?” Well, with 55 seconds to go in the first half Mack cared not for his draft status as he exploded past his inside shoulder to land a spine-tingling hit on Alex Smith.
Donald Penn, LT: +3.0
Breakdown: I wonder if the Bucs are watching Donald Penn play and thinking, “what the heck were we thinking?” Perhaps with a point to prove, Penn is a tackle nobody is talking about because he’s not getting beat. One pressure today and just one negative grade in pass protection all year. Great get for the Raiders.
Signature Stat: Has the fifth-best Pass Blocking Efficiency score of all left tackles in the league.
Derek Carr, QB: -4.1
Breakdown: He won and ultimately that’s all that should matter for Raiders fans. But let’s not forget how close he came to throwing it all away. Careless with his throws, he twice had picks dropped and both of them were big ones. A potential pick-six and one that would curtailed the final drive. Carr got lucky, but perhaps he’s earned some the first 10 weeks of the season.
Signature Stat: Averaged 1.6 yards per attempt on the 11 plays he was blitzed.
PFF Game Ball
He lost but played like a winner. Justin Houston was the best player to take to the field and delivered another performance which will make it even harder for the Chiefs to tie him down for the long term.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled