ReFo: Chiefs @ Raiders, Week 15

Sam Monson talks Jamaal Charles in space, disastrous Oakland QB play, and the real Eric Berry in this review of the Chief's Week 15 victory in Oakland.

| 4 years ago

ReFo: Chiefs @ Raiders, Week 15

2013-REFO-WK15-KC@OAKKansas City at Oakland began as a blowout, suddenly became a one-score game before going back to being a blowout by the end. Each of those sequences happened extremely rapidly and in condensed periods of play, leaving much of the game with essentially little happening except the odd horrendous play from an Oakland quarterback.

The story of the game was Jamaal Charles who posted five touchdowns and was just lethal in space, gliding his way past Oakland defenders as if they weren’t there any time he got the ball in his hands. The Raiders couldn’t rely on either passer to throw the ball to their own players and when they did finally have to sit McGloin down (through a poke in the eye, not poor play) Pryor came in and managed to throw an interception in garbage time.

But let’s look at a few of the standout performances.

Kansas City — Three Performances of Note

Charles As Good as He Looked

PFF has been accused of hating on Jamaal Charles in the past, largely through shunning him from the PFF Top 101 list when his numbers looked pretty spectacular, but this grade (+4.4) is proof that we’re happy to dish out the love when needs be. That he did it on just 30 snaps before being rested for the garbage time at the end is all the more impressive. He only rushed the ball eight times for 20 yards as the Chiefs were unable to get any kind of rhythm going with their run blocking, but seemingly every time he saw the ball in space he scored. In addition to those rushing carries he caught all eight passes thrown his way for 195 yards and four touchdowns. Alex Smith had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when throwing to Charles, despite averaging just 2.5 yards downfield on those targets. Sometimes it’s best to let somebody else do the hard work for your stats.

Deserving Pro-Bowler

It’s taken a while, but Eric Berry is finally earning the Pro-Bowl place that seemed to be his automatically any time he was healthy. His +2.6 grade in this game adds to his season total to put him fourth among safeties this year, just a little back from Donte Whitner in the third spot. Berry had an impressive game thanks to some extremely iffy quarterback play, picking off a pair of passes and allowing just four yards in coverage, though he was controlled at the line of scrimmage by linemen on more than one occasion, something he is usually able to avoid. Berry has found himself this season, finally mastering his skills and performing to the kind of level people expected when he was drafted. Knee injuries can be tricky things to come back from, especially for defensive backs, and it’s possible that we’ve all been a bit guilty of expecting too much too soon. Perhaps this is indeed the real Eric Berry.

Push Up Front

At the start of this game it looked as if the Chiefs line was going to have its way with the Raiders, but though the starting trio of Tyson Jackson, Dontari Poe and Mike DeVito all made plays, they also had stretches where they were relatively anonymous and the weight of snaps they were asked to play probably held them back from better grades. The fact that they combined for just a single hurry all game won’t have helped either, but Poe and DeVito in particular were impressive in the run game. DeVito’s +3.0 grade in that are was the best of the three and he was routinely collapsing the point of attack and blocking holes in the Oakland front.

Oakland — Three Performances of Note

Train Wreck Passing

Terrelle Pryor managed a -1.8 grade from just 16 snaps and six passes, and that might be the high point of the Oakland passing game. While Matt McGloin did throw for almost 300 yards, he also managed to throw four interceptions, each seemingly more disastrous than the last. He was saved from an even worse grade (-7.0 as it stands) by having one of the interceptions deflected at the line by Jackson that sent it into the arms of LB Derrick Johnson instead of its intended receiver. The worst aspect of it all was that he was kept clean virtually all day, and most of what little pressure there was (he felt heat on just five drop-backs), he invited on himself rather than fell victim to poor blocking. It wasn’t too long ago the Raiders felt a glimmer of hope between Pryor and McGloin at quarterback, but this game showed how far off that might have been.

Hillsdale Pipeline

Who’d have thought Hillsdale College would have produced two of the better performers on one team in this game? Jared Veldheer (+1.3) and Andre Holmes (+1.9) attended the Division II college together and both guys had impressive performances against the Chiefs. Veldheer kept a clean sheet pass blocking despite being asked to do it 47 times in the game and Holmes came down with four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown including a David Tyree-esque one-handed reception that he trapped against his helmet and brought in as he was going to ground with a defender all over him. It may not have been in the Super Bowl like Tyree’s, but he Holmes also did it with just one shoe on, so we’ll call it a tie.

Wasted Reece

I said before the game that despite beasting against the Jets, FB Marcel Reece would likely lose his carries again to a healthy Rashad Jennings. So it proved. Reece had 19 carries against the Jets and earned 123 rushing yards, but in the rest of the games he has played this season he has averaged just four carries, and he rushed just five times for 18 yards in this one while Jennings had 23. Reece wasn’t without big plays, though, catching a 45-yard pass and taking advantage of some overly cute special teams play when Kansas City elected not to cover one of the Oakland gunners at all on a punt. Reece took the snap as the up-back and fired off a quick pass to convert the easy first down. I think Jennings is actually a pretty good running back, but there is no way the ratio of carries between him and Reece should be 23:5, rather it should look far more even.

Game Notes

–  Alex Smith’s average depth of target in this game was just 6.4, down half a yard from his league-low 6.9 on the season.

–  Smith Attempted just one pass over 10 yards between the left sideline and the right numbers. It was incomplete.

–  The Oakland linebackers surrendered 203 yards in coverage between them.

PFF Game Ball

Easy. Jamaal Charles. How could it be anybody else?


| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • dave

    Alex Smiths numbers look great but what if you took away his stats generated by charles? What if you took away charles and they didnt have a good replacement? Even as good as the D is, they may not even make the playoffs.

    • James

      So take the best player off a team and they wouldnt make the playoffs? Really you think that would be shocking? Take Manning off Denver, take Brady off NE, take Rodgers off GB… Oh wait… GB is 2-4-1 without Rodgers.
      Smith’s stats would have been 9/12 for 92 yards, a TD and a QB rating of 124.3. What are you trying to say about those numbers?

      • dave

        Manning, Rogers and Brady are all qbs though. Its a liability to have a rb with that much responsibility… But you seem like a really smart person so I obviously dont need to explain that to you.

        • Kevin Bohorquez

          Having a great RB is never a liability. He has that much responsability because he is that good and when you have a great player like him you want to give him the ball everytime…….. Also, JC played great too last year, Chiefs record: 2-14.

        • Rick

          This makes no sense. QBs are the only position allowed to have a lot of responsibility? Obviously I am not a smart person so I need this explained.

    • jdilla415

      Dave, this might be the dumbest comment ever. thank you james for clearing the air for him.

      • dave

        Guaranteed you dont talk to people like that in person…

        Edit, just looked at some of your other comments, your just a dick hiding behind a computer.

    • Paddy Holland

      chiefs put up 45 and 56 on back to back weeks and we’re still talking about a team that will have to rely on its defense?

  • James Whitener

    I like your site. I’m not sure why. You don’t really measure anything useful apparently.

    Your analysis of McGloin’s performance is stupid. He did throw 4 int’s but also lead us to over 400 yards of offense and 31 points – highs for the season, despite the turnovers.

    The fumble was Wiz’s fault – again.

    On the last INT he was basically blind because he got poked in the eye the play before – should have been taken out.

    He has more passes for 25+ yards than any other QB in the league over the last 5 games he’s started. Impressive.

    He’s young, a rookie, inexperienced. But he brings excitement to the offense. Reminds me of a young Brett Favre – TD machine and turnovers too.