Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Raiders

If you drew up a worst case scenario before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders for how things would go for the Kansas City Chiefs, I imagine it would have looked a lot like what actually happened.

Most of the talk leading up to kickoff surrounded how much the Chiefs starters would play.  After all, did you want to rest for the playoffs or build momentum.  Yet no one wanted to talk about what would happen if they didn’t get anyone rest or build momentum and that’s exactly where the Chiefs are after an embarrassing 31-10 loss.  It was the Chiefs first loss at Arrowhead Stadium while the Raiders completed a perfect season against the AFC West.

Matt Cassel and Jamaal Charles were both hit hard all day long causing both to come up lame more than once.  What’s worse, Thomas Jones didn’t get banged up but continued to be completely ineffective picking up just 17 yards on 10 carries.  You have to go all the way back to Week 13 to find a game Jones averaged more than three yards per carry.

The defense showed some life thanks to Tamba Hali’s non-stop motor and a couple big Eric Berry hits but rolled over for Jason Campbell, Michael Bush and the Raiders offense.

It will be awfully hard for the Chiefs to turn the page and get ready for next week’s home playoff game after such a stinker, but they better find a way because a tough as nails defense will be coming to town.

Despite one of the uglier games of the year, here are the best of the worst for the Kansas City Chiefs on offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: Jamaal Charles

Even on a day the Chiefs offensive line was invisible, Charles was making something out of nothing.  He delivered the only big play of the day, a 47-yard sprint down to the eight yard line that set up his own touchdown three plays later to tie the game up at 10.

Though it has become normal for Charles, it’s still amazing that he still managed to average 6.2 yards per carry.  He finished just two-hundredths of a yard short of Jim Brown’s record for rushing average.  Even if you take away his long for the day, Charles averaged nearly twice as many yards per carry today than Thomas Jones.

Defense: Tamba Hali

Here is a guy that was going full speed start to finish on Sunday.  It’s still frustrating that he gets zero respect from the officials, but that didn’t stop Hali from registering 2.5 sacks to go along with 6 tackles.  He harassed the Oakland quarterbacks all day long and sent both Jason Campbell and tight end Zach Miller to the sidelines with injuries.

There aren’t many Chiefs players you can say this about right now, but Hali is ready to roll for a big time game.

Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt

His 37.7 average looks pedestrian next to Shane Lechler’s 46.8, but Colquitt more than held his own.  He put three of his six punts inside the 20 and helped limit the Raiders to zero yards on three returns.

Having Colquitt firing on all cylinders for next week’s playoff game will go a long way to help the Chiefs win the battle for field position.

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