Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Raiders

The good news is that the Kansas City Chiefs are still leading in the AFC West.  The bad news is it is by the slimmest of margins following their 23-20 loss to the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.

In an ugly game filled with penalties, botched trick plays and curious coaching decisions, the Chiefs find themselves only one game ahead of the Raiders in the loss column.  The forgotten San Diego Chargers?  Only two behind in the loss column.

It was the 100th meeting between these two historic franchises, but there won’t be anyone at the league offices rushing to preserve the tapes. The Chiefs and Raiders combined for 6 fumbles, 2 interceptions and 27 penalties.

Oakland came in as the 26th ranked rushing defense, yet the Chiefs only gave the ball to Jamaal Charles, one of the league’s most effective and explosive backs, a season low 10 times even though he was going for 5.3 yards a carry.

The Chiefs passing offense seemed to do enough to win when Matt Cassel hit Dwayne Bowe late for a touchdown, but Bowe later dropped a third down pass that would have likely sealed the deal for Kansas City.  In an equally interesting twist, cornerback Brandon Flowers was beat in overtime by one of the Raiders track stars, Jacoby Ford to set up the game winning field goal.

Here are the best of the worst from offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: Jamaal Charles

Charles did everything he could to help the Chiefs offense.  Unfortunately the one thing he doesn’t control is how many times he touches the ball.  Somehow Kansas City’s offense managed to have 4 possessions in which Charles didn’t touch the ball once.

When he did get the ball in his hands, Charles took advantage of his opportunities.  He took his 10 carries for 53 yards with only one of them going for negative yardage, something that his counterpart Thomas Jones can’t say.  He also caught 5 passes for 47 yards.

Defense: Derrick Johnson

Rumors started to spread this week that the Chiefs and Johnson were on the verge of a new long-term contract agreement and the linebacker went out today in Oakland and continued to show why.  Not only did he once again lead the team in tackles but he took care of business all over the field.

Johnson was all over quarterback Jason Campbell, showing that he can be a big time pass rush factor when given the opportunity.  He also forced Darren McFadden’s first lost fumble of the season.

Special Teams: Ryan Succop

One of the few players to put in a near complete game was the Chiefs kicker.  Succop was officially 2-of-2 on field goal attempts, but he also his a third one from 41 yards that was nullified by a holding penalty.  After that penalty, Succop was even able to step in and provide a pooch punt.  Unfortunately that ball just bounced into the end zone for a touchback, however it was a great effort from a guy not expected to punt the ball.

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