“It felt really, really good, no matter who the opponent is,” linebacker Philip Wheeler said. “It’s great to hold a team to zero and minimal rushing yards and just dominate like that.”
It was hard to reconcile a defense that gave up 119 yards in total offense, limited the Chiefs to 1 for 12 in third-down conversions and sacked quarterback Brady Quinn four times with the same one that has given up yardage and points in big clusters all season.
The Raiders had the ball for a season-high 40 minutes, 6 seconds to 19:54 for the Chiefs, who were in third-and-long all day and didn’t pick up their initial first down until just under six minutes were left in the third quarter.
“Couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t throw the ball, got in the red zone and couldn’t get any points,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. “Defensively we tried to hang in there, but we missed too many tackles and on third down were unable to get off the field.”
Siler Knocks One Loose: LB Brandon Siler forced a fumble of RB Darren McFadden in the fourth quarter of today’s game. It marks his first career forced fumble and was the Chiefs second forced fumble of the day against the Raiders.
Houston Scoops Fumble: LB Justin Houston recovered a RB Darren McFadden fumble. It was his first fumble recovery of the season and was the second fumble recovery of his career.
McCluster Grabs Career-High Receptions: WR Dexter McCluster recorded a career-high seven receptions in today’s contest. His previous career high was six receptions, accomplished four times, the last time coming vs. Oakland (10/28/12). His seven receptions led all Kansas City pass catchers in the game.
How much did Dwayne Bowe’s leverage increase after this debacle?
Bowe, who was paid $9.5 million as the Chiefs’ franchise player, can drive a Brinks truck into Arrowhead Stadium when negotiating a contract for 2013. Clearly, Jon Baldwin is not the answer at wide receiver. And there’s a reason guys like Jamar Newsome and Josh Bellamy were practice-squad guys. So Bowe’s bargaining power could be too rich for Clark Hunt’s checkbook.
This was Crennel’s 81st game as a head coach, and he says it’s the worst offensive performance he’s seen. This is Ryan Lilja’s ninth year, and he can’t think of a worse game. When I asked Quinn, he sort of mumbled something that sounded like I don’t know before waiting for the next question.
A breakdown of the Chiefs’ possessions: punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs (after a delay-of-game penalty before fourth down), punt, turnover on downs, turnover on downs.
The Chiefs failed because receivers weren’t open, and they failed because the quarterback threw the ball into the ground in front of an open receiver. They failed when running backs got stuffed in the backfield, and they failed when the running back’s long gain got called back on a penalty. They failed when balls bounced off receivers’ hands, and they failed when Jon Baldwin tried another ridiculous one-handed catch.
“Sometimes the receiver doesn’t go deep enough on the route,’’ Crennel said. “Generally, that’s what happens. When you know what you need and you come up short, that’s it. We’re supposed to know . . . how many yards are needed, and we’re supposed to run the route at the correct depth.’’
Quarterback Brady Quinn indicated the Chiefs liked the matchups with McCluster, Newsome and Wylie against Oakland’s defensive backs. He did try some longer throws to Baldwin but none came particularly close to connecting.
“We wanted to utilize some of our matchups underneath to Dexter or Jamar Newsome underneath on a couple or Devon Wylie,’’ Quinn said. “We had opportunities to take shots and we didn’t make any plays from them.’’
Typical of the day, Janikowski’s first field goal, from 20 yards, capped an 11-play drive; and his fourth field goal came at the end of a 13-play drive in which the Raiders converted on third and 4 and third and 9.
“We did what we could, we played bend-but-don’t-break defense,” said safety Kendrick Lewis. “Unfortunately we gave up five field goals. Coming into the game, we knew if Janikowski gets anywhere near the 50 or inside it, that’s what it is.
“He’s a good kicker, he’s got a strong leg, so we had to play defense to where we had to get three-and-out, three-and out and three-and-out.”