Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs - Studs & Duds
David Wilson – Oct 30, 2012
Without doubt, this is the Raiders best performance of the year, even if it came against the lowly Chiefs. Whatever the circumstances, I will take a divisional victory on the road any day, and there was a lot to be happy about.
A lot of standout individual performances this week, and not many bad ones.
Jason Tarver – DC. Given the strength of the Chiefs offensive line, I really thought that Oakland would struggle to put pressure on Brady Quinn or Matt Cassell. But not only did the defensive line generate some pressure on its own, but Tarver dialled up just the right amount of blitzes to create pressure without becoming predictable. Their three sacks on the day did does not do justice to the way this defense got to the quarterbacks. Tarver’s unit kept an excellent Chiefs rushing attack to 49 yards (the rest coming on scrambles from Quinn/Cassell), effectively making it a non factor. This unit has really come together the last two weeks.
Philip Wheeler – LB. Eleven solo tackles on the day, and he was, as ever, everywhere. Whether he was stuffing the run, covering in pass protection, or rushing the quarterback, Wheeler was getting it done. Out of nine times rushing the passer, he came up with a sack, a hit, and three pressures. Reggie needs to sign this guy to a big contract, and soon.
Lamarr Houston– DE. Amongst a great performance from the defensive line, Houston stood out against this week. He brought a lot of pressure, having a couple of hits, three pressures, and a batted pass. He also hustled 13 yards downfield from his defensive line position to make a tackle after a pass play. Love the effort and the production.
Tyvon Branch – SS. Branch tackled well and covered better, giving up next to nothing all day. On the Chiefs first drive he came clear across the field on a reverse play by Dexter McCluster to make the stop for a short gain. He brilliantly defended a pass in the end zone that would surely have been a touchdown by Tony Moeaki had Branch not got there, and also brought some pressure on the blitz. A good day’s work.
Darren McFadden – RB. You have to give him a stud nomination for his sheer effort. DMac kept hammering away even when he had been buried behind the line on numerous possessions. It paid off then he managed to break some longer runs late in the game, totalling 119 yards on 29 carries. No complaints about his health this year!
Honorable mention – Mile Burris had some great stops in the run game, but looks hesitant rushing the passer. If he can sort this out his game will be complete. Tommy Kelly didn’t get onto the sack sheet, but brought pressure all day, great to see him back to his best. Richard Seymour had only two tackles, but gave Chiefs rookie left guard Jeff Allen a real lesson, driving him to the floor on more than one occasion. Denarius Moore accounted for almost half the Raiders receiving yards including a 58 yarder, but dropped a sitter in the end zone that could have been pivotal. Both tackles protected Carson Palmer really well, and against two very capable pass rushers. Willie Smith gave up only one hit to Justin Houston, and Jared Veldheer one pressure to Tamba Hali. No mean feat. Now if only the offensive line could run block better….
Andre Carter – DE. Carter had 20 snaps on defense. He was brought in as a specialist pass rusher, and went after the quarterback on 14 of those snaps, without registering a single tackle, pressure, or hurry. He may be just getting back into football after a layoff, but he has to do better than that.
Brandon Myers –TE. I know that this selection is going to be questioned by some people, but though Myers might have his upside in the passing game, he just does not fill the role of tight end. He may have caught three passes for 49 yards, but he continually gets destroyed on the run game where he gets overpowered at the line of scrimmage by linebackers. The Chiefs game was no different, and it is a trend that has to change if Oakland wants the run game to work.
Some kudos here to Dennis Allen, for keeping this team on track, and being the first Raider coach since I can remember that has managed to actually reduce the penalty count instead of just talking about it. Two penalties the entire game looks like a typo.
Two wins in a row is good, and the Raiders played well this week. They face a much sterner test in week nine though, against the resurgent Tampa Bay Bucanneers. Win that one, the Raiders will be back to .500, and the NFL will start to call it a turnaround.
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