Oakland Raiders: 5 Reasons the Raiders Dominated the Chiefs in Week 15
USA TODAY Sports
The Raiders' final home game of the 2012 season featured an Oakland defense that completely dominated their longtime AFC West rival in every facet of the game.
The offense had a difficult time putting points on the board, but the defense took advantage of a Dwayne Bowe-less Chiefs team that put up an absolute stinker.
It was a fantastic way for the Raiders to snap their six-game losing streak and it gave the fans hope that this team still plays with heart.
Here are the reasons why Oakland easily had its way with Kansas City.
A Rejuvenated Darren McFadden
USA TODAY Sports
McFadden finished with 30 carries for 110 yards on the ground and also had four catches for 39 yards.
His 149-yard performance was his high for the season and it helped bring a more balanced attack to the Raiders' offense that has relied too heavily on Carson Palmer all season.
McFadden ran hard out of the gates and Oakland was able to establish its running game early to keep the Chiefs off-balanced.
Honorable Mention: Mike Goodson
Mike Goodson has his most impressive game of the season by finishing with 89 yards on 13 carries.
Goodson averaged nearly seven yards per carry and helped give the Raiders a lethal 1-2 punch in the backfield for the first time all season.
Sustaining Pressure on the Quarterback
USA TODAY Sports
I know the Raiders were going against Brady Quinn, but the performance by their defensive line was by far the most impressive performance all season.
Oakland sacked Quinn four times in the game, including two in the first quarter to give the Raiders the jump start they needed. Even Tommy Kelly got in on the action as he recorded his much-needed first sack of 2012.
The pass rush has been a major flaw in Oakland's defense, but a four-sack performance is sure to give the Raiders a glimmer of hope as they get ready to face a very dangerous Cam Newton.
The Raiders' ability to win the battle at the line of scrimmage prevented Kansas City from gaining anything on the ground. Jamaal Charles was held to just 10 yards on nine carries as the Raider defense held him to next to nothing for the second time this season.
As much pressure as Quinn was under for the entire game, Dwayne Bowe's presence would not have made any significant difference.
Time of Possession
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
The Oakland Raiders had the ball for 40 minutes compared to Kansas City's 20.
Let me emphasize that stat: the Raiders held the ball for two-thirds of the game. The only bad thing about that statistic is the fact that they failed to get the ball in the end zone.
Although the Raiders were forced to settle for five field goals, it does not diminish the fact that they ran 29 more plays than the Chiefs.
Controlling the ball that long and finding a balance in the offense was huge for Oakland, albeit against the Chiefs.
An established running game, a turnover-free Carson Palmer and a dominating defense that did not let the Chiefs record their first first down of the game until the five-minute mark in the third quarter were the catalysts for Oakland's ability to hold the ball for most of the game.
Overall Defensive Domination
USA TODAY Sports
I don't care if it was against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs—shutting out any opponent in the NFL is a difficult task to accomplish.
The Raiders defense had been downright awful heading into Week 15, but it looked like a different kind of animal against the Chiefs.
Oakland held Kansas City to 119 yards of total offense, 2.6 yards per play and forced the Chiefs to go 1-of-12 on third-down conversions.
If only the Raiders could play the Chiefs every week.
Going out with a Bang
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
To say that the Raiders have been disappointing this season is about the biggest euphemism anybody could use for anything.
The Raiders have performed well below preseason expectations and their six-game losing streak was reflective of that.
No team is relevant and successful without a dedicated fanbase. As dedicated and colorful as they have always been, this fanbase deserved better. Here is what Tyvon Branch had to say after Oakland's 15-0 shutout (via espn.com).
We had a rough season, and it was our last home game, so we wanted to go out there and prove to our fans that we're still playing with heart and passion, we're still giving it everything we've got. So this was one of those games, it was like a fan appreciation game.
What a way for the Raiders to end their season at home. I doubt a shutout against your longtime rival was in the minds of the staff or the players, but that is exactly what the fans were treated to.
Now the Raiders must prove they can finish strong on the road and end 2012 on a positive note. We all know this season has not been filled with many of those.