What a world of difference a trip to Kansas City can make. The Raiders went to Missouri with their backs against the wall. Several people had the team dead and buried. Winning cures all, and the Raiders grew up as a team today.
The Raiders' defense played with emotion and energy and held the Chiefs' running game to 55 yards on 19 carries and no rushing touchdowns. They got after the quarterback and came away with five sacks and two huge interceptions. The biggest was the second of the day and first of the year by MLB Kirk Morrison, to seal the win.
The Raiders' gameplan was to run the football and throw when necessary. The team accomplished that task and more as they ran on, through, and over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raiders, as a team, rushed for 300 yards, lead by Darren McFadden’s coming-out party of 21 carries for 164 yards and his first NFL touchdown—the majority of which was in the second half. McFadden had runs for 21, 24, and 51 yards, and a 19-yard touchdown run.
Justin Fargas started the game and finished with nine carries for 43 yards before leaving the game with a groin injury.
The secret weapon, also known as Michael Bush, had a bit of a coming-out party as well, with 16 carries for 90 yards and his first NFL touchdown, closing out the game. He did have a costly fumble that was potentially disastrous, but the team was able to overcome the turnover.
QB JaMarcus Russell didn’t put up eyebrow-raising numbers, he didn’t have to, but what he did do was manage the offense, protect the ball, and not turn it over for the second week in a row.
The Raiders' offensive line deserves a great deal of credit for their performance. I have to mention a huge performance by LT Mario Henderson. I had my concerns about him making his first NFL start, but just as Head Coach Lane Kiffin stated he would be, he was outstanding.
Mario Henderson had a baptism by fire and responded well and really stepped up and met the challenge. What was thought to be a weakness turned into a seamless addition to the offensive line. The best thing about it was that you never heard his or any of the linemen’s names.
Trust me, when the offensive line is virtually anonymous until the outcome of a game has already been decided, that unit played well.
The Raiders outgained the Chiefs 355 yards of total offense to 190. The win was the Raiders' second straight in Kansas City.