Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders: Jacoby Ford Tears It Up in Raider Win!
The game between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs was truly a "tale of two halves."
The Raiders looked horrific in the first half. They gave the Chiefs five first downs on penalty and racked up more penalty yards than they gained on offense—134-130.
It was ugly—at best.
That said, great teams make adjustments at half time and do what's necessary to win in the second half.
The Raiders did just that.
Clemson rookie Jacoby Ford had a break out game, the defense held the best rushing offense in the NFL to 84 yards under their season average, and Darren McFadden gained 114 total yards.
There were more players than just Ford and McFadden who chipped in to help the Raiders win this important divisional game.
Let's have a look at who they were...
Richard Seymour led the Raiders with eight tackles. That's pretty impressive for a defensive tackle as this is a feat usually reserved for linebackers and safeties.
Eight tackles is a great day for a player at his position, but Seymour provided much more for the Raiders than a few tackles.
He provided leadership.
When the offense struggled in the first half, Seymour didn't allow the defense to get discouraged and give up. He stayed vocal, strong and kept the Raider defense focused.
In overtime, Seymour argued with the referee about the coin toss. Did he have anything to complain about? I don't know, but it sure is nice to have a player that will look for, and try anything to improve his team's chances to win.
Mike Mitchell has been coming on strong for the Raiders lately. Covering opposing tight ends, knocking out receivers and supporting the run.
Raider Nation has come to really embrace this young safety.
In Sunday's game, Mitchell was getting his usual, situational playing time when the expression, "You're only one play from getting on the field" came true.
Tyvon Branch suffered a concussion and Mitchell was forced into a full-time role. Mitchell took advantage of his opportunity and played great.
Mitchell tallied seven tackles and was instrumental in controlling Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs league leading rushing attack.
No one wants to get their shot due to an injury of a teammate, but Mitchell did his job and helped the Raiders win.
I have been critical of Ricky Brown in the past and I was worried when I heard he was in the game on Sunday. I must admit, he played better than I thought he was capable.
Brown didn't exactly tear it up, but he was solid.
Brown made just three tackles but did a decent job replacing stud rookie Rolando McClain. He kept the defense lined up correctly and played his heart out.
Although he should never be a starter, he can get the job done when the Raiders need him to. That's called "depth" and it's a good thing for the Raiders.
The more he plays, the better Matt Shaughnessy gets.
Shaughnessy recorded just five tackles, but that was good enough for third on the team. Those stats don't really tell the story of how well he played.
The Chiefs running game was number one in the league coming into Sunday's game. Shaughnessy was not impressed by this fact.
"Setting the edge" is a term we hear when referring to great defensive end play. It allows the defense to control the edge of the line of scrimmage and frees up the linebackers and safeties to fly to the ball unfettered.
Shaughnessy did a great job at this particular discipline.
The Chiefs run game was stifled most of the day, and it had a lot to do with how well Shaughnessy set the edge against the Chiefs left tackle, Brandon Albert.
Tommy Kelly plays one of the most unheralded positions in the NFL. The "one technique" defensive tackle.
Kelly may be one of the most active one technique tackles in the league. He was all over the field on Sunday against the Chiefs.
He recorded three tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. However, it was more than stats that made Kelly stand out.
A defensive tackle's job is to soak up blocks and control the interior gaps. This is exactly what Kelly did.
There was virtually no running room for the Chiefs between the guards. This is the primary reason I have both Kelly and Seymour on this list of standout players.
Defensive Honorable Mentions
This was a game when Nnamdi Asomugha and Rolando McClain didn't play and the Raiders needed some of the back ups to play well—and boy did they!
Jeremy Ware: Made some rookie mistakes, but made up for it by getting an interception at a critical time.
Chris Johnson: Made some bad plays, but made some great deflections too.
Michael Huff: Seemed to be around the ball the whole game and got seven tackles and a sack.
Quentin Groves: Didn't play great in coverage, but had seven tackles against the run.
It was a full team effort on defense. There isn't room for every one.
Going against the seventh ranked run defense in the league isn't an easy task, but Darren McFadden got his job done anyway.
89 yards rushing and 25 receiving yards for a total of 114 total yards isn't earth shattering, but it's solid nonetheless.
McFadden did have a fumble on the sloppy wet field, but more than made up for it by being productive against a very good defense.
Let's be honest, Jason Campbell played pretty bad in the first half. Okay, he played terrible in the first half.
Early on, he looked panicked, confused and missed an opportunity for a big touchdown by badly under-throwing a wide open Darius Heyward-Bey on a perfectly set up flea-flicker.
It's a good thing football games have two halves.
Campbell came out in the second half and led the Raiders to their third straight win against a hated division rival.
Campbell finished the day 19 of 33 for 229 yards, one touchdown and only one interception.
It wasn't extraordinary, but it was enough to win. That's all Raider Nation cares about.
After being forced into the starting line up due to the injury to starter Zach Miller, Brandon Myers played admirably.
Myers didn't light up the stat sheet, he caught three balls for just 20 yards, but he was still a very integral part of the win.
Myers did a fantastic job in pass and run blocking.
He helped rookie Jared Veldheer with pass rushing specialist Tamba Hali on occasion. He was even singled up on blitzing linebackers and defensive ends from time to time.
Myers held his ground in every situation.
Without a great day from Myers, the running game isn't as effective, and Jason Campbell winds up on his back more often.
What can I say? Khalif Barnes was a "big-time" free agent that hasn't really worked out—until now.
Not only did Barnes do a nice job when asked to come in as the third tackle in a jumbo set, but he showed that he can catch too!
Barnes caught the only touchdown pass the Raiders had on Sunday. It was on a beautifully designed, timed and executed tackle-eligible play near the goal line.
Well done Khalif!
I assume the game ball went to Jacoby Ford. If not, he got robbed!
Six catches for 148 yards and 156 return yards, including a 94 yard touchdown to open the second half. This was indeed a break-out game for Ford.
It wasn't so much the amount of yards or catches, but when he got them that made Ford's impact so huge.
A great adjustment to make a catch that set up the go ahead score, out "efforting" Brandon Flowers for the catch that set up the game tying field goal and the 47 yard catch that set up the game winner in overtime.
"Clutch" doesn't even begin to describe what Ford was on Sunday. I think the best word for his performance is "magical!"
Ford should give Raider Nation hope for the future of the wide receiver position.
Offensive Honorable Mentions
Raider Nation: The Coliseum was officially sold out for the first time in a long time. This affected the game!
Johnnie Lee-Higgins: 3 catches for 22 yards
Marcel Reece: Only 3 touches for 12 yards, but did a nice job blocking in the run game.
The offense looked good in the second half, but needs to become more consistent.
I'm sure some of you disagree with my list, and that's okay. The entire team played very well in the second half.
I'm still a little worried about the lack of consistency however. If the Raiders have another opening half like this, better teams will put them away.
The biggest thing I take away from this game is the quality of depth the Raiders displayed.
Zach Miller, John Henderson, Louis Murphy, Rolando McClain, Tyvon Branch and Chaz Schilens didn't play or left the game, but the back ups came in and got the job done.
This is very encouraging for the rest of the season.
What do you say Raider Nation? Who did I miss? Who doesn't deserve to be on this list? Let me hear you in the comments.
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