The Oakland Raiders beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a monumental game last Sunday. The Raiders improved to 5-4 while the Chiefs slipped to 5-3. The Raiders are now above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2002 and only 1/2 game back for the AFC West lead.
The match-up featured the Chiefs top ranked rushing attack and the Raiders #2 ground game. Most thought the difference was going to be the Raiders inability to stop the run. The Raiders are and have been ranked near the bottom of the league when it comes to stopping the opposing team's ground game.
Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones fed off one another and have been virtually unstoppable this year. Darren McFadden has been pretty much unstoppable for the Raiders aside from the two games he missed with a hamstring injury. McFadden leads the league in yards after contact, with his aggressive running style paying off big time in his third year.
McFadden finished the day with 89 yards on 17 carries. Not eye popping numbers but Jamal Charles and Thomas Jones finished the day with a combined total of 85 yards on 29 total carries. Tyvonn Branch delivered a big hit on Thomas Jones early and set the tone for the rest of the game.
Richard Seymour was also wreaking havoc on Kansas City RBs all day long. He consistently got penetration and disrupted the Chiefs running game. He made some big plays and they all came exactly when the Raiders needed them.
The difference was that the defense didn't give any long runs to the Chiefs. Jamaal Charles longest run of the day went for 13 yards, while Thomas Jones' biggest run was for just seven yards. Jones finished with just 32 yards on 19 carries. Charles got beat up by the Raiders defense and was limited to just 10 rushing attempts.
Darren McFadden is playing as good if not better than any other RB in the NFL. He has adapted a fearless running style that is a lot of fun to watch. McFadden no longer avoids contact or looks for the sideline: He now gets low and delivers hits that Jack Tatum would have been proud of.