Chiefs Are Playoff Bound After Another Blowout
By Eric Paolini
After a performance in which they had almost as many forced turnovers (seven) as touchdowns (eight), the Kansas City Chiefs are officially playoff bound.
For the second straight game, the Chiefs poured on the offense, albeit against another poor defensive team. The 2013 Oakland Raiders will be known as the team that allowed Jamaal Charles to find the end zone five times and for Nick Foles to throw for seven touchdowns in the same season.
Charles, once again, showed why he should be on the short list of non-quarterback MVP candidates. He won’t get closer to winning the award or be in serious contention any more than Adrian Peterson did last year, but his candidacy is similar to Peterson’s last year. Charles has carried most of the offensive burden for the Chiefs all season long. It was no different against Oakland. Charles nearly beat the Raiders single-handedly.
Charles started his scoring early. On the very first play of scrimmage, Charles took an Alex Smith pass 49 yards for the game’s first points. While that would normally be the highlight for a game, Charles was only just getting started. Charles crossed the goal line four more times, including scores of 71 and 39 yards out. Charles almost matched his scoring total from the entirety of last year in just one afternoon.
Most of the Chiefs’ offense came from the passing game. Since Charles is pretty much the Chiefs’ offense, most of his production came from the passing game as well. Charles picked up only 20 yards on the ground, but scorched the Raiders for nearly 200 receiving yards. Backup running back Knile Davis had the more productive day on the ground, picking up 14 more yards than Charles on only one more carry.
Except for a brief period in the middle of the game, this was hardly a contest. Like last week, Kansas City scored at least 35 points in the first half. According to Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats and Info) the Chiefs are the only team to score 35+ first half points in back to back weeks.
The Chiefs’ offense stagnated, the defense took a break from forcing turnovers and the Raiders took advantage of the opportunity and scored 21 unanswered points at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third. A 35-10 blowout briefly became a competitive contest. That is until Charles scored from 71 yards out, Taiwan Jones fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Sean McGrath caught a six-yard touchdown pass four plays later.
Fourteen points in just over three minutes of game time can deflate a team. The Raiders’ comeback hopes died then. A couple of turnovers and another Chiefs touchdown happened before the game officially ended in the second blowout in a row for Kansas City.
It remains to be seen how much longer the not-so-new, but much improved Chiefs offense will last. Kansas City has put 101 points on the board in the last two games, which certainly won't last. But the general uptick in offense over the last month is an encouraging sign, especially if Charles continues to play out of his mind.