ThanOakland Raiders believed that if they could count on anything this year, it was that they'd have a strong run game as long as star running back Darren McFadden stayed healthy. Unfortunately, that has been the farthest thing from the truth so far. Coming into their game against the Kansas City Chiefs, McFadden had only breached 100 yards in a game one time this season, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But in that game, McFadden had a 64 yard run early on. The rest of the game, he averaged less than three yards per carry. On Sunday, McFadden averaged just under four yards per carry and had more ten plus yard runs than he had in the previous six games combined. That consistency in the run game allowed the Raiders to chew clock and keep the Chiefs defense honest.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders defense absolutely smothered the third best running game in the league in 2012. The Raiders held Jamaal Charles to four yards on five carries and if not for the 53 yards put up on QB scrambles, the Chiefs would have been held to less than 50 yards on the ground. The Raiders pass defense showed up as well, taking advantage of the poor play by Kansas City quarterbacks and coming away with two interceptions. They allowed 16 points to be scored, but 7 of those points came in garbage time when you could tell that the Raiders defense had essentially shut down.
Carson Palmer continued on his steady pace towards one of the best statistical seasons he has ever had. He threw for 200 plus yards for thirteenth straight game, something no one else in Raiders history has done. If not for an interception on the first play of the game, Palmer would have had a very good game. But even the interception was not entirely his fault. If Darrius Heyward-Bey comes back for that ball the same way that Stanford Routt did, it would have been an incomplete pass at worst. If McFadden can continue to run as consistently as he did today, Palmer and the rest of Raiders offense will be very improved and the Raiders will be more capable of actually contesting for a playoff spot this year.