Oakland, Calif. The defense dominated, the running game clicked and the Oakland Raiders finally ended up on the winning end for the first time in seven weeks.
If only the Raiders could play the Kansas City Chiefs more often.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked five field goals, Darren McFadden rushed for 110 yards, and the Raiders shut out Kansas City for the second time ever, beating the Chiefs 15-0 on Sunday.
“It’s extremely hard to shut anybody out. It doesn’t matter who they are. That’s an accomplishment that we take great pride in,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “I think it’s huge. Our guys needed something where they get a little bit of confidence.”
The Raiders (4-10) overwhelmed the undermanned Chiefs (2-12) to snap a six-game losing streak. Sandwiched around those losses are two wins over Kansas City, a rare bright spot in this disappointing season in Oakland.
There has been little to cheer for this season for the Chiefs, who have lost 10 of 11 games and are tied for the second most losses in franchise history behind a 2-14 mark in 2008. Kansas City’s only win since September came the day after linebacker Javon Belcher killed his girlfriend before committing suicide at the team’s practice facility.
“Offensively we couldn’t get much done at all,” coach Romeo Crennel said. “Couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t throw the ball, got into the red zone and couldn’t get any points. Defensively we tried to hang in there but we missed too many tackles and on third down we were unable to get off the field and allowed them to keep drives alive and end up with field goals.”
About the only bright spot from this loss is it kept Kansas City in the running for the No. 1 overall draft pick. The Chiefs and Jaguars are tied with the worst record in the NFL with two weeks remaining.
This matchup between two old AFL rivals lacked the meaning many of the past meetings had with both teams entering the game with at least 10 losses for the first time ever.
The quality of play matched the poor records for much of the day as the Chiefs took nearly 40 minutes to earn their initial first down of the game and the Raiders failed to reach the end zone.
But strong running by McFadden and Mike Goodson giving the Raiders a season-high 203 yards rushing, Carson Palmer playing turnover-free for the first time since September and the Raiders dominating defensively, Oakland came out on top.
“It just feels great to be able to go out there and run the ball the way we did,” McFadden said. “We did a great job running and the offensive line did a great job. Just a good all-around game for us.”
The Raiders held Jamaal Charles to 10 yards rushing on nine carries, giving him 14 yards on 14 carries in two games against Oakland this season. Brady Quinn was 18 for 32 for 136 yards and an interception as he missed injured receiver Dwayne Bowe.
Kansas City’s best play was a 42-yard run by Charles that got called back by a holding penalty on guard Joe Asamoah.
“That was kind of how the day went,” Quinn said. “We’d have a big play like that and a penalty. A guy wide open and a dropped ball or I wouldn’t be able to have time to throw it. We just weren’t able to sustain any sort of consistency the entire day.”
The Chiefs finally got a first down with just more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter when Dexter McCluster fought for 8 yards on a catch on third-and-6. Two penalties by Oakland gave Kansas City 42 yards and helped set up Kansas City with first-and-goal from the 9. But the drive stalled when Charles was tackled at the 8 by Matt Giordano after a short catch on fourth down.
Kansas City also failed to capitalize on a fumble by McFadden that Justin Houston recovered at the Oakland 18. An offensive pass interference and four straight incompletions by Quinn gave the ball back to the Raiders and helped seal the shutout.
The last time the Raiders recorded a shutout came in the 2002 regular season finale when they beat Kansas City 24-0. That was also the only other time they shutout the Chiefs in this long rivalry.
“We had a rough season, and it was our last home game, so we wanted to go out there and prove to our fans that we’re still playing with heart and passion, we’re still giving it everything we’ve got,” safety Tyvon Branch said. “So this was one of those games, it was like a fan appreciation game.”
The fans even got to see third quarterback Terrelle Pryor for the first time all season. He entered to cheers on the first series of the second quarter. The former Ohio State star player handed off on his first two plays and threw an incompletion on third down before Palmer returned to the game.
“It’s a stepping stone, a step,” Pryor said. “I enjoyed the four plays or whatever it was. It’s a stepping stone, and I was excited to get in there at least.”
NOTES: Kansas City was held scoreless for the first time since Dec. 12, 2010, at San Diego. ... The Raiders won a game without a TD for the first time since a 15-13 win against San Diego in 2000. ... The 119 yards allowed by the Raiders are the fewest since they gave up 93 to the Chargers in a 6-0 win in 1975.