Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders off their 15-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum. Here are McDonald’s grades and comments:
Carson Palmer played a complementary role, for once, letting the running game and the defense control the game. Palmer was 18 of 29 for 182 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. He was fortunate on at least two passes, forced into coverage, were not intercepted.
A season-high 203 yards on 45 carries, 38 of which went for positive yardage (including a late kneel-down). Darren McFadden had 110 yards on 30 carries, Mike Goodson 89 on 12 attempts and the Raiders had 10 rushing first downs while amassing a 40:06 to 19:54 advantage in time of possession.
Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn struggled (five passing first downs), but he also faced third-and-long virtually the entire game. The Raiders kept Chiefs receivers covered for the most part, and Quinn missed the ones that were open. Joselio Hanson had his second interception of the season, and the Raiders had a season high four sacks from Philip Wheeler, Desmond Bryant, Andre Carter and Tommy Kelly.
The No. 5 rushing offense in the league was held to 10 yards on 10 carries. Feature back Jamal Charles had the 10 yards, on nine attempts. Kansas City had to abandon the run as the score mounted. In two games against the Raiders, Charles had 14 yards on 14 carries.
Sebastian Janikowski accounted for all the scoring with field goals of 20, 50, 57, 30 and 41 yards. He missed once from 51 yards — his third miss of the season. The only kickoff the Raiders received was a touchback. Shane Lechler punted four times for a 51.3-yard gross average and a 40.3 net. Denarius Moore looked lost on punt returns, giving way to Matt Giordano late.
The Raiders clearly were ready to play, and they were by far the more crisp and efficient team on both sides of the ball. The mixed coverages and occasional blitzes flummoxed Quinn, who for reasons unknown wasn’t given the hook. No problem with the conservative offensive calls and reliance on field goals. It was the right way to play the game for a team desperate to win.