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Charles ‘surprised’ by lack of attention from Raiders defense on screen passes

OAKLAND – Three times early in Sunday’s game against the Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith targeted running back Jamaal Charles on screen passes. Three times, Charles caught the ball, turned upfield and encountered little resistance before he reached the end zone.
Overall, Charles caught all eight passes directed his way for 195 yards and four touchdowns. For good measure, he added 20 yards rushing and a fifth touchdown in the Chiefs 56-31 win over the Raiders at the Coliseum.
“I have no clue,” Raiders free safety Charles Woodson said, when asked how Charles could run wild time and again. “You’ve seen screens get out of the gate before, but to have a team go back to it and beat you almost every time, there’s no explanation for it.
“It shouldn’t happen; it did happen but it shouldn’t. I don’t know, man, that’s hard to watch a guy run up and down the field like that, basically untouched.”
Basically? Cornerback Phillip Adams might have made slight contact with Charles on the first play of the game. Or, more like it, Charles might have made contact with Adams as he hurdled him on his way to a 49-yard touchdown.
Adams definitely made it into the end zone untouched on his two other touchdowns off screen passes. That included a third-and-19 play on the Chiefs second possession of the game, with Charles weaving his way through the Raiders defense for a 39-yard touchdown.
He also scored on a 16-yard screen pass late in the second quarter. For good measure, Charles hauled in a well-thrown pass from Smith, juked Woodson near midfield and continued into the end zone for a 71-yard touchdown that sealed the outcome after the Raiders cut the lead to 35-31.
“I thought I was going to get (swarmed) on the screen plays,” Charles said. “I was surprised. When I saw nobody on me, I was like, ‘Whoa I have to go.’ Especially the third-and-long one I was surprised.”
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said the Chiefs didn’t catch his players offguard. Charles simply made plays when given opportunities.
“That’s what happens when you get an explosive player like Jamaal Charles in space,” Allen said. “He’s hoping you miss tackles and get out of position a little bit.”
That’s precisely what happened, Woodson and Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter said.
“When you get a guy like that in space, you expect to score touchdowns,” Porter said of the Chiefs’ expectations. “If you don’t rally to him, he’s going to have a big day like he had today. … It happened on a few occasions and it simply can’t happen.”
The 195 yards receiving by Charles represents the third most by a running back since the merger in 1970. His four receiving touchdowns are more than he had in any of his first five NFL seasons or in his first 13 games combined before Sunday.
There wasn’t much to suggest Charles being such a force in the passing game Sunday.
Charles caught five of the nine passes directed his way the first time the Chiefs and Raiders played this season. He netted 50 yards on those receptions, with a long of 24.
Yet, the Chiefs gleaned from the first meeting that the Raiders defense has a penchant for pinning back its ears and getting after the quarterback. In turn, that makes them vulnerable to screens, Smith said.
“They were such a big pressure team, they have such high volume on their defense,” Smith said. “They got away with it the first game.”
Not the second time around. The capper came when the Chiefs dialed up a wheel route to Charles late in the third quarter on a third-and-one play.
Charles flared out of the backfield, got behind linebacker Miles Burris and hauled in Smith’s perfectly placed pass and turned it into a backbreaking touchdown. Just as the Chiefs expected.
“I saw that one coming in practice,” Charles said. “Our coach said this probably can go (for a touchdown) if they play the right cover on me. I saw the linebacker on me. … He said you’ll have to beat one guy on this play, and I did.”

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Steve Corkran

  • Big Tom ‘the hand’ Cable

    If we lose next week to the Chargers like 45-0, then that will be proof positive that the players have quit on Allen. Players don’t like being thrown under the bus, especially by a HC who is 8-22. But Rivers is a head case, so all we got to do is get in his head and watch his nutts crumble.

  • Big Tom ‘the hand’ Cable

    Flynn did. He never wanted to be here and showed the organization he meant it.

  • SnBG

    What’s up O? How’s it hangin?

  • wildsach

    my pref is Good D, Good run game, Good QB.
    Why I think Raiders will drastically improve next next w/ building the D.

  • plunkhead

    Easy there, some of the folks here knew before hand that TP, Flynn, MM, reg and DA would stink the day they were inked.
    You might be messing with the supernatural

  • Al_is_theraiders

    most points ever allowed by the raiders….ever.
    DA/Shrek era.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    As HC of the Miami Dolphins (2008-2011) Tony Sparano hired Dan Henning & Brian Daboll as OC’s. Paul Pasqualoni & Mike Nolan as DC’s. <— not bad!

  • kuhlest

    ziggy Ansah has 7 sacks, and has been injured for a couple of games, still has 3 games to go, who was the last 10 sack player we’ve had?

  • wildsach

    BINGO !

  • Dakota

    DA’s resume:

    56 points allowed-franchise record

    55 points allowed, last year’s franchise record

    7 TDs to some nobody QB-NFL record

    Made Jamal Charles look like Gale Sayers

    Made Geno Smith look good

    Gave up 169 points in a 4 game stretch last year-franchise record

    Made Doug Martin famous

    Defense has given up over 400 yards offense 12 times in 30 games

    Has ZERO wins against teams that were above .500 when we played them

    Couldn’t beat one lousy NFC East team

    Couldn’t get wins with an easy 2013 schedule

    finished 2013 strong with a probable 1-8 record down the stretch.

    ….but hey, at least we aren’t getting as many penalties called against us!

  • plunkhead

    Same as Palmer?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Slightly disconcerting.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    Pryor plays SD pretty well. if McGloin starts, struggles and loses ?? that probably won’t go over well with the players or ahem, Mark/Reggie either

  • HELLSBELLS

    So our you for DA or against him?

  • SnBG

    Carr and Manziel are waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than what we have now. Hundley and Boyd are better than what we have now.

  • Al_is_theraiders

    lmao! papa making lundy scream out “screen!” he wants ross, adams, and SIO moore to hear it!

  • Al_is_theraiders

    next year he will allow a 57 pt game.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    Gale Sayers had like 20 rushing yards and 200 receiving yards?? link & source plz

  • kuhlest

    SF??? they had A. Smith for several years before they were good, Kap was a backup plan

  • Al_is_theraiders

    and shrek gets to raise the salary cap trophy…

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Sucked last year. Got 5 turnovers this year.

  • the authoritative dr robert

    @JoshDubowAP: Passer rating in 2 years vs Allen/Tarver D is NFL high 100.3. Last 8 full seasons of Al Davis defense was 86 #raiders

  • Al_is_theraiders

    still like zone defense?

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    yes x4

  • Big Tom ‘the hand’ Cable

    And the tarps. Can’t leave that off the list.

  • The_Civilian_James_Trapp

    A guy I use to talked to told me Denise was better than Hue cuz he got rid of the penalties

  • Mike_Trail

    Thought this was an interesting tidbit about D.A–”There are some grumblings that Allen keeps players, and most everyone else for that matter, at an arm’s length…”
    So much for an open door policy eh?

  • The_Civilian_James_Trapp

    Raleigh

  • the authoritative dr robert

    I like a multiple defense. But zone can be great if played properly.

  • Big Tom ‘the hand’ Cable

    He also got rid of the wins. Now all he does is break wind.

  • Dakota

    No, he keeps them at areola length.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Cutler or draft a QB?

  • the authoritative dr robert

    @Ccirrici: Look on the bright side @RAIDERS fans, we’re not the Redskins! Our top 10 pick, is ours, have $ to spend in 2014 and no Shanahans #Raiders

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    no taking players to the mall for mani/pedi’s like Hueball, eh? #depressing

  • Al_is_theraiders

    players dont like him…this isnt news.

  • Jim Jesus

    This is our new “Native” coach

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    as long as 1 of those 2 things happens, i’m good !!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    You see what a good QB does with that? Yesterday ring a bell?

  • Raideraholic

    Jerry Mac’s column titled “Grading the Raiders loss to the Chiefs” SHOULD be titled Degrading loss to the Chiefs.

  • the authoritative dr robert

    This a great story. For those that think qbs should be judged by wins and losses, and can’t understand the concept of it being a team game, make sure u read the last paragraph.

    No, Week 15 didn’t top Week 14, because you don’t top five lead changes in the last three minutes of a game (Baltimore-Minnesota) and a back (LeSean McCoy) running for 100 yards in eight inches of snow in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter at Philadelphia.

    But the stories in Week 15 … priceless. You just have to read the one, just six paragraphs south of here, about the man who was awakened in his California apartment a week ago today by the continual buzzing of his cell phone and a text from his agent imploring, “WAKE UP!” or he’d blow the chance of a lifetime: the chance to stare down Tom Brady and make the kind of play he was convinced he would never, ever have a chance to make because, you know, well, life’s not always fair to the undrafted guys who die on the vine on practice squads around the league. Michael Thomas, come on down! And there will be other stories. But here’s what you should know about the NFL pennant race with 33 games left in the regular season:

    Five of the top six playoff seeds in the league lost over the weekend—by an average of 10 points. Anyone want to win the AFC? The Broncos ceded top seed in the AFC to New England by losing Thursday night. The Patriots gave it right back by losing Sunday afternoon and plummeting down to the third seed. The Bengals then lost Sunday night, going from second to third. End result: Nothing happened at the top of the AFC race. Absolutely nothing.

    A lot happened in the NFC. Seattle looked like the ’76 Steelers shutting out the ’76 Bucs in the 23-0 whipping of the Giants, who were stunningly non-competitive. And three divisions got very interesting:

    NFC North: Three teams separated by a half-game: Chicago (8-6), Detroit (7-6), Green Bay (7-6-1). The Packers’ win in Dallas, which, as I’ll explain in a few moments, had the victorious quarterback still emotional when he landed back in Wisconsin early this morning, may end up totally retooling the division. The Pack had been left for dead at 6-6-1, with Matt Flynn playing for a bitterly disappointed Aaron Rodgers, who wanted to start in Dallas but was overruled by the team doc. But the Packers found a bizarre way, thanks to Tony Romo’s generosity, to stay alive. If Green Bay wins out (Pittsburgh at home, at Chicago) and Detroit loses just one of its last three (Baltimore tonight, Giants next week, at Minnesota to close), Green Bay wins the division … and Chicago and Detroit wouldn’t even have a chance to be wild cards.

    NFC South: The Saints have bristled against the they-stink-on-the-road label, but let’s face it: They stink on the road. They were crushed by the weirdo Rams in the Ed Jones Dome, and now they face an uphill battle to win the NFC South. Carolina wins the division by winning out (Saints at home, then at Atlanta), and the Saints, as the fifth or sixth playoff seed, could have a ridiculous path to a second world title in the Brees era: at a team like Philly or Detroit in a wild card game, at Carolina in a divisional game and at Seattle for the conference championship … all for the right to play a potentially sleety outdoor Super Bowl in New Jersey, when the Saints have lost four of their last five road games. Pardon the good people of Louisiana if they aren’t catching playoff fever this morning.

    NFC West: Seattle looks like a lock for home field. Now the question is: Can surprisingly 9-5 Arizona reach the playoffs by winning two brutal games: at Seattle, San Francisco at home? It’s amazing that the Cards are in it at all, with the pace the Niners and Panthers have been setting. The good news for Arizona: Any team that’s 6-1 in a seven-game stretch cannot be ignored. The bad news: The Cards lost their last game at Seattle 58-0.

    * * *

    Miami snapped the schneid against the Pats. A guy some Dolphins don’t know was key.

    Last Monday morning, San Francisco practice squad safety Michael Thomas was sleeping in on a victory Monday for the Niners. A day off, other than getting a lift and a workout in at some point during the day. At 10:20 a.m., late for Thomas, he finally paid attention to the vibrating phone and sat up. He’d missed four calls from his agent, Christina Phillips, and a text that said, “WAKE UP! There’s a team that wants you. If you don’t wake up soon they’re going to move on.” Thomas called, and the team was Miami. There was no time to think. Miami was offering a spot on the 53-man roster, the Holy Grail for practice squad players, and seeing that Thomas had spent all 22 game weeks last year and all 14 weeks so far this year on the San Francisco practice squad, he figured he’d better grab an active-roster spot. There was a flight at 2:30 from San Francisco to Miami, and he had to be on it. He made it, not even bothering to close down his Bay Area apartment. “No time,” he said. “I was just like, ‘Holy crap! I gotta go!’ ”

    Thomas began to get schooled Tuesday by Dolphins assistant defensive backs coach Blue Adams, but all week he got the sense that the more immediate focus would be on playing special teams against the Patriots Sunday. “I was going to start on the punt-return team, I knew that,” Thomas said Sunday afternoon from the Miami locker room. He took no defensive snaps all week.

    “I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty emotional. I was going out there knowing Tom Brady was coming after me.”
    The night before the game, Thomas heard about its importance: Miami hadn’t beaten New England in the last seven tries. If the Dolphins wanted to have a good shot at being a wild card team, this game was the big one. So on Sunday, Thomas went in and played his part, running down on two special teams units, making a tackle on one punt play. But by the fourth quarter, corners Nolan Carroll and Brent Grimes were down. Thomas is a safety. He played the position at Stanford and in practice for the Niners. But right now, in the last five minutes, Miami didn’t need a safety. The Dolphins had to have a corner.

    “You want your opportunity?” Adams said. “It’s time.”

    “I’m not gonna lie,” Thomas said by phone from the locker room Sunday afternoon, when it was over. “I was pretty emotional. I was going out there knowing Tom Brady was coming after me.”

    Michael Thomas’s breakup of a would-be Danny Amendola game-winning touchdown was the prelude to his game-clinching interception. (J Pat Carter/AP)
    On the first snap of the last New England series, Brady found Thomas. Brady threw to Danny Amendola for 11. On the second snap, he found Thomas. Brady threw to Shane Vereen for two. “I was out there, getting help from [safety] Reshad Jones,” said Thomas. “He’d basically tell me what to do on most plays, like where to go and who to cover.”

    Brady got to the Miami 19, with 27 seconds left. First down. The defense broke the huddle and saw the spread New England formation. Jones nodded over to Amendola, split right. “You got no help,” Jones said to Thomas.

    No help. A safety playing cornerback in his first NFL game, in his first NFL quarter, against Tom Brady, in single coverage against one of Brady’s favorite targets. Thomas ran with Amendola.

    “Then there it was,” Thomas said. “Tom Brady throwing at me.”

    The ball was over Thomas’ head, bound for Amendola’s hands. All Thomas could think of was the lesson he’d learned as a defensive back long ago. Play through his hands. As a trailer on the play, Thomas knew to do everything he could to disrupt the ball in Amendola’s hands, and he did. Thomas knocked the ball away. No touchdown. Huge play.

    Three plays later. Fourth-and-5 from the 14. Likely the last chance for Brady. This time Thomas would be in the slot, determined not to let a Patriots receiver get behind him with any cushion. Again Brady threw at Thomas, for Austin Collie, with another Dolphin also in coverage. The ball never got to Collie. Thomas jumped and picked it off.

    The players he barely knew now were jumping on him, slapping him, celebrating. “Mama, I did it! I did it!” Thomas yelled over and over, but no one could hear him. No one could hear anything, because the stadium was so loud. And after the game, he cried. In Joe Philbin’s post-game press conference, the coach seemed not to remember the name of the hero who broke up one touchdown pass in the end zone and then intercepted another. “We had a player in there that I think got into the building on Tuesday,” Philbin said. That just added to the lore.

    “I am overwhelmed,” said Thomas. “It is so much to realize, how my life has changed and how this happened—Tom Brady throwing at me, and I answered the call. The only thing I can say is I am blessed.”

    Next time you hear some coach say, “It takes all 53 to win,” think of Michael Thomas. Imagine if he’d slept a couple more hours last Monday. Maybe Miami would be on an eight-game losing streak to New England right now instead of a one-game winning streak.

  • Big Tom ‘the hand’ Cable

    He has to keep them at arms length cuz he breaks wind so much.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Could have Cutler and Clowny, Would prefer Manziel and Hardy/Johnson.

  • Jim Jesus

    Actually I think we are. Would have to check but I think we are above the middle in penalties

  • Dakota

    The franchise is in a much better position now….cap space, good draft position with a full compliment of picks, the crazy owner is dead, the franchise has been drug into the 21st century…..what makes you think people would not want this job?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Who? Oh, that 9/5 guy in the desert.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Ink stink?

  • wildsach

    you mean grade F to the D. I agree.

  • Dakota

    We are 27th in the NFL with 7.3 penalties per game, up from 6.8 penalties per game in 2012 (also ranked 27th), but down from 2011 where we were 32nd in the NFL with 10.2 penalties per game…..PROGRESS BABY! DA PROGRESS! THIS IS HIS CROWNING ACHEIVEMENT!

  • Al_is_theraiders

    lmao.

  • Al_is_theraiders

    watch shrek bring in the original flynn….schaub.