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.”


Steve Corkran

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    My nails are gorgeous, FYI.

  • Dakota

    What happened to the collapse option?

  • the authoritative dr robert

    Why laugh in the face of football history?

  • Dakota

    Oh, never mind, I found it!

  • Draft Manziel pay Hakeem Knicks BAM instant offense.

  • the authoritative dr robert

    U hyenas should really just listen to me more:

    Tony Romo helped, but Matt Flynn’s second half saved the Packers.

    When the strangest game of his life was over, the 37-36 win over Dallas in Texas on Sunday, Matt Flynn jumped around the locker room with his teammates—yes, they really jumped around, “like little kids at recess,” Flynn said—and then he sat for a few minutes with his offensive linemen. “Did that really just happen?” he said to them.

    “I mean, we couldn’t believe it,” Flynn, still hoarse from the game, said via cell phone when the Packers landed back in Wisconsin. “How do you explain that? I don’t know that you can. When we were in the locker room at halftime [down 26-3], did we really think there was a chance, the way we played, that we could come back and win the game? Not really. Then, at the end of the game, when we get the ball back and the one-point lead, we were so giddy because we did the math on the sidelines and realized we could just run the clock out by kneeling. I had to say to [center] Evan Dietrich-Smith, ‘Make sure the snap is clean,’ because we were so happy and we needed to concentrate on getting three snaps done.”

    “It’s all worth it now. This is the best day I’ve had in the NFL … and if you have to go through some tough times to get there, well, that’s the way it goes.”
    Flynn started believing when he dumped a three-yard TD to tight end Andrew Quarless with 16 minutes left in the game. That made it 29-17, and the fact that it was a two-score game after how poorly the Packers had played made it seem realistic they could catch up. After holding Dallas, they scored again—but this is when a Tramon Williams interception was overturned on review. And Romo went on to drive the length of the field then, re-establishing a 12-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

    (Tim Sharp/AP)
    “By then,” Flynn said, “we were in the game. We thought we could do it. The ball was coming out of my hand great, and I knew we’d have a chance at least to come back.”

    Ten plays and 80 yards later, through the sieve of the Dallas defense, Flynn hit James Jones for a short touchdown and it was 36-31, with 4:17 to play. Green Bay needed a stop. Something better happened for them. Romo should have been handing to DeMarco Murray then, just to run the clock. But he was still throwing, and Sam Shields made a good read and pick on a crossing route. “On the next series,” Flynn said, “I checked from a pass to a run twice, because they were in a two-deep.” Burgeoning star Eddie Lacy got the benefit of one of those checks, and barreled to the Dallas 4. A minute later he flew over from the one, and it was 37-36. Romo obliged with another pick on the next series, and then, incredibly after trailing by 23 at the half, Green Bay had to bleed the final 90 seconds by kneeling.

    It’s been a long, strange trip for Flynn. Traded from Seattle to Oakland to be the starter before the 2013 draft. Lost the Raiders’ starting job to Terrelle Pryor late in preseason. Cut by Oakland in October. Signed by Buffalo a week later. Cut by Buffalo on Nov. 4, in the afternoon. Four hours later Aaron Rodgers was smashed to the Lambeau turf in a Monday night game against Chicago, suffering a broken collarbone. The next week Flynn was back with the Packers. He suffered through the ignominy of the Thanksgiving Day massacre by the Lions, and in the last two weeks Green Bay has beaten Atlanta and Dallas (Flynn is 50 of 71 for 557 yards, five touchdowns and two picks in those two games), keeping the seat warm for Rodgers. Look for Rodgers to return next Sunday to face Pittsburgh.

    “It’s all worth it now,” Flynn said. “This is the best day I’ve had in the NFL. You work for a long time to have the kind of fun we had today, and if you have to go through some tough times to get there, well, that’s the way it goes.”

  • Al_is_theraiders

    just reading your stats again…while they play zone.

  • Mike_Trail

    He traded down with the Dolpins, Bucs, Seahawks, and the Texans in the same draft….so pardon my assumption that its his M.O…

  • Mike_Trail


  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    SS Tyvon Branch, LB Sio Moore, LB Nick Roach, CB Tracy Porter and CB DJ Hayden and Raiderettes will help Marines collect toy donations (valued at $20 or more) in exchange for autographs at the Southland Mall Raider Image in Hayward, Calif., tonight from 6-8 p.m.

  • the authoritative dr robert

    Playing zone…..poorly.

    U do realize there are tons of teams playing zone well.

  • Mike_Trail

    I never heard that…everything I read they all liked him…that’s why the rumor seemed so strange to me.

  • JOn Wooah

    Lets talk about something Positive.. how about that TAIWAN JONES CATCH??? That was nice.. fighting for extra yards and taking it to the 5.. I love his determination.

    The fumble on the kickoff was just trying to make something happen.. I cant let that be a negative since that catch was nice.

  • kenchun24

    Reece quick read(and pass) for the punt pass fake audible was cool too.

  • Mike_Trail

    I have no problem with Zone defenses….man under with a zone over the top is just fine if you have the players to play it…We don’t….and looks like the Cowboys with GURU Monte Tampon Deuce is having quite the hard time with it. Just depends. Man D’ just bugs the living hell out of me because QB’ can constantly nick you with the first down scramble because the middle opens up like the Red Sea…

  • Al_is_theraiders

    jones needs more touches.

  • aig-raiders

    Houston has way more talent and much more attractive than ours. They are truly 1 qb away from competing again.

  • Al_is_theraiders

    are their any “screen” doors there?

  • Mike_Trail

    Oh God, make it stop!

  • JOn Wooah

    Taiwan jones just looks like a football player.. every time he gets the ball or tackles.. it just says.. Im a football player.. hard to explain.. but I love his versatility. PERIOD. GET MORE TOUCHES FOR TAIWAN

  • Al_is_theraiders

    you dont say? seattle plays press man…and?

  • Buckarama

    I think the toys already scored 21 points

  • (Best Reggie McKenzie voice) Listen guys listen we are just getting started please be patient next year we can lose by more than 50 points per game if we all stay focused and work at sucking together…

  • He got three of them yesterday, and fumbled once and nearly fumbled again.

  • Too bad the NFL didn’t donate a dollar for every yard a RB gained against us this season….some lucky charity would be thriving!

  • yeah……there is a reason he is playing defense.

  • wildsach

    Peyton & Broncos will def “light-up” the BlackHole.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    charity was Reggie becoming an NFL GM because Ron Wolf said it might be a good idea (to get his son promoted) …

  • Davy Jones


  • Mike_Trail

    That would be freakin awesome IMO–then draft at least 1 AJ Green prototype…..and its off to
    the races..

  • Chuck

    Mcgloin can’t run 93 yards,he can’t roll out with people on him and throw a strike 20 yards and most important he can’t win more than 1 game and that is with a healthy o-line.

  • Dakota

    I agree….but there is more than one quality HC out there. Besides, who wants to live in Houston besides Dwight Howard?

  • wildsach

    yeah, that’s the way it is. Most of all SB teams were built that way.

  • Dakota

    I am trying!

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    Reggie would never say that! He’ll say something about getting the “right players” and “right coaches” in here to turn this thing around. Then he’ll say that he expected to win more games than we have and that everybody will be evaluated. He’ll say that we didn’t expect the injuries to Hayden & Watson or Murray & Bergstrom, but he expects all 4 of these players to be heathy & ready to contribute next season. the QB position will be looked at, just like every position.

  • Raidertalk

    On a positive note…I’ve never seen a Fullback as fast Marcel Reese.

  • kuhlest

    eehhhh, when you put it like that ….how does he keep his job?

    Ken Whizenhunt anyone? he has been OC at SD this year taken AZ to SB as HC and won a SB as Pit OC….

    SD has the #6 overall offense this year…

  • Okay so I elaborated on what Reggie would really say and added my our shlt to it…..it was meant as sarcasm RR

  • FourMoreYears


    In the future, the NFL will adopt a golf style scoring system, where the team with the least amount of points wins. DA is years ahead of the curve!


  • Chuck

    Maybe it is because Pryor gave the team hope if you don’t remember everyone wondered if we would win a game.Pryor also never had a healthy o-line either.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    he’ll also say how much he likes Veldheer & Houston. That he’s in talks with their agents and he is hopeful both players can be retained – same with a handful of other veterans like Jenkins, Porter, Woodson, Burnett, etc

  • You and I are in agreement on that…I personally think Ron Wolf was promoting his son by shipping Reggie to Oakland

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    it’s not a conspiracy theory. it’s what ACTUALLY HAPPENED!

  • J Hill

    Except it was John Madden’s seal of approval that got McKenzie hired here i Oakland.

  • What I wish he would say is….mark has informed me that a more qualified person has replaced me as the GM of the Oakland Raiders.

  • wildsach

    not so. Ask Peyton Manning, how he faired out vs good play by the SD defense last wk.

  • rifflicks


  • wildsach

    remove QB’s, then insert D.

  • kuhlest


  • Dakota

    In theory Madden seemed like a good guy to ask, but when you really think about it, he probably isn’t the right guy to make that suggestion since he never did the job himself, has been out of the loop for many many years, and frankly, just likes to make silly noises.