Monday Morning Quarterback: Chiefs 31, Raiders 30
December 26th, 2004 @ 12:41 pm; by Raider Hater
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It wasn’t pretty, but all that matters is that the Chiefs found a way to win. They made plenty of mistakes, but they showed a lot of heart and never gave up, treating us all to a Christmas Day game to remember.
Here are some of my thoughts on the game:
Merry Christmas! Nothing like celebrating on Christmas Day with a sweep of the Raiders.
I thought both teams played with a lot of heart in this game. It would have been easy for one or both of them to just go through the motions, with it being Christmas Day and with both teams out of the playoff hunt, but they didn’t.
I really think this late season winning streak will prove vital next season when the Chiefs get all their injured players back and have some back-ups with some good experience. The young guys are learning on the fly, and learning how to win, and they will push the returning starters for playing time next year.
Lawrence Tynes had some bad luck on his first two field goal attempts, but he came up huge on his third attempt and the first game winner of his career.
How would you like to be with the team for less than a week and find yourself involved in the biggest play of the game? That’s just what happened to punter/holder Nick Murphy and he came up big on Tynes’ game winning field goal. By the way, he also punted twice for a an average of 55.5 yards.
Overall I thought the defense played pretty well today. They gave up 300 total yards and sixteen first downs to the Raiders, and forced them to punt five times. Not a Baltimore Raven type effort, but for the talent the Chiefs have on that side of the ball, they played about as well as you can hope for.
The defense came up big on several different occasions in this game, but two in particular.
-After the Chiefs were stopped on fourth-and-one at their own 46-yard line early in the 3rd quarter, the defense stepped up and forced the Raiders to go three-and-out.
-After Trent Green’s fumble with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter, the defense bent, but did not break, and held the Raiders to a field goal.
If Raiders rookie tackle Robert Gallery is allowed to wrap an arm around every defensive ends neck like he was allowed to do to Eric Hicks, he will have a great career.
His late fumble aside, Trent Green played one of the best games of his career. The Raiders were able to get some pressure on him in the second half and he did a great job of stepping away from the rush and still completing his passes downfield. His fourth quarter pass on third-and-twelve to Samie Parker was a missile – thrown only where Parker could catch it – and it led to a Kansas City touchdown.
Tony Gonzalez had a huge game and left no doubt that he is the best tight end in the NFL. He finished with eleven receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns and went over the 1,000 yard mark on the season.
With his six receptions for 79 yards, wide receiver Eddie Kennison also went over the 1,000 yard mark on the season.
Chris Horn and Samie Parker both stepped up huge in this game, just like they did last week in the win over Denver. Horn finished with four receptions for 43 yards and Parker recorded three receptions for 35 yards.
Larry Johnson may not have put up the numbers he had in the past three games, but he did run for 79 tough yards and two touchdowns.
I thought the play calling was terrible in the second half, especially late in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs were nursing a one-point lead and trying to run out the clock. I guess if the first down pass attempt would have gone for a big gain we would have been praising the call, but it didn’t, and it almost caused the Chiefs the game.
Dante Hall may not have made the Pro Bowl, but there’s still no one else I’d rather have returning a kick, especially with the game on the line. However, I am getting tired of seeing him yelling at his teammates because of a missed block on his returns. I didn’t see anyone yelling at him on that dropped pass that bounced of his hands and was almost intercepted.
CBS showed some of the worst angles (SkyCam I think they call it) to watch a football game from that I’ve ever seen, and they never seemed to have a good replay of any of the questionable penalties that occured during the game.