How Much Does the Raider Loss Hurt

The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Oakland Raiders 23-20 in overtime yesterday. The Chiefs were up 10-0 at halftime and it could have been more if it wasn’t for a late interception thrown by Matt Cassel in the red zone. The Raiders came out in the second half and returned the opening kick off 94 yards for a touchdown and then on the ensueing kick off Javier Arenas fumbled the ball and gave it right back to the Raiders. The Chiefs were able to hold the Raiders to a long field goal attempt, which Janikowski missed. The Chiefs lost the lead in the third quarter and then re-gained the lead late in the fourth quarter. Then with two minutes remaining the Raiders drove down the field and Jacoby Ford made a miraculous catch to set up a game tying field goal to force over time. The Chiefs got the ball first but mis-played the kick off and was pinned deep in their territory and followed that up with a three and out. That gave the Raiders great field position and Jacoby Ford made another great play to set up the game winning field goal.

This is a game the Chiefs could’ve and should’ve won. Penalties and bad mistakes kept points off the board which came back to cost them the game. Cassel’s interception at the end of the first half cost them, they could have at least gotten a field goal. Moeaki had a drop which would have gotten a first down in the red zone. Succop made a 41 yard field goal on the next play but that was taken away because of a holding call and then the Chiefs decided to pooch punt it, so there’s another three points taken off the board. Then with just over 2 minutes to play, Cassel threw a pass the Dwayne Bowe which he had to come back for and was a very catchable ball and he dropped it. That would have given the Chiefs a first down and they would have been been able to run the clock almost completely out. On the big pass play that set up the game tying field goal, Brandon Flowers had a chance for an interception or at least to knock the pass away but instead had the ball wrestled away from him by Jacoby Ford. Then in overtime, the Chiefs best defense back (Brandon Flowers) was burned deep for a huge play that gave the raiders the field position to make the game winning field goal. There were a whole series of mistakes and penalties that killed the Chiefs yesterday, that was a very wineable game but they couldn’t pull it out.

How much does this loss hurt? Not that much……yet! The Chiefs are still in first place in the AFC West by half a game. They still have one of the easiest schedules left in the the NFL, with four games left at Arrowhead Stadium which is one of the hardest places to play for opposing teams. They still get to play Oakland and the Chargers again and if they can win those games that would just extend their lead in the division by even more. The Chiefs playoff hopes are still in their own hands, if they play well and win the games they should they can still win the AFC West easily. The only thing that loss hurt, was the Chiefs chances of catching the AFC teams ahead of them. With the Patriots losing against the Browns, the Chiefs could have been tied with the best record in the AFC if they had won. Now its a little greedy to expect the Kansas City Chiefs to get a first round bye in the playoffs after a year where they only one 4 games. But the reality is, if they had won they would be tied for the best record in the AFC and they have one of the easier schedules for the remainder of the year. With the way the NFL has been this year, I could see the Chiefs slipping into one of the top AFC spots. But the reality is that the Chiefs are still fine, if they can take care of their divisional games their fate is in their own hands. There still in first in the division and still has one of the better records in the AFC. They may not be as hyped up as much as the New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and other AFC teams but there a team that will make some noise this year and could make a run in the playoffs if teams look past them.

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