Five things to note after Chiefs beat Raiders
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Games inside Arrowhead Stadium at the end of last season seemed as if they were being played inside a morgue. There was no energy. There was certainly no sound.
Not with the Chiefs headed to a two-win season, one of the worst in franchise history.
Things have changed dramatically in the less than a year, though. The roar has been restored in Kansas City — a record-setting one at that — and the team is off to a perfect start through its first six games for just the second times in its storied history.
The Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 24-7 on Sunday, propelled along by a crowd that at one point reached 137.5 decibels, setting a new Guinness World Record for an outdoor sports stadium.
“The fans cheered their hearts out,” said Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who had two touchdown runs. “It felt like it was the playoffs. They were putting themselves on the line for us.”
It’s easier to roar for a team that’s winning.
It was the first time in seven meetings at Arrowhead Stadium that the Chiefs (6-0) had beaten the Raiders (2-4), and it allowed them to press on with the second-best start in franchise history.
The Chiefs won their first nine games during the 2003 season.
“We knew that this was an extremely good defense. They played very good on special teams and they didn’t make a lot of mistakes on offense,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We knew that we were going to have to create some field position with our defense, create some field position with our special teams, and knew we were going to have to try and take the ball away and protect the ball on offense.
“You can’t make the type of mistakes that we made,” he said, “and expect to win the game.”
Here are five things to take away from the Chiefs’ win over the Raiders:
PRYOR IS A WORK IN PROGRESS: Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor played well in the first half, but he started to wilt under the Chiefs’ intense pressure in the second half. He was responsible for several delay-of-game penalties, and threw three second-half interceptions that the Chiefs turned into 17 points. “Things happen. Some of the greatest quarterbacks in the game throw picks,” he said. “I have to understand why they happen, who’s at fault, whether it’s me or whoever, and learn from it.”
CHIEFS ARE SACK MASTERS: The Chiefs piled up 10 sacks in the game, one shy of the franchise record, and now have 31 on the season — four more than they had all of last year. Tamba Hali had 3½ sacks on the day, but he wasn’t alone in getting in on the action. Seven different Chiefs got their hands on Pryor during a sack. “Our coaches had a great game plan,” Hali said, “and put us in the right positions to have some success.”
AILING RAIDERS: The Raiders couldn’t have asked for their week off to come at a better time. Not only is running back Darren McFadden still dealing with a troublesome hamstring, the offensive line has been shredded by injuries. They were down to their third center when Andre Gurode got hurt on Sunday, and their backup right tackle when Tony Pashos got hurt. “Hopefully the injuries that occurred on the offensive line today are not serious,” Allen said.
SMITH STILL STRUGGLING: All the hoopla of a perfect start in Kansas City in part masks the trouble that quarterback Alex Smith has been having in delivering the ball downfield. He was just 14 of 31 for 128 yards without a touchdown, and had a quarterback rating of just 56.9. “We struggled to get into a rhythm at all early,” he said. “They did a great job of mixing it up. We never got a bead on them.”
OAKLAND STILL HAS HOPE: Pryor threw for 216 yards and a touchdown, and the Oakland defense kept the Chiefs offense in check until late in the third quarter. So even though the Raiders fell to 2-4 heading into their bye, they believe there is still reason to be optimistic. “I think we’re close,” Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson said. “You play a good football team and they capitalize on mistakes that you make. That’s the reason why they’re 6-0. ... They capitalized on it. We come up with the loss.”