Oakland, CA - It's not the payoffs but sure felt like it. The Raiders ended their six-game losing streak and can now breathe a sigh of relief. The losing had taken a toll of everyone but after five field goals, victory finally came to Oakland.
The Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 15-0. A rare shutout at O.Co Coliseum but a pleasing one for the fans. Oakland has two games remaining this season and they're on the road. So, what better way than to give the fans a win until next year.
"Well, we haven't done it in a while and all of us feel good about getting this win," Khalif Barnes said. "Guys were out there grunting and grinding, staying committed to their marks and we worked in unison. Even if we missed a tackle the offense got around it to keep the running game going."
The Raiders offense continued to struggle getting into the end zone but their running game was pretty spectacular despite the injuries that kept both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson out. McFadden rushed for 110 yards on 30 carries to lead a 201-yard rushing attack against the Chiefs defense. Backup running back Goodson contributed 89 yards on 13 carries.
"I thought our offensive line did a great job of creating some scenes and opening up some holes for these guys," said head coach Dennis Allen. "I thought both backs got the ball downhill and did a nice job breaking tackles while running the ball effectively."
"Obviously you want to get in the end zone but you could just tell the flow of the game we just needed to keep preserving the time of possession, continue to run the ball and keep the clock going" Carson Palmer said. "We had a pretty good feel that the defense was going to what they did."
Palmer completed 18 of 29 passes for 182 yards and no gain longer than 19 yards. Oakland had more rushing yards than passing yards and that's pretty awful when you consider the amount of talent on this team. However, if a game ball had to given it would go to Sebastian Janikowski for scoring all points with 5 field goals.
The last time the Raiders recorded a shutout game was back in 2002 when they beat Kansas City 24-0. A milestone for a team that lost focus while compiling so many loses. But Oakland stayed the course to get their 4th win. The plan is to finish the season strong and look ahead to rebuild next year.
Third string quarterback Terrelle Pryor and fan favorite finally got some action for the first time this season. In the first series in the second quarter Pryor handed off the ball off for the first two plays followed by an incomplete pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey on third down. Not his best work but he'll see more time in the remaining two games according to Allen.
"We had it set for me to come in and do one series," said Pryor. "It was a steppingstone, a step and when the time is right I'll be ready. I was excited to get in there and I'll be better this week in practice."
For the fans, they can leave knowing a team that lost a total of ten games will come back even better next year. Nothing more satisfying than winning the final home game of the season. No playoffs, tons of injuries and a quarterback that got picked off almost every game.
The last two games will be viewed to focus on the younger talent in determining what direction to go in for the future. The Raiders have a lot of work ahead with reevaluating the team roster. A 4-10 record is not acceptable and General Manager Reggie McKenzie has seen enough in his first year and plans on making changes for the better of the team.