Raiders keep first road win in perspective

Raiders keep first road win in perspective
October 29, 2012, 2:38 am
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KANSAS CITY -- Sure, the Raiders' locker room had a certain bounce to it after Oakland's 26-16 defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs, but it's not as if the guys were not bouncing off the walls.Not even with the Raiders claiming their first road victory of the season and winning consecutive games for the first time under Dennis Allen to improve to 3-4 on the year.Not with so much perspective being preached by the Raiders' new regime, and the trade deadline fast approaching on Tuesday."This one's only important if we're able to go out and win the next one," insisted rookie head coach Dennis Allen."This victory's not going to mean nothing if we go home and lose to Tampa," offered defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.And there's more than a kernel of truth to it all. There's a handful of positives for the Raiders to glean from their sixth straight win in Kansas City, as well as negatives to massage.First and foremost, the Raiders won the battle in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Raiders had three sacks, one each by defensive tackle Richard Seymour, linebacker Rolando McClain and linebacker Philip Wheeler, who also had an unofficial total of 11 tackles, and two interceptions, by safety Matt Giordano and cornerback Pat Lee. It was the first pick of Lee's five-year career.The defense chased quarterback Brady Quinn out of the game on his first-quarter interception, knocked around Matt Cassel, limited game-breaking running back Jamaal Charles--who entered the day averaging 5.1 yards per carry--to four yards on five carries and receiver Dwayne Bowe to three catches for 65 yards, with 46 of those yards coming on one play."What you want to do is eliminate the team's big plays and execute your plays," Wheeler said. "You just want to play fast and physical. That's what we did."Offensively, Palmer threw for 209 yards on 14-of-28 passing attempts with two TDs and an interception, equating to an 83.8 passer rating to extend his franchise record of passing for at least 200 yards to 13 straight games.A week after taking a beating in the overtime defeat of Jacksonville, Palmer was not sacked by the Chiefs."I had all the time in the world to throw," Palmer said, crediting his offensive line."I don't think my jersey needs to be washed."Denarius Moore had a touchdown catch for the third straight game, last accomplished by a Raiders pass catcher in 2010, guy by the name of Zach Miller.And even Darren McFadden got into the act with 114 yards rushing on 29 carries, with 73 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter, when the running game was needed most to hold onto the lead.Placekicker Sebastian Janikowski converted four field goals to up his career conversion rate at Arrowhead Stadium to 32-of-36 made.But perhaps most encouraging on this day -- the Raiders were flagged a season-low two times, for 20 yards."It's something that you fight every week and you battle every week," Allen said. "Our guys understand that we can't have the dumb penalties that cost our team. We were better in that this week and we've got to improve in that area."Another area, or two, in need of improvement -- third-down efficiency (Oakland was just two of 12) and red-zone efficiency (one of six).Three times they had a first-and-10 inside the Chiefs' 25-yard line and had to settle for field goals."It's frustrating," Palmer said."We had opportunities to score and we didn't capitalize on it, so we're going to go back and continue to work and find ways to get better than 65 percent in the red zone. That's our goal."Here's one last goal heading into the next game -- take a deep breath. Again.The Raiders' last two opponents -- the Jaguars and Chiefs -- were each coming off bye weeks. Oakland's next opponent, Tampa Bay, will be coming on off a 10-day layoff having played Thursday night.