OAKLAND, Calif. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders’ 56-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:
Charles in charge: Charles Woodson laughed, sort of. The Raiders' veteran free safety was asked why the three screen passes to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, which went for touchdowns of 49, 39 and 16 yards, were so effective. “I have no clue,” Woodson offered. “I have no clue. You’ve seen screens get out of the gate before, but to have a team go back to it and beat you almost every time, there’s no explanation for it. ... That’s hard, man, to watch a guy run up and down the field like that, basically untouched.” Charles finished with 215 yards from scrimmage and a franchise-record-tying five touchdowns -- in three quarters (he sat the fourth quarter). “Some people find their peak at the beginning of the season, some people find their peak at the end of the season,” Charles said. “I’m known as a player that, as the season goes on, I get stronger and stronger.”
Matt McGloin, gunslinger? The undrafted rookie quarterback seems to be taking more chances of late, and really, he has to with the Raiders falling behind so early now. Which, in part, explains his four interceptions. “I mean, as a quarterback, it’s your job to protect the football,” he said. “But at the same time it’s your job to throw touchdown passes and throw first downs and complete passes downfield. I’m going to throw the ball. I’m going to take my chances. I’m going to try to get yardage and get completions in big chunks. That’s the way I play the quarterback position. That’s the way a lot of guys play the quarterback position.”
Injuries: Woodson left the game for a bit with a rib injury in the second quarter that he said has been an issue for a while. In fact, he said last week was the first time he did not wear a rib guard in a game. But linebacker Miles Burris did not finish the game after injuring an ankle making a tackle on a punt midway through the fourth quarter. Burris was the only Raiders player to not finish due to injury, said coach Dennis Allen.
Of explosive plays XIV: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air, 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had 10 such plays against the Chiefs -- eight passes and two runs. Kansas City had seven explosive plays, six passes and one run, with four TD passes and a TD run. In 14 games, the Raiders have 104 explosive plays (75 passes, 29 runs), with eight passing TDs and four running scores. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, now have 98 explosive plays combined -- 77 passes (12 TDs) and 21 runs (three TDs).