Raiders offense drops the ball against Chiefs

Raiders offense drops the ball against Chiefs

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey saved his best move for the locker room. After letting Oakland's final hope bounce off his chest and into the hands of a Kansas City defender, the Raiders' first-round draft pick bolted out of the team locker room before he could face questions about it.

It's been a long, tough road for Raiders' rookie wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and it isn't going to get any easier after what happened against the Kansas City Chiefs.

DHB not only let a 55-yard pass from quarterback JaMarcus Russell slip right through his arms but he also killed Oakland's hopes of a comeback when he let a Bruce Gradkowski pass bounce off his chest and into the air, where the Chiefs intercepted it to seal a 16-10 win.

When he got to the sidelines, Heyward-Bey was consoled by a few teammates as he knelt down on one knee.

Before reporters were allowed into the Raiders locker room, however, Heyward-Bey was nowhere to be found, leaving his teammates to answer for his gaffes.

"Anyone would take that rough but he has to know that it wasn't his fault," fellow rookie wide receiver Louis Murphy said. "Things happen in a game and we left a lot of plays out there on the field, a lot of plays from everybody on the offense. I talked to him and I just told him, ‘I'm riding with you through thick and thin.' We came in together, we work together, we work on all fundamentals together so I'm with him, I'm in his corner all the time."

The Raiders dropped eight passes as a team but every other player who had a drop stood up and faced the music afterward. Heyward-Bey cleaned out his locker and was gone quicker than he's ever been out of the Raiders' locker room following a game.

Cable, who left open the possibility of making a change at wide receiver, said Heyward-Bey's biggies issue may be confidence.

"It's something we've spent hours and hours and hours of time on," Cable said. "It's a matter of confidence in being able to catch the football."

Other news and notes from the game:

-- The Raiders were 2 of 16 on third down while the Chiefs were 1 of 15. Unwatchable football.

-- Oakland was hit with 10 penalties for 88 yards. Two came on neutral zone infractions against Tommy Kelly, who had an otherwise stellar game.

-- Kicker Sebastian Janikowski extended his streak of consecutive field goals made to 20 (dating back to the 2008 season) when he nailed a 50-yarder in the first quarter to give Oakland a 10-3 lead but he missed wide left on a 45-yarder in the second half.

-- Cornerback Chris Johnson made a great play for his third interception this season but he was routinely beaten on several other plays as teams continue to stay away from Nnamdi Asomugha for the most part. He also missed an interception in the second quarter that likely would have gone for a touchdown.

-- Punter Shane Lechler had a 52.3-yard average heading into the game but it dipped to 51.5 after the four-time Pro Bowler punted 11 times for a 48.3-yard average against the Chiefs. The 51.5 is still slightly ahead of Sammy Baugh's single-season record of 51.4.

-- Michael Bush rushed for 119 yards, the first time the Raiders have had a single back crack the 100-yard barrier. Included in that was a 60-yard run that should have would have gone longer and for a touchdown had Bush not paused to look at the video scoreboard.

-- Johnnie Lee Higgins had his most productive game on offense (4 catches 71 yards) and regularly lined up as the team's third receiver, but he continues to have serious issues as a punt returner. He had three returns for a net minus-two yards and also let one punt nearly hit him in the head as he watched it drop to the ground and roll an extra 13 yards.

-- Wide receiver Louis Murphy was hit in the back by Mike Brown in the second quarter and was still feeling the effects in the locker room afterward, saying his right leg and back were very sore.

Tommy Kelly also was bothered by sore ribs while Michael Huff sprained an ankle.

-- The Raiders broke out the Wildcat formation for the first time this season and it's fair to say they'd be better off leaving it out of the playbook. They ran it on consecutive plays, getting a 3-yard gain from Darren McFadden while Higgins gained 2 on a reverse.

-- The announced attendance of 40,720 was only slightly better than the crowd at the Jets game (39,354), which was the lowest since 1968. Hard to imagine it'll get any better, either.

SBReport.net Recommended Stories