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Punchless Chiefs shut out by Oakland

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, at 8:44 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at 12:06 p.m.

— Even in a season that will go down in infamy, the Chiefs will look back on one game in particular for its offensive ineptitude.

That game will be Sunday’s 15-0 loss to the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum. Against a defense that allowed a league-high 31 points, the Chiefs managed none. They had season lows for yards (119) and first downs (seven).

For much of the game, team records for fewest yards and first downs were in jeopardy. When it was over, the Chiefs could do little but point to the obvious.

“We couldn’t get much done at all,’’ coach Romeo Crennel said. “Couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t throw the ball, got into the red zone and couldn’t score any points.’’

The Raiders had lost six straight games before Sunday and allowed at least 34 points in four of them. But the Raiders were able to post their first shutout in 10 years, when they also held the Chiefs without a point.

They dominated the Chiefs at the line of scrimmage, much as they did in beating Kansas City in October at Arrowhead Stadium.

“I’m not so much concerned about other teams,’’ Crennel said. “I’m concerned about my team. We weren’t able to win up front (and) they were able to control us in all phases. We’ve got to do better to have a chance against guys like that.’’

If there’s any consolation for Crennel and the Chiefs, they won’t have to play against the Raiders again until next season. But they’ll have an impossible time winning either of their remaining games if they can’t shake their offensive problems.

That seems unlikely given the depth of their offensive problems. The Chiefs, who got an 80-yard touchdown run from Jamaal Charles on their first play in last week’s loss to Cleveland, haven’t scored since.

There’s little question they’ll match up better against next week’s opponent, Indianapolis, than they do the Raiders. Oakland has too much physical strength for the Chiefs to handle.

The Chiefs clearly don’t make plays other teams do against Oakland.

“I don’t know,’’ quarterback Brady Quinn said. “I don’t look at it that way. We see some things from watching film where they have a breakdown here or there and they give up a big play, but throughout the game, they do a pretty good job of keeping teams from consistently having solid plays.’’

Charles had been the one thing going for the Chiefs. He rushed for more than 100 yards in four of the previous five games but, like in the first Oakland game, couldn’t get going on Sunday.

He had 10 yards on nine carries. He rushed five times for four yards against Oakland in October.

“The only thing their scheme is (is) to stop me,’’ Charles said. “They don’t want me to get going. If you get me going, I can get comfortable and start doing things my way.’’

Charles lost a 42-yard run on a holding penalty by guard Jon Asamoah.

“I can’t say what the refs saw,’’ he said. “I guess he saw something. I feel like I get face masked on that play as well, but they didn’t see that. I thought that was what they were calling.”

The Chiefs went to their eighth possession before getting a first down. That even came on an improbable play where tiny Dexter McCluster dragged a bigger player, Tyron Branch, to get past the first-down marker.

They totaled negative-six yards on those first seven first-down plays. As a result, the Chiefs were just one of 12 on third downs and failed to score for the first time since a game in San Diego in December 2010.

“We just killed ourselves just being in third and long,’’ Charles said. “We can’t convert on third and 12, third and 15, third and 10 sometimes. It’s too far to get a first down.’’

Oakland recognized that and made that a priority.

“It feels really good to dominate like we did on defense,’’ linebacker Philip Wheeler said. “It’s the same team we played earlier in the season, and we saw their weaknesses and we took advantage of them.’’

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