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Other Week 13 Game Recaps

Week 13 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 34, Oakland Raiders 20

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Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs relied on their recent successful formula of strong defense and just enough offense to dispatch the Raiders for their sixth consecutive victory. Raiders QB Derek Carr threw three costly fourth quarter interceptions that lead to Chiefs touchdowns and quickly changed a 20-14 lead for the Raiders into a 34-20 victory for the Chiefs. Alex Smith completed his ninth consecutive game without an interception and ran his streak of passes thrown without a pick to 305, good enough for third all-time behind Tom Brady's streak of 358 in 2010-11 and Bernie Kosar's streak of 305 in 1990-91. He found the end zone once on the ground with a three-yard score and hooked up twice in the fourth quarter with Jeremy Maclin for touchdowns. Maclin again led the team in targets with 10 of Smith's attempts directed his way. Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware formed a committee approach in the backfield, with nine and seven carries respectively. Neither was very productive as the team combined for 89 total rushing yards, but Ware did find pay dirt in the third quarter off of a 10-yard run. As the winning streak has evolved, the Chiefs have become very selective with offensive responsibilities by relying on the core of Maclin, Travis Kelce, West and Ware with a few targets for Albert Wilson on the side. It seems to be working and the Chiefs will look to keep it rolling next Sunday when they welcome the 3-9 San Diego Chargers to Arrowhead Stadium.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders offense was solid through three quarters with Derek Carr spreading the ball around (eleven different Raiders had receptions) but three interceptions in the fourth quarter were the difference in the game. Amari Cooper seems to be hitting the rookie wall just a bit and suffered another crucial third-down drop that forced a punt. Michael Crabtree led the team in targets and found the end zone on a great throw from Carr, but also had a couple drops. Latavius Murray was solid, but generally had little room to run.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Alex Smith, 51 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 22 - 162 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 23 - 1
If the NFL ever decides to create a weekly award for ìEfficient, Yet Unspectacular,î we can expect Smith to be in the running most weeks. Smith completed his ninth consecutive game without throwing an interception and extended his streak of passes thrown without a pick to 305. It was a quiet first half for the Chiefs as their lone points would come from a three-yard touchdown run by Smith in the first quarter, but the team would kick it up a notch after halftime and put 27 points on the board. A nine-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter was capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by Spencer Ware, while Smith would hook up with his top target for two scores in the fourth quarter. Smith connected with Maclin for scores of one and 13 yards, both of which were the result of short drives that saw the Chiefs capitalize on Raiders turnovers. That makes three touchdowns over the past two games for the Smith to Maclin combo, who have hooked up 18 times for 255 yards over that stretch. Only five Chiefs were targeted by Smith on Sunday as the team has become very selective with offensive responsibilities over the course of its six-game winning streak.

RB Charcandrick West, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 35 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (3 targets)
West returned from injury and found himself in a committee situation with backfield-mate Spencer Ware, who performed very well in the absence of West. Neither back was terribly productive this week against a pretty solid Raiders run defense as the duo combined for only 61 yards and a score. West carried the ball for nine of the team's 22 total rushing attempts, picking up 35 yards in the process and chipping in two catches on three targets for nine yards. West's longest run of the day came in the third quarter as he found the hole up the middle for an 18-yard gain on a drive that would culminate with a 10-yard touchdown run from Ware. The committee approach is likely to continue in Kansas City, which tempers expectations for both West and Ware as fantasy prospects but is likely the right move for the team as it continues to push for a playoff berth.

RB Spencer Ware, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 26 - 1, Rec: 2 - -1 - 0 (2 targets)
Ware's strong play over the last two weeks has earned him a seat at the table ñ albeit in a committee situation with the returning Charcandrick West. Neither back was terribly effective against a strong Raiders run defense as the duo would only combine for 61 yards, but Ware did manage to find the end zone in the third quarter as the result of a 10-yard run, which also qualified as his longest gain of the day. In total, Ware carried the ball on seven of the team's 22 rushing attempts and caught both of his targets from Alex Smith for a total of 25 combined yards. The committee approach is likely to continue in Kansas City, which is likely the right move for the team as it continues to push for a playoff berth, but lessens the prospects of Ware or West from a fantasy perspective.

WR Jeremy Maclin, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 95 - 2 (10 targets)
After a bit of a lull in the middle of the season, the duo of Alex Smith and Jeremy Maclin have become quite productive over the past two games. Over that span, the duo has connected 18 times for 255 yards and three scores, two of which came on Sunday against the Raiders. Both touchdowns were the direct result of Raiders turnovers leading to outstanding field position in the fourth quarter. Maclin would cap off both two-play drives with a trip to the end zone, first from two-yards out, followed by a 13-yard score to push the Chiefs lead to 26-20. Maclin's day was devoid of long gains as the Chiefs followed their familiar formula of short, efficient passes complemented by the running game and strong defensive play. He was targeted a team-high 10 times, hauling in nine of them for 95 yards. Maclin is firmly established as the team's top weapon in the passing attack and will continue to see a healthy amount of targets as the season winds down.

WR Albert Wilson, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (3 targets)
Wilson was targeted only three times on Sunday - hauling in one of them for a 17-yard gain - and carried the ball once for a five-yard gain. Although his involvement was limited, Wilson is the only Chief outside of the core of Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce and the backfield committee of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware to have any offensive involvement on Sunday. The Chiefs seem perfectly content to rely on their main cogs, leaving Wilson to pick up the occasional scraps.

TE Travis Kelce, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 42 - 0 (3 targets)
Kelce had a pretty quiet Week 13 as he only caught two passes ñ his lowest number of receptions in a game this season ñ for 42 yards, but considering he was only targeted three times, Kelce's owners will have to grin and bear it. Jeremy Maclin dominated the targets in the passing game as he was targeted a team-high 10 times, which is a pretty big difference from the typical target allocation, including last week's 11 for Maclin versus seven for Kelce. Kelce's biggest contribution would come late in the game after the Chiefs had scored their final touchdown of the day. Leading 32-20 off of an interception return for a touchdown, the Chiefs would opt to go for two and use Kelce's services to successfully execute. Alex Smith threw a high pass that Kelce would have to leap over two defenders to haul in to push the score to 34-20. Kelce remains the second option in the passing game behind Maclin, but could be poised for some nice outings down the stretch if opposing team's opt to focus on containing the productive Maclin.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, 79 offensive snaps, Pass: 31 - 48 - 283 - 2 TD / 3 INT
Carr played well through the first three quarters before a disastrous fourth quarter. He completed passes to eleven different receivers and the Raiders move the ball relatively well despite a mediocre rushing attack and a couple drops by receivers. Carr’s first touchdown throw was as pretty as you will see. With seconds ticking down before halftime, Carr rifled a bullet to Michael Crabtree that traveled nearly 40-yards through the air on a rope and hit Crabtree right in the numbers for a 25-yard touchdown to put the Raiders up 14-7 going into halftime. After the Chiefs answered, Carr led another long scoring drive that he capped off with a short touchdown pass to Lee Smith off of a slick play-action fake. Leading 20-14 in the fourth quarter, the wheels came off for the Raiders offense with Carr throwing three interceptions (each of which led to Chiefs touchdowns). The first interception came on a second down with the Raiders on the edge of field goal range. Carr held the ball far too long and then tried to dump it off to an underneath receiver but was hit as he attempted to throw and the ball popped right into the arms of a Chiefs linebacker who returned it more than 60-yards before getting dragged down just shy of the end zone. After the Chiefs tied the game, Carr had the offense moving again but threw another interception in Chiefs territory attempting to get it to Michael Crabtree on a deep crossing route. Crabtree fell down midway through the route and the ball sailed directly to a Chiefs defender who returned it deep into Raiders territory to setup the go-ahead touchdown. Trailing by six with under four minutes to play, Carr threw a “pick six” that essentially ended the game. He tried to fit it into a tight window to Amari Cooper across the middle and the ball got tipped into the arms of the deep safety.

RB Latavius Murray, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 86 - 1, Rec: 4 - 11 - 0 (6 targets)
Murray showed off his speed as he broke off a long run on the first drive down the right sideline. He finished off the drive with a short third-down touchdown run that was initially ruled down at the one-yard line, but was overturned after a Raiders challenge. Murray was hit low at around the two-yard line but was able to dive forward and extend the ball across the goal line a fraction of a second before his knees hit. On the drive, Olawale received the first goal-to-go carry, but Murray got carries on second and third down from inside the five. Murray ran Murray got another goal-to-go carry later in the game from the seven-yard line but was stopped for a short gain. Despite some struggles in short-yardage situations, Murray remains the primary goal line back for the Raiders.

RB Jamize Olawale, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 16 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (2 targets)
Olawale had one red-zone carry and continues to run as the second back. He also serves is serving as the fullback in the goal line formation and is a threat to receive the ball near the end zone.

WR Amari Cooper, 77 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 69 - 0 (8 targets)
Cooper had a relatively quiet day. He drew a pass interference call against the defense that gave the Raiders an early first down. He had another inexcusable drop that forced a Raiders punt and sapped the team of momentum. It was third-and-short and Cooper was wide open on a quick slant. The ball hit him right in the hands, between the numbers and he let it bounce right off of him. The Chiefs continued a recent trend of teams playing tighter to the line against the Raiders to take away the receiver screens that were so successful earlier in the season. The Raiders tried just one screen to Cooper (which counted as a run because it was thrown slightly backwards) and it went for a loss of seven yards. The play had been a staple of the Raiders offense, but has not worked over the past month as defenses have adjusted to take it away. Cooper had a couple nice gains on routes across the middle of the field, but otherwise was held in check by the Chiefs defense.

WR Michael Crabtree, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 45 - 1 (11 targets)
Crabtree was again the top receiver for the Raiders. He had one bad drop but Carr came back to him on next play for a seven-yard gain. Crabtree scored a long touchdown seconds before halftime. The Raiders ran three in-breaking vertical routes with the two inside receivers clearing the coverage underneath of Crabtree to open a small window for Carr. The pass had a lot of heat on it, but Crabtree was able to pull it in and hold on through contact in the front of the end zone. Crabtree had a second end zone target later in the game on a sideline fade route. He was able to get behind coverage come down with the ball, but wasn’t able to get either foot down in bounds.

WR Seth Roberts, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (5 targets)
Roberts had another solid game and is doing well from the slot for the Raiders. He has separated from the pack as the #3 wide receiver and could continue to see his role increase if Amari Cooper continues to struggle with drops.

TE Clive Walford, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 53 - 0 (5 targets)
Walford has been doing a nice job as an underneath target, displaying sure hands and above average run-after-the-catch ability. He caught a short pass along the right sideline and plowed through a would-be tackler for a nice gain to pick up a first down.

TE Lee Smith, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 1 (1 targets)
The big blocking tight end caught his first touchdown of the season. He came open on a short out route off of play action with Crabtree running interference to grab the six-yard touchdown pass.