“This game is never going to end!,” Tony Romo yelled from the CBS broadcasting booth after Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook couldn’t secure a would-be game-tying touchdown as time expired as a bright yellow flag lie in the end zone.
Romo’s exclamation is how everyone watching Thursday Night’s instant classic felt. Yes, Oakland won 31-30 in exhilarating fashion, but it didn’t matter if you were rooting for Oakland or visiting Kansas City.
That was a highly entertaining, drama-filled football game. One that the NFL sorely needed. I mean come on, flag after flag came flying in on that final series and the adrenaline spikes were outrageous.
Not to mention the word of the night was: Untimed down.
Just like Derek Carr sprinted to the left hash to fire the game-tying dart, let’s hit these Quick Slants — I admit the first two are more of shotgun snaps — with authority:
- Marshawn Lynch sprinting from the sideline to get Marcus Peters out of harm’s way may be surprising to some, but not to me. They are family, tight-knit and super close. No way was Beast Mode going to stand idly with Peters potentially getting stomped by Kelechi Osemele and the other infuriated Raiders offensive linemen. While getting a 15-yard penalty and getting tossed for putting hands on an official was inexcusable, protecting his kin is not. Family comes first.
- Derek Carr threw three touchdown strikes and for 417 yards. And this is the dude that broke three bones in his back. Carr fired 52 passes in total and showed no ill effects from his back as he sprinted towards the left sideline before firing an absolute dime for the game-tying TD. Oh, he also audibled to a QB draw on 3rd-and-10. You take the good, the bad and the ugly when a QB has authority at the line of scrimmage.
- Todd Downing opened up the playbook and attacked the Chiefs soft zone. Oh, and he also brought back the play action pass. Let’s see if the Raiders’ aggressive desperation offense remains or we go back to conservative ball in Buffalo next Sunday.
- Amari Cooper was a man possessed and the Raiders got the ball to the dynamic weapon early and often. He’s got the size, route-running ability and speed to embarrass defenses and Carr and Downing capitalized. Eleven grabs, 210 yards and two scores, yes, AC/DC was a smashing success.
- NaVorro Bowman led the team with 11 total tackles. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Yes, he got torched by tight end Travis Kelce in coverage, but one cannot deny Bowman’s ability to impact the game. When made a bee-line and smacked Alex Smith in the ribs, that’s one of the first times I’ve seen the Chiefs QB in pain against the Raiders.
- Jared Cook adds the missing size/speed combo at tight end. Carr reportedly told Cook “We need you to beat the Chiefs” and we certainly cannot deny that. Without the grab on 4th and 11 or the catch in triple coverage (another beautiful dime from Carr, by the way) down to the one-yard line, do the Raiders win?
- Marquette King made sure the Chiefs regretted the re-kick decision. The Raiders punter raced down, clotheslined Kansas City blazing wide receiver/return man Tyreek Hill and popped off his helmet. That one would have made former Raider Phil Villapiano blush.
- DeAndre Washington said he’s the new Muscle Hamster with a “spine-tingly” power four-yard TD run.
- David Amerson getting repeatedly torched in coverage was horrifying. Seeing him on the sideline and TJ Carrie and Dexter McDonald as the outside corners as the Raiders defense made a stand was pleasant.
- Keith McGill was in perfect position for a gift-wrapped interception. Instead, it ricocheted off his hands and into the mitts of a sprinting Albert Wilson for the score. What a fluke! But once again, a Raider DB was in perfect position
- Cordarrelle Patterson had a smooth one-handed grab on third down. That catch helped keep a drive — that culminated in a 45-yard Cooper touchdown — alive.
- Reggie Nelson has been slow to read and react to plays. Of course a defender needs Bo Jackson speed to keep up with Hill, but Nelson should have made a decision much faster. Shalom Luani needs some playing time, for cereal.
Quote(s) Of Note:
“He took control of the huddle. He took control of the offense. All we did was be there for him. He’s the captain, a good quarterback. He’s Derek Carr. All we’re doing is making plays.”
— Wide receiver Michael Crabtree
“Coop always open. It’s just about everything coming together. Coop a fighter, man. Coop got skills. I don’t worry about Coop, and I’m sure he don’t worry about me.”
— Crabtree on fellow WR Amari Cooper
“I’m on the sidelines, thinking, ‘I can’t watch this,’ and guys are like, this is what we do. We’re going to win the game. Guys were like, ‘This is normal.’ It was a great game, I enjoyed it. Every bit of it. I’m just looking forward to getting out of here and reminiscing and thinking about exactly what I just did.”
— Linebacker NaVorro Bowman