The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 56-31 on Sunday afternoon to clinch their first playoff berth since 2010, largely due to the growing legend that is Jamaal Charles.
Charles, who came into the game with 13 total touchdowns, scored five times and set a new single-game record for receiving yards for a running back with 195 on eight receptions. Charles had four touchdowns before halftime, and his 18 scores on the season lead the NFL for non-quarterbacks.
As Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride points out, there is no player more valuable to their team:
Honestly, how can a player be more valuable than Charles? He's up there with any quarterback, which is hard to say in today's NFL.
I wrote last year around this time, as the Chiefs were toiling away in the worst season in franchise history, that Jamaal is greatness and I have been lucky to watch him. That's even truer today, a year later.
Alex Smith also had one of the better days in his career, completing 17 of 20 passes for 287 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. The former No. 1 overall pick was on target throughout the afternoon, slicing up Oakland with an array of passes.
At 11-3, the Chiefs have assured themselves of being no worse than the No.5 seed in the AFC playoffs. Should the Denver Broncos stumble in one of their final two games and the Chiefs win out, Kansas City would become the No. 1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
As for the Raiders, they sit at 4-10 and have more questions than answers. Quarterback Matt McGloin had a terrible day, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble as part of Oakland's seven-turnover day. Terrelle Pryor came in for mop-up duty and was also bad, throwing a pick on 1 of 4 passing.
For the Raiders, it was a game of bad quarterback play writes Levi Damien of Silver and Black Pride:
Different quarterback, same result. The Raiders faced the Chiefs today for the second time this season. Last time it was Terrelle Pryor who turned the ball over three times. This time it was Matt McGloin turning the ball over five times. And just for good measure, Pryor had a turnover in this game as well.
Pryor and McGloin are two very different quarterbacks on the field. But facing the Chiefs, they suffered from very similar problems.