Chiefs Win A Thriller In Oakland

Well it wasn't easy. It came down to the last play of the game but the Chiefs managed to survive in Oakland and come away with a 17-10 victory. The Raiders put on a mighty rally late in the fourth quarter but their hopes of making the playoffs fell short at the one yard line as time expired. The victory moved the Chiefs to 7-0 on the season for the first time in franchise history.

With nine seconds left in the game and the ball on the Chiefs 14-yard line, Raiders back up quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo hit Tim Brown at the one yard line.

But Brown was smothered by safeties Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley as the clock ran out on the Raiders and quite likely their season.

The Chiefs defense stepped up big in this game in the first half. They sacked Rich Gannon three times, intercepted him once, harassed him on every passing play and caused a fumble that knocked him out of the game with an injured shoulder.

The Chiefs started the scoring after a stellar defensive stance in the first quarter. Trent Green hit Eddie Kennison on a 43-yard bomb that put the goal on the one-yard line. Green faked the hand-off to Priest Holmes and ran the ball into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

The score stayed that way until the second quarter when Morten Andersen connected on a 37-yard field goal after another stalled drive for a 10-0 halftime lead. The scroing drive was setup when Vonnie Holliday knocked down a pass from Rich Gannon on a fourth and one play inside Chiefs territory.

In the second half the Chiefs offense sputtered. Tony Gonzalez caught a couple of long passes on his way to becoming the Chiefs all-time leader in receptions. But Kansas City was unable to sustain a consistent scoring drive in the third quarter. That allowed the Raiders to get back into the game.

After the Chiefs missed a 50-yard field goal, the Raiders turned the ball over once again as Dexter McCleon had his fourth interception of the season on an errant pass by Tuiasosopo.

But that was the last mistake he would make the rest of the game. He led the Raiders on a long drive that had the Chiefs defense backpedaling. Tuiasosopo marched Oakland on a 13 play 80-yard drive that led to a 27-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski to make the score 10-3.

The Raiders had momentum and their defense fed off the home crowd and stopped the Chiefs on the next possession, three and out. But as has been their fate this year, the Raiders made a costly mistake.

Chiefs punter Jason Baker hit another solid punt that Raiders return man Phillip Buchanan could not handle inside the twenty yard line. Chiefs back-up wide receiver Marc Boerigter fell on the ball at the Oakland 11-yard line.

Priest Holmes, who had 122 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving, scored what the Chiefs had hoped was the game clinching touchdown from the 2-yard line with six minutes left in the game. It was the eighth rushing touchdown for Holmes this season.

But Tuiasosopo led the Raiders right down the heart of the Chiefs defense. Tuiasosopo converted several big plays when the Chiefs defensive coaching staff chose to play off the Raiders wide receivers Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Jerry Porter.

The Raiders culminated a 65-yard drive with a one yard run by Zack Crockett to make the score 17-10.

On the ensuing kick-off the Raiders faked an onsides kick; Dante Hall caught the ball but was only able to return the ball to the 36 yard line. The Raiders only had two timeouts and the two minute warning. All Kansas City needed was to get one first down and the game would be over.

But Kansas City failed to make that happen after two runs by Holmes and a short pass completion by Green to Tony Richardson. The Chiefs could have gone for it on fourth and inches from their own 45-yard line but Vermeil chose to punt the ball. It was a wise decision.

It appeared to work as Baker boomed another punt that was downed inside the ten yard line. But once again Tuiasosopo was on fire. He hit consecutive passes to Rice and Porter quickly getting into Chiefs territory.

The Chiefs defense stiffened and the Raiders were facing a fourth and ten from the Kansas City 25-yard line. But the Chiefs only rushed three people and Tuiasosopo hit Rice for a big gain to keep the drive alive.

On the next play, Tuiasosopo faked downing the ball, since the Raiders did not have any timeouts left. He then pulled the ball back and tried to hit Porter at the one-yard line. But McCleon nearly picked off the ball as Porter knocked it out of his hands.

With nine seconds left in the game, Tuiasosopo facing another three man rush, scrambled out of the pocket and hit Brown at the one-yard line. Brown was initially in the end zone and had to step up to catch the ball. But Woods and Wesley made the stop and the clock ran out on the Raiders and preserved the victory for the Chiefs.

Kansas City should never have allowed the Raiders to get back into the game. Kansas City must find a consistent offense and help their defense by keeping them off the field. But a win is a win and that's all that matters in the NFL.

The Defense when they were aggressive were suffocating the Raiders offense. But they could not stop the Raiders in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs offense other than the short touchdown drive in the fourth quarter did not manage a single first down.

When Kansas City went to their prevent defense, the Raiders moved the ball at will. McCleon and Eric Warfield, who had a first half interception, played too far back on their coverage as the Raiders easily completed crossing patterns for large gains. The Chiefs have to change that philosophy in the coming weeks. They had the Raiders down and out but let them climb back into the game with very little pass rush.

With the win, Kansas City moves to 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in the AFC West. They move three games ahead of the Broncos since they hold the head to head tie-breaker after defeating Denver at home two weeks ago.

Kansas City has a short week ahead as they'll face the Buffalo Bills at home next Sunday Night at Arrowhead.


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