Chiefs Survive Scare Thanks to Andersen Field Goal

With another sellout crowd, a stingy Raiders defense, a surprising Raiders offense and another poor performance by the defense, the Chiefs move their record to 10-1 with a 27-24 victory.

This was a tale of two different teams. The first half Raiders were surprised by the Chiefs quick 14-0 start but showed a lot of moxy over the next three quarters to eventually tie the score late in the fourth quarter before the Chiefs marched down the field to set up Andersen's 35-yard field goal with .04 seconds left in the game.

The Chiefs struck early offensively by using running back Priest Holmes on the ground and through the air. For the day Holmes caught six passes for 100 yards and ran 21 times for 91 yards.

But Chiefs quarterback kept feeding the ball to Holmes and he churned up yardage and single handedly kept the Raiders defense off balance.

Kansas City opened the scoring on their second possession as Green moved the Chiefs on a five play 84-yard drive. Back-up running back Derrick Blaylock subbing for Holmes scored his second touchdown of the season on a nifty 25-yard scamper.

Blaylock showed his speed and with an outstanding block by left tackle Willie Roaf, Blaylock cut back to the center of the field and outran the Raiders defense for a 7-0 Chiefs lead.

After the Chiefs defense held the Raiders to a three and out possession, the offense was at it again. This time with a shorter field they went 68-yards in six plays. Holmes was the star on that series as he carried the ball into the end zone from the two-yard line to make the score 14-0. The touchdown by Holmes gave him 44 touchdowns as a Chief. That ties him with the franchise lead with Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen.

But the Raiders did not quit and they seemed to play their best football after taking the Chiefs best punch. They came back and on the legs of Tyrone Wheatley and the surprising accurate arm of Raiders quarterback Rick Mirer. But Wheatley started punishing the Chiefs defensive line as he ran all over the, play after play.

With the Raiders facing a third and six from the Chiefs 13-yard line, Mirer used his legs to get the Raiders first points of the game. With only three blitzing lineman, Mirer stepped up in the pocket and ran the ball untouched into the end zone making the score 14-7 Chiefs.

However, in what proved to be the most crucial drive of the day, the Chiefs stormed back with just over two minutes left in the half and took the lead 21-7. Green who threw for 244 yards found back-up tight end Jason Dunn for a 2-yard touchdown pass. Green completed all of his passes on that drive and the Chiefs took a commanding 21-7 lead at halftime.

The Chiefs needed to make a statement to open the second half on defense but they once again showed their 32 tendencies from a year ago. For the second straight week, the defense was lackluster and showed no aggressiveness in trying to shut down the Raiders offense. Considering it was Rick Mirer behind the center and not Rich Gannon made it even more discouraging.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Raiders Tyrone Wheatley scored from 15-yards out after dragging five Chiefs players to the end zone. The score was suddenly 21-14 and the Chiefs were in a ball game. The offense managed to only generate a 43-yard field goal by Andersen in the third quarter.

The Raiders ran up nearly 160 yards while the Chiefs only managed about 30 yards of offense in the third quarter as momentum switched to the Raiders despite a 24-14 lead.

But the Raiders would score the next ten points to tie the score. After another inept three and out by the Chiefs offense the Raiders got the ball back and Mirer used his arm to get the Raiders within four points.

After a series of short crisp passes, Mirer on third down read the blitz and found a wide open Jerry Rice for a 47-yard touchdown pass that made the score 24-21. On the play the Chiefs were on an all out blitz and Rice was the only receiver in the pattern.

Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield for the second week in a row gave up a big touchdown. Warfield was out of position and instead of holding Rice to a first down; Warfield went for the interception and then made a horrible attempt to tackle Rice who waltzed into the end zone untouched.

The Chiefs offense again stalled and was forced to punt. Jason Baker who had another terrible punting day; hit another short punt that Raiders return man Phillip Buchanan returned to the Chiefs 26-yard line. But Buchanan removed his helmet after the play and it cost the Raiders a 15-yard penalty. That moved the Raiders back to the 41-yard line and the Chiefs defense forced the Raiders to kick a 41-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski tying the score at 24-24.

On the ensuing kick-off the Raiders executed a prefect kick-off that fell into the end zone for a touchback. But Oakland was off sides and Dante Hall nearly broke the return back but was tripped up at the 45-yard line.

Green went to the spread offense and completed a series of passes that put the Chiefs into Raiders territory at the 21-yard line. But after a completion to Tony Gonzalez, the Chiefs tight end was called for offensive pass interference and the Chiefs instead of first down were faced with a third and fourteen with less than .30 seconds to go.

After the Raiders tried to blitz, Green stepped up and found a wide open Johnnie Morton at the ten yard line but Morton who did not catch a pass all day dropped the ball. The Chiefs could not go for a field goal because of the wind conditions. So they were forced to roll the dice on fourth down.

Again the Raiders blitzed but Green stepped up into the pocket and found Marc Boerigter for a 15-yard reception. It gave the Chiefs a first down. On the play the cornerback Phillip Buchanan and Charles Woodson were out of position. Green could have thrown the ball to Eddie Kennison over the middle but with Buchanan playing twenty yards off Boerigter, Green made the clutch throw to set up Andersen's game winner.

After a timeout by the Chiefs and Raiders, Andersen kicked a low line drive that narrowly cut the teeth of the wind and sailed over the cross bar for a 35-yard game winner and the Chiefs tenth victory of the season 27-24 over the hated Raiders.

With the victory and the Denver Broncos loss to the Chicago Bears 19-10 at home, Kansas City now has a four game lead plus the head to head to tie breaker over the Broncos and can clinch the AFC West with another victory and another loss by the Broncos.

The Chiefs play the Chargers next week in San Diego and then the Broncos to close out their AFC games. If the Chiefs can win the next two AFC West games, they can secure home field advantage in the playoffs by winning two of three games against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears.

The Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots all won narrow victories on Sunday. The Colts play both the Patriots and Titans in the next three weeks so some of the chasers of the Chiefs will lose a game or two.

For now Kansas City is 10-1 after a hard fought victory over the stubborn Raiders who might have played their best game of the season and who have been eliminated from winning their fourth consecutive AFC West crown.

The Chiefs did shake off the Bengals loss and now must focus on beating the Chargers, who lost today to the Cincinatti Bengals 34-27.


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