Tynes Field Goal Sinks Raiders 31-30

One of the most critical aspects of releasing veteran place kicker Morten Andersen in the pre-season was the Chiefs didn't know how Lawrence Tynes would respond with the game on the line. Well on Saturday afternoon, the rookie kicker came though after missing two first half field goals and came back and nailed a 38-yarder that gave the Chiefs a 31-30 come from behind victory.

With the slimmest of all playoff hopes on the line, the Chiefs faced must win situation against their division rivals. After Raiders place kicker Sebastian Janikowski gave the Raiders a 30-28 lead with 1:03 seconds left in the game, it appeared the Chiefs were in trouble after blowing another fourth quarter lead. But return man Dante Hall made a huge return that put the Chiefs into Raider territory. That set up the Tynes game winning field goal and the Chiefs won their fourth straight game.

It was another solid performance by the Chiefs offense. Trent Green threw two more touchdowns and with 358 yards passing ran his season total over the 4000 yard passing mark. However, the game did not start out the way the Chiefs had hoped against the pesky Raiders. On Green's second pass attempt of the game, defensive end Tyler Braxton intercepted a tipped pass from Eddie Kennison deep into Chiefs territory.

Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins made quick work of the short field as he hit wide receiver Jerry Porter for a 5-yard scoring strike that gave the Raiders a quick 7-0 lead. But Kansas City came back. Green found his mark and often that was to tight end Tony Gonzalez who tied a career high with 11 catches. But the new star of the offense running back Larry Johnson continued to be the man inside the red zone. This time Johnson behind a punishing block by pro-bowl fullback Tony Richardson dashed into the end zone from 6-yards out tying the score at 7-7.

The Chiefs defense who showed some flashes of effectiveness in the first quarter gave up some big plays in the second quarter. With virtually no pressure on Collins he quickly led them down the field. This time Zach Crockett ran the ball up the gut and scored from 3-yards out giving the men in black a 14-7 lead.

Kansas City came right back this time Green hit Tony Gonzalez for a 2-yard pass that knotted the score at 14-14. After the Raiders drive stalled, the offense moved the ball 88 yards in 10-plays. Green spread the ball around to several receivers including rookie Samie Parker and Chris Horn who each made catches to extend the drive. Facing a third down, Green hit Gonzalez for his second touchdown of the night. Green threw a bullet to his All-Pro tight end who galloped into the end zone untouched from 26-yards out. That gave catch also put Gonzalez over 1000 receiving yards for the season.

Trailing 21-14 the Raiders worked the two-minute drill to perfection. Taking advantage of the Chiefs cover-two zone defense; Collins hit wide receiver Alvis Whitted for a 32-yard scoring strike that tied the score at 21-21 to close out the first half.

In the second half all the excitement came in the fourth quarter. With the Raiders leading 24-21, the Chiefs offense went back to work after stalling out in the third quarter. Larry Johnson scored his second touchdown of the game and he put the Chiefs up 28-24 with six minutes left in the game.

But the Raiders behind a 45-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski closed the gap to 28-27 with 3:49 left to play. The Kansas City offense tried to salt the game away but Trent Green fumbled the ball at the Raiders 41-yard line. That gave the ball back to the Raiders offense and they quickly went to work. After two long passes the Raiders were content to run the ball. After two false start penalties, the Raiders brought on Janikowski for what appeared to be the game winner as he hit a 46-yard field goal that gave Oakland a 30-28 lead with 1:03 left in the game.

That only proved to be a mere obstacle for the Chiefs who thanks to Hall's 49-yard kick-off return set up Tynes game winning kick.

The Chiefs climbed to 7-8 on the season and will close out the 2004 campaign with a road game at San Diego next Sunday.


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