OH BABY!!! Chiefs Defeat Raiders 27-23

In a strange twist of fate with the 2005 season on the brink of ruin, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil made the call of his career. With the Chiefs trailing 23-20, the ball at the one-yard line and the play clock at: 05 seconds left in the game, Vermeil put the ball into the hands of Larry Johnson. He was not disappointed in his decision as Johnson dove into the end zone for the game winning touchdown run that gave the Chiefs a 27-23 win over their most hated division rival.

Knowing the Chiefs would expect the Raiders to come out throwing the ball, Oakland decided to establish their running attack early in the game. The Raiders took the opening possession and came out running the ball. The Chiefs defense normally solid against the run allowed the Raiders to slip for the games initial first down of the game. Needing three yards for a first down, Chiefs linebacker Kendrell Bell let Lamont Jordan slip through his grasps. On the second set out downs, the Raiders were penalized for a chop block and a delay of game that forced a third and twenty three. The Raiders tried another run and was forced to punt.

Kansas City took over at the Chiefs 18-yard line. After a failed short pass to running back Larry Johnson and incomplete pass to Eddie Kennison, the Chiefs turned the ball over. Defensive end Tommy Kelly easily beat Jordan Black and he stripped the ball from Trent Green. The ball was recovered by Raiders linebacker Derrick Burgess. That gave the Raiders the ball on the 24-yard line. The Chiefs challenged the call but the officials did not reverse the ruling on the field.

The Raiders wanting to strike quickly tried to hit Randy Moss in the end zone. The pass was overthrown and on the next play Jordan ran for a short gain setting up a third and six from the 15-yard line. This time the defense stiffened as defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson tipped Kerry Collins pass intended for Randy Moss. That set up a 32-yard field goal by Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski. That gave the Raiders a 3-0 lead with 8:50 left in the first quarter.

After a short return by Dante Hall, the Chiefs took over at the 33-yard line. Larry Johnson getting his first carry of the game ran off right guard for three yards. Then he busted out a 13-yard run that put the ball at midfield.

But after a five yard false start penalty on guard Brian Waters, Green attempted his first pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez. But Raiders cornerback Rolando Hill knocked the ball loose setting up a second and fifteen. Johnson ran for nine yards setting up the Chiefs second third down attempt of the game. Green misfired and the Chiefs punted for the time in the game. Rookie Dustin Colquitt pinned the Raiders at the sixteen yard line where they started their third possession of the first quarter.

The Raiders pushed themselves back five yards with another false start penalty. This time Collins abandoned the run and hit Jerry Porter for a seven yard gain. Safety Sammy Knight was flagged for being off-sides. After a short run by Jordan, the Raiders faced a third and two. This time the Raiders converted the first down when Collins hit Randall Williams for three yards.

Two plays later Collins hit Porter for a 14-yard gain setting up another first down at the 41-yard line. On the next play Collins set up a screen pass for eight yards to Williams. On the next play Collins once again overthrew Moss setting up a third and two. This time the Chiefs over-pursuit let Jordan slip for a 14-yard gain and another Raiders first down.

On first down, Jordan ran for three yards and then Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson blew up a screen pass to Jordan that only netted two yards. But on third down Eric Warfield playing ten yards off Jerry Porter could not recover in time to prevent another first down. That ended the first quarter.

To open the second quarter, Collins threw the ball out of bounds forcing a third and ten. On the next play, Chiefs middle linebacker Kawika Mitchell forced Collins to throw the ball away and Janikowski nailed his second field goal of the game. This time he connected from 49-yards out and the Raiders took a 6-0 lead with 14:47 left in the second quarter.
With the Kansas City offense fluttering, the Chiefs implemented a no-huddle offense. After a short one-yard pass from Green to Chris Horn. Wide receiver Eddie Kennison dropped what would have been a first down. That forced the Chiefs into another third down attempt that failed as Larry Johnson ran for a four yard gain. Dustin Colquitt nailed a 49-yard punt that was fumbled by Raiders return man Chris Carr. But he recovered that fumble and the Raiders took over at their own 13-yard line.

After a two-yard run by Jordan, Derrick Johnson stopped fullback John Paul Foschi for a one-yard run. But Collins hit Porter for a 21-yard gain. This time the Raiders stayed with their passing game but Collins misfired on his first pass and Jordan was stopped for no gain setting up another third down. This time the Chiefs blitz forced Collins to overthrow a well covered Porter and the Raiders were forced to punt for the second time in the game.

Dante Hall returned the Shane Lechler punt for 18-yards setting up the Chiefs offense at the 39-yard line. The offense which only had the ball for 4:02 to this point in the game went on the attack. LJ ran for six yards but on the second play of the drive Johnson lost two yards. On third down, Green hit Dante Hall who made an incredible catch for a 20-yard gain putting the ball in Raiders territory at the 38-yard line.

The offense kept the Dante theme going as he ran for eight yards. LJ took the next step and ran three yards up the middle for their second consecutive first down of the drive. Johnson was stuffed by free safety Jarrod Cooper for a one-yard run. On the next play, Green hit a wide open Tony Gonzalez for a 16-yard gain to the 11-yard line.

Wanting to stay in the air, Green hit fullback Tony Richardson for a short two-yard gain. But on the next play Green short armed a wide open Eddie Kennison in the end zone forcing third down. After their failings a week ago in the red zone, Green and the Chiefs took a time out.

But Green focusing on Gonzalez missed a wide open Chris Horn in the back of the end zone. The pass failed to reach the Chiefs tight end and the drive stalled. Fortunately kicker Lawrence Tynes found his stroke as he split the uprights for a 27-yard field goal. That made the score 6-3 Raiders with 4:50 left in the first half.

After Carr returned the ball to the Chiefs 31-yard line, the Raider went back on the attack. They misfired on their first pass attempt of the drive but Jordan ran for a seven yard gain setting up third and a short three. This time Jordan made the conversion as once again the Chiefs defense ran past the Raiders running back who then cut back and picked up six more yards.

Collins tried a pair of passes but both were incomplete. Facing a third and ten from the 44-yard line Chiefs defensive end Eric Hicks shot through the gap and forced Collins to throw the ball out of bounds.

After a 51-yard punt by Lechler, the Chiefs et up shop at their own 10 yard line. Expecting to pass, Green handed the ball to Johnson who ran for a 15 yard gain. On the next play Green threw too high for Gonzalez. But Green found Kennison for a 17 yard reception putting the ball at the 41-yard line.

Kennison ran out of bounds after catching a short three yard gain at the two minute warning. Then Green hit Hall for a short gain setting up a third and five from the 46-yard line. This time thanks to a pass interference penalty on Jarrod Cooper Kansas City was given the ball at the Raiders 37-yard line. Cooper mugged Gonzalez in an obvious penalty.

Green under heat threw the ball away on the first snap and then Brian Waters 10-yard holding penalty negated a nifty seven yard run by Johnson. The Chiefs were flagged again for their second consecutive holding ball. This time tackle John Welbourn was penalized setting up a third twenty. This time the Chiefs were fortunate as Kennison caught the ball down the field short of the first down. Cornerback Fabian Washington failed to touch Kennison who sprinted another ten yards putting the ball at 17-yard with just: 53 seconds left in the half. But after the play was reviewed by the instant replay booth, the call was over-turned and Kansas City faced a fourth and two. The Chiefs thought about going for it but instead kicker Lawrence Tynes attempted a 47-yard field goal that was picture perfect. That tied the score at 6-6 with just .29 seconds in the game. That was Tynes 12th consecutive field goal on the season.

But the Chiefs special teams did a horrific job covering the ensuing kick-off as Carr ran the ball all the way down to the Chiefs 32-yard line. After a three yard run by Jordan, Collins tried to hit Moss but Chiefs cornerback DeWayne Washington had perfect coverage. But Janikowski made the Chiefs pay for their mental mistakes on special teams as he nailed his second long field goal of the game. This time from 48-yards and the Raiders led 9-6 to end the first half.

In the second half, the Chiefs offense went three and out. And with 13:53 in the third quarter, they punted the ball back to the Raiders who took over at the 26-yard line. They struck quick as Jordan gained 11-yards. On the next two plays Jordan ran for five yards and Doug Gabriel caught a six yard pass giving the Raiders another first down.

Then Jordan ran for five yards and caught a four yard pass setting up a short third and one. This time the defense was ready as defensive end Eric Hicks tackled fullback Zack Crockett for a four yard loss. Lechler pinned the Chiefs back at their 14-yard line giving the offense another opportunity to awake from their day long doldrums.
After a two yard loss by Larry Johnson, Green completed a short pass to Chris Horn for a seven yard gain. That set up a critical third and five. Once again Raiders defensive end Tommy Kelly beat right tackle Jordan Black and Green fumbled for the second time in the game. This time right tackle John Welbourn plopped on the ball and Kansas City was forced to punt for the fourth time in the game.

After another Colquitt pint, the Raiders started their next drive at the 41-yard line. On the first play Jordan ran for five yards but Collins lateral on the next play lost seven yards for Oakland. Facing a third and twelve middle linebacker Kawika Mitchell nailed Collins for a 13-yard loss. The Raiders punted again and for the third time in the half Kansas City hoped to kick start the offense.

Starting at their own 28-yard line Larry Johnson carried the ball on consecutive plays gaining eight yards. With the ball at the 36 yard line, Green hit Horn on a quick slant for a seven yard gain that gave the Chiefs a first down.

But Johnson dropped a pass in the flat and then was unable to pick up a yard on the next play. That meant Kansas City was in familiar territory facing a long third down. This time Green found Tony Gonzalez down the middle of the field for a 33-yard gain. That put the Chiefs into Raiders territory at the 29-yard line.

On the next play Green and Gonzalez hooked up for another reception this time for eight yards. That set up a nifty 12 yard gain by Johnson putting the ball at the nine yard line. That gave the Chiefs their second first and goal in the game at the nine yard line. Johnson ran six yards setting up second down. But Green and Johnson fumbled the exchange and Kansas City loss three yards. But an old friend returned to the Chiefs offense. Green with the pocket crumbling around him hit fullback Tony Richardson in the flat. On the play, the forgotten offensive soldier, carried Raiders linebacker Tyler Brayton in the end zone. That gave the Chiefs a 13-6 lead with .55 left in the third quarter.

After another strong kick-off return by Carr the Raiders began their drive at the 41-yard line. This time the defense had to make a statement. It did just that as safety Greg Wesley picked off an errant Collins pass and returned the ball to the Raiders 35-yard line.

That was the third game in a row that Wesley has intercepted a pass for the Chiefs. On the play Mitchell came up the middle on another blitz and Collins threw into quadruple coverage trying to find Randy Moss who had been held without a pass thus far in the game.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Green hit Kennison for a 10-yard gain. That put the ball at the 23-yard line. On the next two plays, Johnson gained eight yards setting up a short third and two from the 16 yard line. After running the ball up the middle, Green pitched the ball to Johnson who ran outside broke three tackles and carried Raiders safety Stuart Schweigert into the end zone. The run gave the Chiefs a 20-9 lead with 12:56 left in the game.

Knowing they'd have to open up the office the Raiders went on the attack. On the next three plays, Collins hit consecutive long plays and then the Chiefs were called for a pass interference penalty. Then on the next play defensive end Jared Allen was called for pulling Collins down and then was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty that put the ball on the Chiefs nine yard line. On the play, Allen was pulled down by a Raiders offensive lineman but referee Larry Nemmers saw it another way. Still Allen should have contained his emotions.

On the first play, Collins hit Porter for a six yard gain setting up second and goal from the four yard line. This time the Raiders executed a perfect pass as Porter who was left wide open caught a four yard pass from Collins. That made the score 20-15 Chiefs after the Raiders misfired on their two point attempt.

After a short return by Hall, the Chiefs took over at their 35-yard line with 10:14 left in the game. After two short plays by the offense, Kansas City faced a third and four but Green through a short pass to Hall and the Chiefs were forced to punt. Once again Colquitt dropped the ball inside the 20-yard line as the Raiders started their drive at the 15-yard line with 8:07 left in the game.

Knowing the Raiders receivers were blanketed by the Chiefs corners Collins hit tight end Courtney Anderson for a 13-yard gain. After an incomplete pass, Collins hit Jordan out of the backfield for a six yard gain. But DeWayne Washington was called for a holding call that gave the Raiders new life and a first down.

Jordan ran for three yards then Collins hit Gabriel for 20-yard gain that put the ball at the Chiefs 38-yard line. On the play Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield left the game with an injury to his hip.

On second down, Jordan ripped a long run setting up a third and one from the 35-yard line. This time the defense couldn't hold their ground as Jordan ran the ball for three yards and another first down.

That's went the Chiefs went into a prevent defense rushing three. This time Jimmy Wilkerson put pressure on Collins as he threw the ball away. But Jordan powered his way down to the 14-yard line on the next play setting up a first down with 2:00 left in the game.

One play later, the Raiders moved the ball inside the ten yard line as Jordan caught a seven yard pass from Collins. On the next play Benny Sapp nearly intercepted an errant Collins throw that set up third down. After nearly throwing the ball into his hands, Collins hit Moss for a six yard pass giving the Raiders their first lead of the second half. Instead of going for the extra point giving them a two point lead, Jordan ran the ball into the end zone giving the Raiders a three point lead 23-20 with 1:45 left in the game.

That meant the offense would have to win or tie the game for the Chiefs.

After a false start penalty by Tony Gonzalez, Green connected on consecutive passes to Horn and Johnson giving the Chiefs a first down. But the Raiders were called for an illegal trip that put the ball at midfield. On the next play Kennison caught a 13-yard pass from Green putting the ball at the Raiders 37-yard line. But then the real fun began.

With pocket shrinking, Green dumped the ball off to Larry Johnson who ran the ball all the way down to the half yard line. Kansas City called a timeout with: 05 seconds left in the game and were forced to make the decision to kick the field goal to tie the game or go for the game winner.

Thus with the season on the line, Kansas City went for it and Larry Johnson finished the job diving over for the game winning score giving the Chiefs an improbably 27-23 win at Arrowhead.

It was a bold move by Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil and this victory should be the catalyst that puts the season back on track. The win allows the Chiefs to stay pace with the Denver Broncos who stand 6-2 while Kansas City sits at 5-3. The Chargers also won escaping with a victory in New York. They stand at 4-4.

Next week the Chiefs travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. Denver heads west to Oakland who will be very motivated to take out the Chiefs loss on the Broncos. The Chargers have an off week. After a tough stretch, San Diego will play the next three of four games at home.

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