Chiefs Show Life Signs In 16-10 Win

Give the Kansas City Chiefs credit for finding a way to win Sunday's 16-10 yawner over the Oakland Raiders. You knew it was KC's game late in the third quarter after Dwayne Bowe fumbled and a wild scrum ensued in pursuit of the ball, which eventually landed in the arms of Brian Waters. The drive ended in a failed fourth-down conversion attempt, but the play showed how much the Chiefs wanted it.

Despite that fortunate play, there was plenty of bumbling on both sides. Receivers and running backs continued to drop balls, there were penalties galore, and the Chiefs had to deal with several turnovers early in the game before overcoming them to take a 13-10 lead at the half.

It's difficult to know what to make out of this win over the Raiders because the Chiefs played against such a horrific quarterback in JaMarcus Russell. Sunday he had at least a dozen wide open receivers that he missed by throwing the ball too short or too high. Russell was eventually benched in favor of Bruce Gradkowski, but the game still dragged on and on.

It's a good thing that the Raiders weren't coached all that well on Sunday. Tom Cable had the Chiefs on their heels against Oakland's running game, and had Russell been benched earlier, we might be talking about a different outcome. Even without a passing game, the combination of Michael Bush, Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden proved deadly.

The game turned in the fourth quarter when Chiefs' safety Mike Brown intercepted a tipped pass. It gave KC's offense a spark and after a pass interference penalty on Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Kansas City went up 16-10, forcing the Raiders to score a touchdown to win. That threat was snuffed out when Brown grabbed his second interception of the day a few minutes later.

This game isn't an indicator of the Chiefs' ability to win more games this year, but it does serve as a platform from which to build something. Kansas City just finished a stretch where they played three of four games on the road, but won two. That's huge for a bad football team trying to find itself.

The Chiefs are still an enigma. Nobody knows how many times they'll be competitive late into games the rest of the season. If the ball had bounced differently in a few losses this year - notably against the Raiders in Week 2, Cowboys and Ravens – Kansas City could be sitting at 5-4 right now.

But good teams win those close games. What matters is making the plays that need to be made and players stepping up to help the team win.

Sunday, Haley's Bunch did a better job of that than the Raiders, and that's what really matters. Winning ugly is still winning, and with the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers visiting Arrowhead next week, the Chiefs will take any positive sign they can get.


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