The Raiders came into the Thursday Night Football matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs not having won a game in over 365 days, and going 0-16 during that time.
The Oakland Raiders chose to start on defense to set the mood, holding the the Chiefs to a three and out.
With the Raiders offense stalling and the running game looking inept once again with Darren McFadden heading it. That is until second-year running back Latavius Murray came in, gaining six yards on his first carry.
On 3rd and four from the 11-yard line of the same drive, Murray would make a beautiful play to bounce his next run outside and get into the end zone from 11 yards out to give the Raiders the early 7-0 lead and marking the first rushing touchdown the Chiefs have given up all season.
Murray would then display his 4.38 40-yard dash speed on the next Raiders offensive drive, finding a hole to the left side and scampering 90 yards down the left side for the longest touchdown run by a Raiders running back of the year.
Up 14-0 with the momentum on their side, the Raiders defense continued their stellar play and forced another punt by the Chiefs. With rookie cornerback TJ Carrie still out with a knee injury, wide receiver Denarius Moore was back to return the punt but seemingly lost it in the rain and muffed it, giving the Chiefs the ball on the Raiders 11-yard line.
Luckily, the Raiders defense held the Chiefs to just four yards gained and forced a field goal attempt to make the score 14-3. With little action for the rest of the half, both teams would head into the locker room with the score 14-3. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Murray would be in the locker room early as he was evaluated for a concussion.
The Raiders scored first in the second half, driving 27 yards on nine plays but was forced to settle for a 40-yard field goal that put the Raiders back up by two touchdowns at 17-3.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City offense would respond with a nice drive of their own. It looked as if the Raiders defense would get a timely turnover when Jamaal Charles fumbled the ball, which fell right into linebacker Khalil Mack’s hands but he couldn’t hang on to it as the Chiefs recovered.
Smith would capitalize by finding tight end Anthony Fasano on a 19-yard touchdown pass as he was wide open. The touchdown made it just a one-touchdown score, at 17-10.
Carr would finally find a big play to a wide receiver when he found Andre Holmes down the right sideline for a 37-yard gain. But that’s all the Raiders would get as the drive would stall and Marquette King would be asked to punt again.
Smith didn’t let off the gas, finding his other tight end to open up the next drive with a 27-yard pass to Travis Kelce to get right back into Raiders territory. After a holding call to back the Chiefs up some, Smith found wide receiver Dwayne Bowe across the middle for a 24-yard gain after linebacker Miles Burris whiffed on a tackle.
On 2nd and 16 after another holding penalty, Charles Woodson missed on a jam on Charles and he was left wide open over the middle for a short pass that he took 30 yards for the touchdown to tie up the game at 17-17 with 12:20 remaining in the game.
With Murray still out of the game, the Raiders offense continued to look putrid as they went three and out again to give the ball back to the Chiefs. King did save a special teams touchdown by the Chiefs, as it looked like Frankie Hammond Jr. would return his punt for the touchdown.
The Raiders defense would hold in the red zone once again, forcing a 25-yard field goal by Cairo Santos that put the Chiefs up 20-17 with 9:03 remaining on the clock.
It looked like it would be another heartbreaking loss for the Raiders, but Carr and company strung together a beautiful 17-play drive that went 80 yards and only needing a field goal to tie. Instead, Carr found wide receiver James Jones in the back of the end zone for the go ahead score. With Murray out with his concussion, the Raiders turned to fullback Marcel Reece to carry the ball. rushing for 21 yards on the drive.
Still with 1:42 remaining in the game, Smith and the Chiefs offense had one last chance to keep the Raiders winless on the season.
After a crucial sack on third down by Sio Moore, the Raiders almost made a costly mistake that we have seen many times before. Moore and Mack celebrated in the backfield, almost drawing an offsides call while Smith hiked the ball but defensive end Justin Tuck signaled to the sideline for Sparano to call a timeout to avoid the penalty. On the ensuing fourth down, Smith’s pass fell harmlessly incomplete securing the Raiders victory.
But why settle with one win? The Raiders will look to earn a win streak next week as they take on the St. Louis Rams after a long week after playing Thursday.