Raiders battle gamely but lose

There's a reason why you throw out the records in a rivalry game – especially when the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs play.

The Chiefs, nonetheless, edged the undermanned Raiders 27-24 at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Kansas City improved to 10-1 while Oakland heads into next Sunday's home game against Denver 3-8.

Kansas City's Morten Anderson booted the game-winning field goal from 36-yards out with four seconds left in the game. The key play in the drive was Trent Green's 14-yard completion to Marc Boerigter to the Oakland 18-yard line on fourth down and 14. The Chiefs were forced into a fourth down situation after tight end Tony Gonzalez was called for offensive pass interference.

Oakland tied the game on the previous possession with a 41-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal at the 2:18 mark.

Things did not look promising early for the Raiders.

Kansas City scored on its second possession of the game when Derrick Blaylock scored on a 25-yard run. Blaylock took the pitch running left and cut inside of Boerighter, William Roaf and Will Shields blocks on the way to the end zone. The big play on the drive was a 35-yard pass completion to Priest Holmes on the previous play.

The Chiefs widened the lead to 14-0 with 28 seconds left in the opening quarter when Holmes, who totaled 190 yards from scrimmage, scored on a 2-yard run around right end with fullback Tony Richardson delivering the key block. Holmes had receptions of 10 and 22 yards to set up the score.

Oakland sliced the lead in half at 14-7 with 1:50 left in the second quarter. Quarterback Rick Mirer dropped back to pass with the Raiders facing third-down-and-seven from the Kansas City 13-yard line. No Oakland receiver broke free so Mirer ran through a gaping hole up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown run.

The Chiefs, however, answered in short order. On first-and-goal from the Raider 2, Green faked a handoff into the line to Holmes. Green then connected with tight end Jason Dunn in the back of the end zone with 22 seconds left in the first half to put Kansas City ahead 21-7.

The Raiders started the second in impressive fashion when they marched 70 yards on nine plays. Tyrone Wheatley capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. Wheatley used Barret Robbins and Barry Sims blocks. He also broke Vonnie Holliday and Dexter McCleon tackles along the way, cutting the Chief advantage to 21-14 at the 10:19 mark of the third quarter. Mirer's 22-yard completion to Jerry Porter on third-and-nine was the key play on the drive.

Dante Hall, Kansas City's dynamic return specialist, took the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to the Raider 48. Morten Anderson's 42-yard field goal put the Chiefs in front 24-14 at the 7:12 mark of the third period.

The Raiders then cut the lead to 24-21 when Mirer beat the Kansas City blitz by hitting Jerry Rice over the middle. Rice outran cornerback Eric Warfield on the way to the end zone. On that play, Rice scored his first touchdown of the season and became the first player in NFL history to catch 1,500 passes in his career.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com.


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