First half effort wasted in loss to KC

The Oakland Raiders slowed down the tight end but forgot about the running back and wide receivers in a 34-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.

The Oakland Raiders (4-8) have had their problems stopping tight ends in 2004 and held Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez to three catches for 32 yards but running back Larry Johnson amassed 122 yards rushing while Eddie Kennison added 148 on eight catches including the go-ahead 70-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Trent Green with 2:04 remaining.

The Raiders, who were coming off a stunning 25-24 win on the road one week earlier over Denver, looked as if they were continuing that momentum when they raced to a 20-7 lead quarterback Kerry Collins hit a wide-open Jerry Porter for a 51-yard touchdown pass with 6:11 left in the first half.

From that point on, however, Oakland, which visits Atlanta next Sunday, saw its defense offer little resistance. The Chiefs amassed 501 yards of total offense and did not punt in the second half.

Kansas City mounted a drive late in the first half when it drove from its 20 to the Oakland 5. The Chiefs, however, had to settle for a 28-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal with :14 seconds left in the first half.

The Chiefs, however, did not have their opening drive in the second half bog down. Kansas City drove 86 yards on nine plays, capped off by a 5-yard Larry Johnson touchdown to cut the Raiders lead to 20-17 with 10:30 left in the third quarter.

The Chiefs took a 24-20 with 4:16 left in the third period when Green connected with Larry Johnson for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

That lead was short-lived, however. Oakland answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 26-yard Collins-to-Curry touchdown pass. Curry beat cornerback Dexter McCleon on the play. Curry caught nine passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns before being carted off the field midway through the fourth quarter with a knee or ankle injury.

Kansas City evened the score at 27-all with 6:53 left in the game on a 22-yard Tynes field goal. The Chiefs got as far as the Oakland 5 but go no closer.

The Raiders struck first when Sebastian Janikowski booted a 27-yard field goal with 11:03 left in the first quarter. That score capped off a nine-play, 59-yard drive.

The Chiefs answered that Oakland scored when Green connected with running back Derrick Blaylock with a 20-yard touchdown pass on a screen pass. The drive took 10-plays for 65-yards. Kansas City led 7-3 with 4:18 left in the opening quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Oakland got as far as the Kansas City 13 but had to settle for a 36-yard Janikowski field goal to cut the Chiefs lead to 7-6 at the 1:06 mark of the first quarter.

The Raiders later answered when Charles Woodson returned a Green interception to the Oakland 48. Three plays later, Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins hit Ronald Curry on a screen pass to the left. Curry then raced 34-yards to paydirt, giving Oakland a 13-7 lead with 9:22 left in the second period.

NOTES— Grant Irons started in place of Tyler Brayton, who missed the game with a neck injury. … Raiders safety Stuart Schweigert made his first NFL start in place of Marques Anderson. … Oakland wide receiver John Stone recorded his first NFL reception.

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


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