That no doubt made Sunday night's trip home all the more painful after quarterback Aaron Brooks had pumped some life into the moribund Raiders offense, up until the final moment, when a first-and-goal pass was intercepted in the end zone by Kansas City rookie safety Jarrad Page with 26 seconds to play.
Battling cramps that locked up a thumb and finger on his throwing hand, Brooks was replaced by Andrew Walter before the final drive. Walter completed two of three passes for 15 yards before Brooks returned.
Brooks completed a 13-yard pass to Randal Williams and a 39-yard strike to Ronald Curry, who was running out of the slot behind linebacker Kawika Mitchell. The Raiders were set up to finally reverse the tide against the Chiefs, only to be denied again.
The Chiefs have won seven consecutive games against Oakland, with each game in doubt until the final possession. No game has had a point spread of more than seven points.
On Nov. 5, 2005, Dick Vermeil opted to go for the touchdown rather than a field goal to tie and Larry Johnson ran it in from the one as time expired for a 27-23 win. Johnson had the game-winner this time as well, with 1:32 to play on another one-yard run.
"This is the third year I've been here, and it's the same thing," safety Jarrod Cooper said. "But I'll tell you what. Our performance was better than it was last week. We're getting better. We're not going to keep losing like this. I really think we made a step up today."
Brooks put some life into Oakland's sack-prone offense, completing 13 of 22 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown, a five-yard flip to Courtney Anderson. His able to scramble, pivot and escape pressure was crucial. Oakland gave up just one sack when Walter was in the game, for no yards.
"My deal was to bring energy," Brooks said. "I wanted to bring energy, show my leadership and bring the guys with me. I thought the guys did a good job rallying behind me. I wanted to get the guys energized, get them going, have some type of spirit to play the game.
"I think that's what we've really been missing. I think we went out there and showed what type of team we could be."
The Raiders' inconsistencies defensively against the run proved costly. Excellent in two games against run-heavy Denver and again against Pittsburgh, Oakland reverted to how it played in games against San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson (131 yards) and San Francisco's Frank Gore (127 yards).
Johnson rushed for 154 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns. He had 53 yards on nine carries on Kansas City's opening drive, a 76-yard, 11-play march in which 73 yards came on the ground.
"We have to tackle and get in areas to stop the run," coach Art Shell said. "In other words, we have to fill our gaps and take on the run. Sometimes we weren't where we were supposed to be."