What kind of intestinal fortitude does it take for a person to be able to weather a 16-game losing streak? It had been 368 days since their last victory. The amount of personal resilience would have to be off the meter. During the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders there were more than a few members of the Raiders brain trust who had not won a game since late last season. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs were leading the AFC West over the Denver Broncos and were fresh off a gritty win over the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks last week. All signs pointed to the Kansas City Chiefs coming in and steam rolling the Raiders, but there was definitely a detour on the way to that sure fire victory. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr powered his team to its first win of the season after being tossing a game-winning touchdown pass to James Jones with 1:42 left in the game.
Oakland’s Latavius Murray , who had performed less than admirably for two weeks straight against the Broncos and the Chargers, ran all over Andy Reid’s defense to the tune of 122 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries. While KC’s Alex Smith didn’t have a horrible game, it certainly wasn’t a masterpiece. Get it? KC Masterpiece? No? Well, we digress. But we bet the Kansas City wish they would have digressed. The Raiders’ defense made things hell for the visiting Chiefs in front of an inspired audience that had just honored former Raiders great Ray Guy. The win made KC only the third team since the merger to defeat a first place team for its first win after losing its first 10 games of the season. This was the perfect storm of ineptitude for the Chiefs.
As usual, KC leaned heavily on running back Jamal Charles for offensive production and he responded to the best of his ability with 19 carries for 80 yards to go with 4 receptions for 42 yards, but he didn’t get much help. Yes, TE Travis Kelce caught four passes for 67 yards, but that’s about it.
Derek Carr’s game winning drive was likely his best of the season. He converted two first downs on quarterback sneaks and threw an 8-yard pass to TE Mychal Rivera on a 3rd and 6 and benefited from a pass interference call against SS Ron Parker. However, the game wasn’t exactly considered a victory in the bag until QB Alex Smith threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 13 from his own 48.
But, in true Oakland Raiders behavior, DE Khalil Mack and DE Sio Moore sacked Smith on 3rd down and celebrated excessively in the in the KC backfield as the Chiefs rushed to the line to snap the ball. If it wasn’t for the heads up play by veteran DE Justin Tuck the conversation might be a bit different today. Next week, the Kansas City Chiefs host the Denver Broncos while the Oakland Raiders gear up to face the Los Angeles Rams.