Game Recap: Chiefs Intercept Carr 3 Times, Defeat Raiders, 34-20 from The Mothership
Josh Mauga, Marcus Petersand Tyvon Branchall made fourth quarter interceptions as the Kansas City Chiefs came from behind to defeat the Oakland Raiders, 34-20 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California on Sunday.
It was the sixth-straight victory for the Chiefs, who also had two touchdowns by
Jeremy Maclin. It was also the first time since 1995 that Kansas City swept through its AFC West road ledger with wins.
Jeremy Maclin: "We're on a Mission" from The Mothership
"It was huge," he said. "We needed [the win] in order to achieve what we wanted to achieve. It wasn't pretty. We turned the ball over twice, myself included. Penalties, myself included. So these are things we have to clean up.
"Defense came up big in the fourth quarter, offense moved the ball a little bit in the fourth quarter and we were able to get the win."
Last season, the Chiefs went to Oakland with a five-game win streak and lost on Thursday Night Football.
This year, thanks in big part to Maclin, they extended the streak to six.
"This isn't last year," Maclin said. "This is not the team that came here last year. We're on a mission.'"
Chiefs vs. Raiders: 12 Observations from The Mothership
1. Chiefs sweep the AFC West on the road for the first time since 1995
It had been 20 years since the Kansas City Chiefs had gone undefeated on the road against teams within their division, and that's exactly what they've done this year after Sunday's win.
The last time they achieved that feat was back in 1995.
KCChiefs.com Videos: Chiefs vs. Raiders: Kansas City Highlights
The Chiefs are ‘the most dramatic team in the NFL,' and they won't stop winning from The Kansas City Star
We can keep this about results, and say the Chiefs won because Alex Smith protected the football and because the defense made three game-changing plays — returning three interceptions a total of 162 yards, which actually matched Smith's passing yards — and shut down the run in the second half and did other football things well.
Or we could talk about something bigger, something harder to define, but something nonetheless critical for the Chiefs to win the most difficult game remaining on their schedule. They never quit, they stayed aggressive and they maintained confidence.
Of all the things the Chiefs have changed since coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey replaced Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli, the most important is a broken culture. There is virtually no chance that any team in recent history had the fortitude to win a game like this, against mistakes, with offensive linemen in positions they'd never played, with their best player hurt, and in a place where even bad teams have beaten the Chiefs before.
Chiefs sock it to Raiders in a 34-20 victory from The Kansas City Star
Tyvon Branch watched the ball flutter through the air and into his grasp. And as he fell onto the slick, muddy turf at O.co Coliseum, he heard teammate Marcus Peters — who was standing nearby — yelling at him.
"Marcus was telling me go down," said Branch, a former Raider. "And I'm like ‘Nah, I've got to live out my dreams.' "
So Branch, a safety who signed with the Chiefs in March after spending the first seven years of his career in Oakland, rose to his feet and sprinted to daylight. He ran with urgency and grace — a flash of the athleticism that helped make him a standout in this stadium before injuries sabotaged his career — and went untouched into the end zone.
In a wacky game filled with missed kicks, fumbles, interceptions and momentum swings, the theme of redemption reigned supreme Sunday.
Chiefs win sixth straight behind defensive effort against Raiders from Chiefs Digest
The game did not go by the pattern the Chiefs established in building their winning streak.
The first half was a horror show for K.C., an effort filled with penalties, poor production and two lost fumbles, the first turnovers for the Chiefs since the middle of October. They were down by a touchdown at halftime and quarterback Alex Smith was getting pounded by the Raiders defense. The offense couldn't stay on the field, and the defense could not get off.
It was the Chiefs worst performance in two months, but they still found a way to win the game. Reid sensed no fear in his halftime locker room.
"There was no flinch; we knew we kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the first half," said Reid. "If we just hung together and continued to play hard, tough, angry football, you are going to be OK and I thought the guys did that."
Marcus Peters and Tyvon Branch made the Oakland Coliseum feel just like home.
Peters, an Oakland native who grew up attending Raiders games, set up Kansas City's go-ahead score with an interception and former Oakland safety Tyvon Branch put the game away with an interception return for a touchdown that gave the Chiefs their sixth straight win, 34-20 on Sunday.
"It was a whole lot more than I expected," said Peters, who gave the ball from his interception to his mother. "It was hard, man, I can't lie, to come out there and stay focused. My nerves were up and down.
"Early in the game my emotions were everywhere so it took for coach and the other leaders on the team to just bring me back. I made some silly mistakes early, but they reeled me in."
Three Chiefs' interceptions headline Week 13 highs from Chiefs Digest
Rivalry games are always weird. The first installment of the Kansas City Chiefs versus the Oakland Raiders this season was no exception and the Chiefs pulled out their sixth straight win, 24-20.
Fans and onlookers were left scratching their heads as special teams turned into special disasters for both squads.
There were some bright spots and some not-so-bright spots in the 110th regular season meeting of the two teams.
Pick, pick, pick and score, Chiefs defense dominates fourth quarter from The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs needed something good to happen. They had fallen behind the Raiders by a touchdown and couldn't pick up a first down as fourth quarter started.
The Raiders were on the move, already in Sebastian Janikowski field goal range to take a two-score lead.
That's when the Chiefs applied the pressure and turned around a game they'd go on to win 34-20.
The final score means the Chiefs have surpassed 30 points in four games of their six-game winning streak. But make no mistake, this was defense-created production, starting with the first of three interceptions and long returns in the fourth quarter.
West and Ware each get work: The Chiefs gave Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware a share of the featured back role. West had been the featured back until he was forced out of a game in San Diego two weeks ago because of a strained hamstring muscle. Ware played so well in his absence the Chiefs felt he deserved some time once West returned. Ware scored a touchdown on a 10-yard run in the third quarter.
Notebook: Chiefs safety Tyvon Branch has pick-6 against former team from Chiefs Digest
"It was crazy because Ty didn't say much about it all week," cornerback Sean Smith said, "but we knew deep down inside this was a game he definitely wanted to win. So we wanted to come out here and make sure we all balled out for him. To see him get that pick and seal the deal for us, that's big man. That was definitely a big play for him and a big play for him."
Branch said he planned to frame the football, but he also appreciated being back in Oakland and the support he received.
"I had a lot of good years out here," Branch said. "Raider nation showed me a lot of love."
Chiefs rookie cornerback Marcus Peters seizes day in hometown after shaky start from The Kansas City Star
There is such a history of hostility in this rivalry that Chiefs legend Len Dawson laughed when he considered the peril he might have been in had he ever chosen to, say, wander towards the Raiders' stands waving a ball.
"They'd have loved me to have come there," he said, "so they could choke me."
But it was safe passage here Sunday for Chiefs' rookie cornerback Marcus Peters, the Oakland native who had just plucked a crucial interception and run it back 58 yards in the fourth quarter to set up the go-ahead touchdown in Kansas City's 34-20 victory.
As Peters immediately took off his helmet and marched toward Section 142 holding up the ball, no one in a fan base that boasts "a black hole" in the stands hurled anything at him — maybe not so much as an epithet.
To the contrary:
They made way for his mother, Doreen, to lean over a railing in her red Chiefs No. 22 jersey and hug him and accept the ball from him and clasp it tight for the rest of the game.
The score was tied, 14-14, late in the third quarter when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr found tight end Lee Smith for a 5-yard touchdown, and the official flagged Peters for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Safeties Eric Berry and Ron Parker were observed talking to Peters at the end of the sideline bench, and other defensive players also went over to talk to him.
"Coach and the other leaders on the team brought me back," Peters said. "I made some silly mistakes, but they reeled me in."
Coach Andy Reid didn't appear concerned, and mentioned after the game Peters can learn from the experience.
"He's a young guy," Reid said. "He can't get too emotional; he's going up against a seasoned veteran there, (Michael) Crabtree. He (Crabtree) came after him a little bit early, but he came back and made plays. That's what he does."
Receiver Jeremy Maclin engaged with some fans before the game in the notorious Black Hole, presumably to get himself in the right frame of mind for what he was about to inflict on their favorite team, the Oakland Raiders.
"They were trying to talk to me,'' said Maclin, playing in Oakland for the first time since joining the Kansas City Chiefs. "I just responded with some words. I was having a little fun.''
Raiders fans may wish to leave Maclin alone next year. Suitably inspired, Maclin was the primary catalyst for the Chiefs' offense Sunday. When he produces like he did in the Chiefs' 34-20 win over the Raiders, he's enough.
Chiefs' Josh Mauga makes play that turned game against Raiders from Chiefs Digest
With nothing but green in front of him, Mauga secured the ball and took off for the end zone in a dead sprint with Raiders players in hot pursuit.
There was a problem, however.
"I was trying to score," Mauga said. "Maybe about 10, 15 yards into it, I could feel I was running out of gas."
Mauga easily outran the offensive linemen, but Helu came streaking down the left side of the field to tackle Mauga, who had slowed down considerably, just 2 yards shy of the goal line.
"Oh my, his back got so tight around the 15-yard line," cornerback Sean Smith said with a chuckle. "I don't even think he saw that other guy coming. But that was definitely a big play. He gave it all he got, his gasoline ran out."
LT Eric Fisher: The Raiders picked on him with the bull rush and he didn't respond well. Fisher's defender had a pair of sacks and forced another when he pushed Fisher away and forced Alex Smith into another Oakland player.
In retrospect, the words of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt appear prescient. He voiced support for his general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid, despite his team headed toward what appeared to be a hopeless season.
And yet, before they played their Week 8 tilt against the Lions in London -- with his team strapped to a 2-5 record after being buried by a five-game losing streak -- Hunt expressed "full confidence in Andy and John Dorsey," before adding nothing would change his opinion.
Since then, they've won four straight for a total of five and put themselves in the playoff race. Asked earlier in the week during the Dallas league meetings about those comments, Hunt told NFL.com that regardless of how the season turned out, he would still have the same positive thoughts on his top two football people.
Raiders Turnovers The Difference In Loss To Kansas City Chiefs from Raiders.com
Kansas City couldn't spark their run game - the Raiders held them to just 89 yards on the ground, and Alex Smith was a pedestrian 16 of 22 for just 162 yards.
However, he made the most of his opportunities, finding the end zone twice, including a one-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin that gave the Chiefs the lead with 7:57 left in the game.
The real difference maker Sunday, as has been the case throughout Kansas City's now six-game winning streak, was their ability to capitalize off turnovers.
Carr's miscues lead to Chiefs TDs and 34-20 win over Raiders from The Associated Press via The Sacramento Bee
Derek Carr kept making mistakes and Kansas City kept turning them into touchdowns.
That added up to a sixth straight win for the Chiefs and what looks like another lost season for the Oakland Raiders.
Alex Smith threw two TD passes to Jeremy Maclin after fourth-quarter interceptions and Tyvon Branch returned a third pick from Carr for a game-clinching score against his former team as the Chiefs rallied to beat the Oakland Raiders 34-20 Sunday.
"They had opportunities in the fourth quarter," Smith said. "We just capitalized on some mistakes and made really nice plays. The Tyvon play was just a ridiculous catch and run. It ended up being the difference though. Our defense made the plays and we were able to capitalize on it."
Ravens' Matt Schaub, or any quarterback, can't be expected to do much with this offense from The Baltimore Sun
Schaub is just a backup quarterback, not a miracle worker. And if you think things can't get worse, they will. The Ravens have played the San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns and Miami, teams with losing records, the past give games.
Oh, this has the potential to get really ugly.
The Chiefs will work to get their placements down after they were unable to get the ball right on one PAT attempt against the Raiders and kicker Cairo Santos missed another try later in the game. Santos has now missed two PATs from the new line of scrimmage at the 15-yard line. -- Adam Teicher
Sony Pictures is working with the Nick Lowery Foundation to do more to make America's best, most dynamic sport stronger and safer.
During Nick Lowery's 18-year NFL Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame career, he witnessed all too often players getting their "bell rung" and virtually always going right back on the field so they would never let their teammates down.
Unfortunately, we know now how dangerous that was.
CHIEFS 34, RAIDERS 20 | ANALYSIS
Jeremy Maclin. He scored two touchdowns and carried the Chiefs' offense when little else was working. Maclin finished with nine catches for 95 yards. -- Adam Teicher
Charles Woodson. The future Hall of Fame safety continued his terrific season. He had two fumble recoveries, one in which he stripped Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and returned it to set up a go-ahead touchdown late in the second half. -- Bill Williamson
Raiders can't sustain ground attack against Kansas City from The Monterey Herald
More than half -- 53 of their 99 rushing yards -- came on Oakland's first drive, which Latavius Murray capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. The rest of the afternoon was nothing but frustration on the ground.
"For us, we talk about the combination blocks and when they're good and when we're hitting the lane and blocking down field that we're able to be explosive in the run game," coach Jack Del Rio said. "I think we did that early."
"Why it altered later? Was it adjustments by them? Was it failure on our part to do certain things that we did earlier? I'm not sure yet. I'll have a better idea after looking at it. But that's typically the case, that if there's something that you did earlier that is taken away, perhaps they adjusted or perhaps we're not doing it as well the second time around."