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The Kansas City Chiefs continue to make their push toward the playoffs, but looked ahead to their Week 13 meeting with Denver a little too early. As a result, the Oakland Raiders scored a touchdown with under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter to notch their first victory of the season Thursday night.
The Chiefs, who had entered Thursday night’s game having won five in a row, saw their winning streak snap against the previously winless Raiders. The loss temporarily drops them out of first place with the Broncos in the AFC West, pending the outcome of the Denver-Miami game on Sunday. The Chiefs still occupy the sixth seed in the AFC and the second Wild Card spot.
For Oakland, the win is the team’s first since defeating Houston on Nov. 17, 2013. In that game, now third-string quarterback Matt McGloin threw for three touchdown passes to lead the Black and Silver to a 28-23 road victory. Interestingly enough, only six starters from that squad a year ago were starters in this win.
Here are five takeaways from the Raiders win (and Chiefs loss) on Thursday night.
Raiders off the snide
As mentioned previously, it’s been a little more than a calendar year — 368 days, to be precise — since the Raiders last entered the win column. The Raiders are now just the third team since the merger to beat a first-place team for their first win of the season after losing at least 10 games to start the season. The Raiders lost 16 games prior to Thursday night’s matchup, including their first 10 of the 2014 season.
Indianapolis did it against Green Bay back in 1997 and Buffalo did against Dallas back in 1984, according to STATS LLC and The Associated Press.
With the win, there are no winless teams left in the NFL. The Raiders and Jaguars each have one win, while the Buccaneers, Jets and Titans each have two. In other words, we’re getting a glimpse of what the top five teams picking in the 2015 NFL draft are looking like.
Classic trap game
Kansas City was finally garnering the national attention the team deserved last week when it knocked off the defending Super Bowl champions for a fifth consecutive win. That triumph elevated Kansas City into a first-place tie with the Broncos in the AFC West, with what essentially looked like a winner-take-all sort of showdown Week 13 at Arrowhead Stadium in primetime.
However, in the NFL, there is such a thing as “any given Sunday,” or in this case, “any given Thursday.” In what turned out to be a classic trap game, the Chiefs clearly overlooked the then 0-10 Raiders and ahead to their showdown with Peyton Manning and the reeling Broncos.
This game could prove costly for the Chiefs, pending the outcome of the Miami-Denver matchup this weekend. Denver, which inched a half-game ahead of Kansas City Thursday night, would move a full game ahead with a win over the Dolphins. If the Broncos can then take down the Chiefs a second time this season in Week 13, it would put them in the driver’s seat to take the AFC West, again, while forcing the Chiefs (6-4) to fend for one of the two Wild Card Spots along with Miami, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Baltimore, and Cleveland.
Carr shows some moxie
Even after Kansas City scored 17 unanswered points in the second half of the game, quarterback Derek Carr finally mustered up the signature performance of his rookie season to date. Down by three, Carr led Oakland on a 17-play, 80-yard drive down the field, earning a pair of first downs with quarterback sneaks, converting a third-and-6 with a pass to tight end Mychal Rivera and then capitalized on a pass-interference call on Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker, before hitting James Jones for a 9-yard touchdown with 1:42 remaining.
Carr’s touchdown pass to Jones was his lone touchdown of the night, but it was enough to get Oakland a 24-20 victory in the Coliseum in front of his home crowd.
Among rookie signal-callers, Carr leads the way in passing yardage (2,249) and touchdowns (14). On Thursday, he proved he not only has a big arm, but some poise as he led his first game-winning drive in the pros.
Don’t worry, rookie, you’re only 50 away from tying Manning and Dan Marino.
Charles continues MVP campaign
Jamaal Charles continued his MVP-worthy campaign with a 122-yard, one-touchdown performance. Charles rushed for 80 yards on 19 carries and hauled in four passes for 42 yards, including a touchdown in which he beat future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson 30 yards down the field to tie the game at 17-all. It was Charles’ fifth touchdown pass in his past two games playing in Oakland Coliseum.
On the season, Charles has 772 yards rushing, 190 yards receiving, and 11 total touchdowns. He ranks fifth in the league in rushing despite only carrying the ball 152 times, the lowest total of any back ranked in the top seven. His rushing touchdown total (8) is good for second in the league behind only Marshawn Lynch, another bonafide MVP candidate.
Chiefs historically bad vs. bad teams
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, losing to bad teams has always been a thorn in the team’s side. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Chiefs are 1-4 since 1962 when lining up against teams 0-10 or worse. The rest of the NFL, in contrast, is 37-16.
The Chiefs have lost four of their past five games dating back to 1975 against said teams, with losses in 2000 to the 0-11 Chargers, in 1984 to the 0-10 Oilers and in 1975 to the 0-11 Chargers before Thursday.
Kansas City’s lone win against opponents 0-10 or worse came back in 1962 when the team defeated the 0-10 Raiders. At that time, they weren’t even the Kansas City Chiefs; they were the Dallas Texans. However, that team went on to win the AFL Championship that year.
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