Oakland, CA – It was the most points an opponent has scored against the Raiders in franchise history. Alex Smith returned to the Bay Area for the first time since being traded from the San Francisco 49ers. He threw four of his five touchdowns making the Kansas City Chiefs the highest scoring team in the NFL this season.
Oakland was once again eliminated from the playoff race for the 11th straight season. And the Chiefs showed no mercy after defeating them 56-31. Running Back Jamaal Charles tied his seasons best of five touchdowns and helped Kansas City clinch a wild card spot for now.
The Chiefs controlled the tempo of the game from the start.
Quintin Demps returned the opening kick off for 50 yards to set up Charles’ first touchdown, a short screen pass from Smith. The Chiefs ran the same play on their next possession and Charles scored again on a 39-yard touchdown pass. He joins an elite group of players (Jerry Rice, Shaun Alexander and Clinton Portis) that have scored five touchdowns and gained at least 200 yards in a single game.
“Yes, I was surprised I was open so much, especially on that third and long play,” said Charles. “I knew someone was going to hug me on that play but, then I was like, no one is close, I better go! This was probably my best game ever.”
The first half of the game looked like a cake walk for Kansas City. The Raiders defense did absolutely nothing to slow down the Chiefs offense or Charles. Matt McGloin threw an interception to Eric Berry intended for Marcel Reece. Berry returned the pick 47 yards for the touchdown, giving Kansas City a 21-3 lead in the first quarter. McGloin recovered and found Rod Streater for a 23-yard pass and got the first down.
As the period ended Terrelle Pryor saw some action on his first series in the red zone. A costly penalty by the Chiefs moved the ball closer to the goal line to set up a leaping 1-yard touchdown by Rashad Jennings. But Oakland’s seven turnovers gave Kansas City three more opportunities to score. Charles scored two more touchdowns after McGloin fumbled a snap and threw another interception to Berry that set up Charles’ fourth touchdown.
“I’m at a loss for words on the seven turnovers,” McGloin said. “It’s frustrating, but at the same time we got back into the game. It was 35-31 at one point still even with the turnovers we had. But we were hurting ourselves.”
The Chiefs finished the half leading the Raiders 32-17. But the third quarter belonged to Oakland. The quarterback duo moved the ball effectively and set up Andre Holmes 6-yard touchdown. McGloin’s 52-yard pass to Taiwan Jones moved the chains and gave the Raiders a much needed first down. McGloin then found Mychal Rivera in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown that put Oakland back into the game 35-31.
But the unstoppable Charles scored on a 71-yard touchdown. Jones then fumbled the ball on the Raiders drive that set up Smith’s 6-yard pass to Sean McGrath for the touchdown. Smith, who finds himself back in the playoffs, went 17 for 20 for 287 yards.
Kansas City is now tied for first place in the AFC West with Denver. The Raiders final two games of the season are division games against the Chargers and the Broncos.
“We made it difficult for ourselves,” said Charles Woodson. “This is a game about fundamentals, and when you don’t carry out the fundamentals, things like this happen. I really wish I knew why we could not stop Jamaal Charles.”
“Honestly, if I had the answers, I would change it myself and we’d be sitting at 10-4 now instead of 4-10,” Raiders Cornerback Tracey Porter said.