For the first time this season, the Oakland Raiders are winners, having snapped a losing streak that spanned 16 games. After starting the season 0-10, the Raiders stunned the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 for their first regular season win since November 17, 2013. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr launched a nine-yard touchdown to take the lead, caught by wide receiver James Jones with only 1:42 left to play. The Raiders defense held off a rally attempt by the Chiefs, improving their record to 1-10 on the season.
Latavius Murray gave the Oakland Raiders a spark with two first-half touchdowns, including a 90-yard touchdown run that put Oakland ahead 14-0. Murray’s big run, the fourth-longest run in Raiders’ franchise history, and the longest by a running back since Bo Jackson had a 92-yard run back in 1989 versus Cincinnati. But the Chiefs, who entered the game in a tie with the Denver Broncos for first place in the AFC West, rallied to erase the 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Running back Jamaal Charles turned an Alex Smith dump-off pass 30 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 17-17. Then, placekicker Cairo Santos nailed a 25-yard field goal to give the Chiefs their first and only lead of the game at 20-17 with 9:03 remaining in the game.
The Oakland Raiders responded on the ensuing possession. Oakland converted a fourth-and-one with a Carr quarterback sneak. Six plays later, they got a gift when Chiefs safety Ron Parker was penalized for pass interference on a critical 3rd-and-9, giving the Raiders an automatic first down. Running back Marcel Reece had 42 yards and Carr was five of eight passing on the drive, including the go-ahead touchdown pass to Jones to cap the 17-play, 80-yard drive that spanned seven minutes and 21 seconds. The Chiefs’ rally was thwarted as Smith’ pass fell incomplete to tight end Frankie Hammond on fourth down, sealing the win for the Raiders and snapping their 16-game losing streak. Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano said the Raiders “refused to give up,” following the win.
Oakland avoided an embarrassing moment on the drive, as young linebackers Khalil Mack and Sio Moore overly celebrated a third-down sack of Smith. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were able to line up to the line of scrimmage for the next play while both Mack and Moore were about 10 yards behind where the Chiefs were lined up. Veteran defensive end Justin Tuck reluctantly called a time out to avoid the off-sides penalty. After the game, , Moore admitted he was “caught up in the moment.”
The Oakland Raiders (1-10) were the last team to win their first game this NFL season. The 16-game losing streak was the franchise’s longest since they lost 19 games between 1961-62. The Raiders avoided becoming the second team in the league to go winless in a 16-game schedule.
Kansas City’s franchise is no stranger to handing a team its first win of the season this late into the season. In fact, the Oakland Raiders’ win is the fourth time a team has defeated the Chiefs for the first win after starting the season at least 0-10. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ five-game win streak was snapped and they slid into second place one-half game behind the Broncos for the AFC West lead. The two teams are set to meet on Nov. 30 in a Sunday Night Football contest. Perhaps the Chiefs (7-4) were overlooking the Raiders?
As for the Oakland Raiders, an integral part to them snapping their 16-game losing streak was the 179 yards they gained on the ground – 112 from Murray. Carr was 18 of 35 for 174 yards and a touchdown. The defense held the Chiefs to 96 yards rushing, snapping a three-game streak of allowing 100 or more yards to opponents. A trip to St. Louis to face the Rams on Nov, 30 is next for the Raiders, as they look to extend their winning to two games for the first time since the 2012 season.
By King Motley
Photo By Pete Sheffield – Flickr License