Chiefs topple red-hot Raiders to seize control of AFC West
The Kansas City Chiefs won the battle for supremacy in the AFC West with a 21-13 victory over the first-place Oakland Raiders.
The Chiefs scored all their points in the second quarter then held on for the win as they cooled off the red-hot Raiders on a frigid evening in front of a crowd of 64,100 at Arrowhead Stadium.
“This is a big, big rivalry and we knew it was going to come down to the end like this,” said Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. “It is doing the little things. To get this win is pretty special.”
In chilly conditions that featured temperatures around minus-10 Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) with the wind chill, the Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce posted his fourth consecutive game with 100-plus yards receiving. He finished with five catches for 101 yards.
“It feels good but we have got to maintain it,” said Kelce. “I am just making plays for Alex and for the team.”
The Chiefs and Raiders now have an identical 10-3 record with Oakland. But more importantly they have also won the season series between the two when you factor in their 26-10 win in Oakland in October.
The Chiefs have now won seven of their last eight games and are an impressive 21-4 in their last 25 NFL regular season and playoff games.
Although they won the game, the Chiefs suffered a big loss as the defense’s leading tackler, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, left the field with an injury to his left Achilles.
Johnson, 34, went down with five minutes to play in the first half and needed help getting off the field.
The first-round choice by Kansas City in the 2005 NFL draft, missed 15 games in the 2014 season with a torn right Achilles.
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr struggled Thursday but he didn’t get much help from his receivers who kept dropping the ball.
Carr completed just 41.5 percent of his throws (17-of-41) for the Raiders, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
The lone positive aspect of Oakland’s offense was the running game. Latavius Murray carried the ball 22 times for 103 yards.
The Chiefs controled the game in the second quarter, thanks to rookie receiver-returner Tyreek Hill.
He scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Smith and added a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown. Running back Charcandrick West also had a three-yard touchdown run.
In the second half, the Chiefs were in a generous mood, as Smith threw an interception and then was stripped of the ball on a sack by Oakland’s Khalil Mack.
But Oakland was unable to take advantage of the opportunities, settling for a 33-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski.