4:05 PM ET, October 21, 2007
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- This game looked just like the meetings the previous two seasons between Kansas City and Oakland. Except that Priest Holmes was on the field.Another close game that wasn't decided until the final minutes ended in the Chiefs' favor Sunday. Larry Johnson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter and Jarrad Page had another clinching interception in the final minute to seal Kansas City's ninth straight win over the Raiders, 12-10. It marked Holmes' return from a two-year absence from a neck injury. Kansas City (4-3) now has the longest winning streak ever against the Raiders (2-4), breaking a tie with San Diego. But eight of the wins have been by seven points or fewer as the Chiefs once again came up with the one big play down the stretch. "You knew it would come down to this," Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez said. "It's usually decided on the last play of the game. It doesn't matter what the records are or what time of year it is. I'm happy we came out on top. Jarrad Page to the rescue again." Page, an Oakland native and Buccaneers fan who grew up cheering against the Raiders, also ended a comeback attempt by his hometown team a year ago when he intercepted a pass in the end zone from Aaron Brooks in the final minute of a 17-13 win. His interception of Daunte Culpepper's throw with 35 seconds left gave the Chiefs their fourth win in five games, sending them into their bye week in sole possession of first place in the AFC West. "We're at the top of the division, so we're in a good position," Page said. "I don't think our record is what we expected it to be, but we're in first place, and that's what matters." The latest win was far from pretty. Kansas City gained 112 of its 290 yards on two big plays in the second half. "We got the W and we made enough plays at the end of the game to win it," said quarterback Damon Huard, who was 16-for-31 for 177 yards and an interceptions. "Certainly I don't feel good about it. As an offense we made too many mistakes." Holmes, Kansas City's career leader in yards rushing and touchdowns, was activated this week for the first time since suffering a neck injury on a vicious hit from San Diego's Shawne Merriman on Oct. 30, 2005. Holmes entered the game on the third play of Kansas City's third drive. He caught a screen pass from Huard, but was tackled by Nnamdi Asomugha for a 6-yard loss. Holmes had no other catches and rushed four times for 9 yards, gaining a key first down with under 3 minutes left and Kansas City protecting the 12-10 lead. "I had imagined this in my mind. Once I decided to come back on July 29, this was all a part of it," Holmes said. "What I love to do is run the ball, so I'm looking forward to doing that a little more. But if I have to be a decoy, if I have to help out in whatever role they need me to play, I'm excited about that." Both teams struggled offensively before the game opened up with a few big plays in the second half. Johnson, bottled up early, had a season-long 54-yard run midway through the third quarter. Kansas City couldn't capitalize when Dave Rayner missed a 30-yard field goal that would have put the Chiefs up 9-0. Rayner made two field goals in the first half. The Raiders immediately seized the momentum, with Culpepper hitting Jerry Porter on a 59-yard pass on the next play. Culpepper followed with a 21-yard scoring strike to Ronald Curry, who had dropped three passes earlier in the game, to give Oakland a 7-6 lead. The Raiders had gained only 102 yards before getting 80 on the back-to-back plays. Early in the fourth quarter, Huard eluded the rush from Warren Sapp on a third-and-10 and flung the ball downfield before Kirk Morrison could hit him. Dwayne Bowe beat Asomugha for the 58-yard catch to the Oakland 16, setting up Johnson's go-ahead score that made it 12-7. Johnson finished with 112 yards on 24 carries. The Raiders answered with a 37-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with 5:49 left to cut it to 12-10, but couldn't score on their final drive. Culpepper completed three straight passes to move the ball to the 44 before his interception. "I wish I could have that back, but I can't, so I've just got to learn from that," he said. "I thought we could go down and win the game." Culpepper was 18-for-29 for 228 yards, while LaMont Jordan was held to 29 yards on 11 carries as Oakland's running game had problems for a second straight week. "As bad as our offensive performance was, with our defense playing the way it did and not turning the ball over we had a chance to win," coach Lane Kiffin said.
Johnson has scored Kansas City's last 35 TDs rushing since Holmes scored Oct. 21, 2005, against Miami. ... Kansas City DE Jared Allen had two sacks, giving him eight in five games this season. ... Kiffin opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the 17 midway through the second quarter, but Jordan was stuffed by Page for no gain.
On a day when a lot of people wondered if Larry Johnson could put together back-to-back 100-yard games -- which he did, with 112 yards in this game -- it was the Chiefs' defense that came up big again. The Chiefs entered the game with the NFL's 10th-ranked defense, and after another solid performance, they will be moving up the charts. After missing the first two games of the season due to suspension, Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen has six sacks in four games, including two against Oakland on Sunday. Allen's motor, desire and intensity have rubbed off on his teammates, and the Chiefs are playing excellent team defense. The Raiders were 4-for-14 on third down, and a big part of that was Allen's ability to turn the corner and harass Oakland quarterback Daunte Culpepper. When Allen wasn't sacking Culpepper, he was forcing quick throws. That gave the other guys on defense a chance to be in position to make plays. Allen was the true difference-maker on Sunday and a big reason the Chiefs moved to 4-3 on the season.
-- Jeremy Green, Scouts Inc.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.4||4.9|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|FG||10:40||Dave Rayner 41 Yd||3||0|
|FG||14:01||Dave Rayner 31 Yd||6||0|
|TD||02:37||Ronald Curry 21 Yd Pass From Daunte Culpepper (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||6||7|
|TD||11:30||Larry Johnson 1 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||12||7|
|FG||05:49||Sebastian Janikowski 37 Yd||12||10|