|Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)|
Raiders stay alive with 16-13 OT win over Chiefs
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders are still alive in the AFC West.
It came at the expense of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal 2:13 into overtime Saturday, giving the Raiders a 16-13 victory that kept alive their playoff hopes and eliminated Kansas City from contention.
Carson Palmer threw for 237 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (8-7). His perfectly thrown 53-yard pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey in overtime set up Janikowski's winning kick, which allowed Oakland to avoid a second straight late-game meltdown.
Kyle Orton threw for 300 yards for Kansas City, including a 49-yard toss to Dexter McCluster that set up a short TD toss to Dwayne Bowe with 1:02 left in regulation to tie the game.
The Raiders went three-and-out in short order, giving Kansas City the ball back with only enough time to get into field-goal range. Orton hit Bowe for 25 yards and Terrance Copper for 11 more to set up Ryan Succop, whose 49-yard try was blocked by Trevor Scott as time ran out.
It was the second field goal that Succop had blocked.
"We take one step forward, we take a couple steps back, it seemed like, the whole game," Orton said. "Pick up a first down, holding call, a bad ball, a drop. ... It just wasn't as crisp last week."
The Chiefs (6-9) struggled to take advantage of drives one week after piling up a season-best 438 yards of offense in a 19-14 victory over previously unbeaten Green Bay. That was their first game with Orton under center and interim coach Romeo Crennel calling the shots from the sideline.
Orton threw a pair of interceptions against Oakland, one of them in the end zone in the second quarter and the other as the Chiefs were driving in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders, who blew a 13-point lead in the final five minutes to Detroit last week, have won five straight games at Kansas City. Perhaps none was important as this one, with all four teams in the division beginning the day with a chance of squeaking into the playoffs.
The first half amounted to a cacophony of errors that ended in a 3-3 tie.
The Raiders, the most penalized team in the NFL and on pace to set a single-season record, were flagged 10 times for 57 yards, while the Chiefs were flagged eight times for 53 yards.
It wasn't just the quantity of penalties, either. It was the quality.
Javier Arenas had an interception of Palmer wiped out by defensive holding in the first quarter, a turnover that would have given Kansas City prime field position.
The Raiders returned the favor on their next possession. Facing fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs 36, they pulled off an audacious faked field goal in which punter Shane Lechler, the holder on the play, threw a shovel pass to tight end Brandon Myers, and he ran untouched around end for the touchdown.
The play was called back by a delay of game penalty, and Janikowski's 58-yard try hit the crossbar.
Bowe dropped an easy touchdown catch on the Chiefs' ensuing possession, and one play later Orton was picked off by Matt Giordano. Palmer gave the gift right back when Arenas intercepted him.
It was the fifth pick Palmer had thrown against Kansas City this season.
The Chiefs promptly wasted another scoring opportunity with a staggering string of penalties: intentional grounding, a delay of game and a false start, all in succession. That made Succop's try at the end of the half much more difficult than it needed to be, and Richard Seymour managed to get his hands on the try. The blocked attempt was Succop's first miss since Sept. 25 at Buffalo.
Oakland still led 13-6 when Kansas City took over late in the fourth quarter.
Orton hit McCluster heading toward the sideline, and he cut up field behind blocks from Casey Wiegmann and Ryan Lilja for a 49-yard gain. He was finally tackled at the 3-yard line, and Orton hit Bowe on a short TD pass to make it 13-all with 1:02 left.
Orton and Bowe gave the Chiefs an opportunity to win the game in regulation.
Oakland ultimately won it in overtime.
"I haven't been here that long," Orton said, "but these guys fight, and it's just an honor to play with them, and the competitive spirit everyone has in that locker room is a great thing."