Raiders Steal Away with 16-13 Christmas Present


From Arrowhead Stadium

Starting in 1960, the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs have met several times every year, 105 times in all, and many of those contests are among the most classic games in pro football history.

On Christmas Eve Saturday, they played game No. 106 but it was anything but classic … until the final two minutes of regulation and then another two minutes of overtime. That’s when the Chiefs fought back from what appeared to be sure defeat, sent the game into overtime and the Raiders came back to score the winning points, taking a 16-13 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

Sebastian Janikowski hit a 36-yard FG early in the extra period to give the Raiders the victory.

“I really can’t tell you how much this hurts,” CB Brandon Flowers said in the Chiefs locker room. “After everything we’ve been through this year, I was counting on playing more games.”

In the AFC West, the NFL’s most mediocre division, the winning Raiders were left with tangible post-season dreams and their 8-7 record. Division leader Denver was beaten by Buffalo, moving the Broncos record to 8-7 as well. The loss left the Chiefs 6-9 and out of any contention for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

“Buffalo helped us out, they took care of their business,” FB Le’Ron McClain said. “We didn’t take care of our business.”

This was not a game that was played well by either team. When the smoke cleared, they had combined for just two touchdowns, five field goals; four interceptions (two each by Oakland’s Carson Palmer and Kansas City’s Kyle Orton) 26 penalties for 180 yards, two blocked FGs and a fake field goal play that was executed perfectly for a touchdown except the play clock had run out before the snap.

“When you win like this, you take the win however you can get it, this late in the season,” said Raiders head coach Hue Jackson. “We should enjoy this. Last week we lost a game like this. I wish we could win 40-12, but we haven’t had one of those yet.”

In the AFC West, the NFL’s most mediocre division, the winning Raiders were left with tangible post-season dreams and their 8-7 record. Division leader Denver was beaten by Buffalo, moving the Broncos record to 8-7 as well. The loss left the Chiefs 6-9 and out of any contention for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

“It’s just unfortunate that we weren’t able to win this one, but we didn’t do enough to win,” said Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel. “Today wasn’t good enough.”

Neither one of the teams played very good football; when the smoke cleared, they had combined for just two touchdowns, five field goals, four interceptions (two each by Oakland’s Carson Palmer and Kansas City’s Kyle Orton) 26 penalties for 180 yards, two blocked FGs and a fake field goal play that was executed perfectly for a touchdown except the play clock had run out before the snap.

“We knew it was going to be a grind because they’ve been playing good defense,” said Palmer, who threw for 237 yards and a pair of interceptions to go along with his 61-yard TD pass to WR Denarius Moore. “We knew it was going to be a physical game; that it was going to be ugly. We talked about getting an ugly win. An ugly win is always better than a pretty loss.”

Oakland’s Bryan McCann broke the opening kickoff for 91 yards, taking it all the way down to the Kansas City 14-yard line. But the Chiefs defense allowed only four yards on three plays and Janikowski came on and hit a 28-yard FG and Oakland had the early 3-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter, Kansas City’s defense gave the offense a great opportunity, as LB Derrick Johnson intercepted an overthrown Palmer pass and returned the pick 17 yards to the Oakland 36-yard line. The offense went 31 yards on nine plays to get their own field goal, this one 23 yards from Ryan Succop. But the possession again exposed the Chiefs problems in the red zone, as four snaps inside the Oakland 20-yard line produced just 10 yards.

The second quarter turned into a comedy of errors, with the teams combining for 15 penalties for 90 yards, a blocked field goal, two more interceptions and at times total confusion on the field. Wiped out in the 15 minutes of play was a fake FG touchdown pass from holder Shane Lechler to TE Brandon Myers. That was flagged dead due to the Raiders being penalized for delay of game as the play clock ran out.

The Chiefs appeared to be on their way to adding points, but on a 3rd-and-6 play at the Oakland 13-yardline, Orton badly under-threw WR Dwayne Bowe in the end zone and the pass was intercepted by S Matt Giordano, who returned it 62 yards. But Palmer gave the ball right back to the Chiefs three plays later, when CB Javier Arenas picked off a pass that was intended for WR Denarius Moore.

On the last play of the first half, Oakland DL Richard Seymour broke through the protection and blocked the FG and a poorly played half of football ended 3-3.

The Raiders got the game’s first touchdown in the third quarter on a 61-yard scoring pass from Palmer to WR Denarius Moore. Later in the quarter, the Chiefs offense again had problems in the scoring zone and had to settle for another Succop field goal, this from 20 yards away. Janikowski added another field goal and with time running out in the fourth quarter, the Raiders held a 13-6 edge.

After struggling, the Chiefs offense finally broke through, as Orton led them on a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a three-yard TD pass to WR Dwayne Bowe. The score was set up by a 49-yard pass and run from Orton to RB Dexter McCluster.

The Chiefs got the ball back and had a 49-yard FG attempt set up on the last play of regulation, but the kick was again blocked by Seymour and the game went to overtime.

Oakland won the overtime coin toss, Palmer hit WR Darius Heyward-Bey for 53 yards on the first play and three snaps later Janikowski kicked the winner. And now the Raiders host the Chargers, while the Chiefs travel to Denver to face the Broncos. To have a chance to keep playing, Oakland must win again and hope the Chiefs beat Denver.

“I won’t be rooting for them,” OLB Tamba Hali said. “I don’t care what happens with them. I know we had our chances and didn’t’ get it done.”

Quite possibly, that will be the slogan for the entire 2011 Chiefs season – they had their chances and couldn’t take advantage of them.


111 Responses to “Raiders Steal Away with 16-13 Christmas Present”

  • December 24, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    A number of fans have questioned what free agents we didn’t attempt to go after that we could have. At the time I wondered why we didn’t show interest to sign Seymour when he left New England. He played in the same system we employ and was certainly a talented player even if he is on the downside of his career. He’s familiar with our coaches and GM. As far as I know we didn’t even make an attempt to sign him. We saved some money not even pursuing him and the Raiders paid it and signed him. He blocked TWO field goals against us today and put the Raiders in position to win the division and go to the playoffs while we will go home for the winter after next week.


  • December 24, 2011  - Slide says:

    Seymour was not a free agent. He was traded for a first round pick, that at the time looked like it was going to be high; but Seymours arrival helped Oakland to winning ways making the pick become a mid first round choice last year. Seymour didn’t want to sign with the Raiders at first, but relented and has had a huge hand in every victory over KC since


  • December 24, 2011  - Merwin says:

    I believe they gave up two first round picks, one the first year and then another first round pick the next year. Too much for Pioli to give up for an “over the hill player”.


  • December 24, 2011  - Tim says:

    What a shame. They played hard. We coulda been playing for the division title with both Denver & SD losing. Once again…poor red zone play-calling (except for the one time at the end), the inability of our interior trio (C & Gs) to handle big defensive fronts & the predictable, multiple penalties by Pope & Barry Richardson did us in. In the end, it was our inability to put points on the board when great opportunities were there was our downfall. We never should’ve been in OT.


  • December 24, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Instead of Oakland “stealing” it was more like Orton giving it away.


  • December 24, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Slide,
    Thanks for the clarification. He has been a thorn in our side since the Raiders acquired him and certainly played a huge part in knocking us out today. Think about the impact he would have had paired with Hali. Palmer could have taken a nap before throwing the long touchdown and pass that set up the field goal to win it today. Our O-line was an abomination but I agree Orton played a big part in our inability to capitalize on opportunities. I don’t think a number of regular posters would be so generous if it had been Cassel instead of Orton.


  • December 24, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    It was such a looong drive home. I sat there and watched it and I could not believe it. Everything else fell into our pockets and we lost the game. Good-by Orton. Romeo, go back to defense. Two blocked field goals in a season is not good; in a really big game it is heatbreaking. Christmas eve. Damn Santa only went to Oakland.


  • December 24, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    JohnFW-
    Agree that many here are VERY generous with Orton’s ineffective performance today.
    He reminded me of Bumbling Bill Kenney today. Pretty stats, lots of FGs and a couple of critical INTs and 2 panic attacks that led to drive killing Intentional groundings.
    Since next Sunday is meaningless should we be hearing the calls for Stanzi to play ;)


  • December 24, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Oh hell no. Fire Hunt. Opps, can’t. Too bad.


  • December 25, 2011  - The Dream Turns Nightmare as Chiefs Fall to Oakland : BobGretz.com says:

    [...] GAME STORY: Raiders grab Christmas present. [...]


  • December 25, 2011  - Chuck says:

    I feel that all the penaltys that the Chiefs had certainly contributed to their loss.




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