Chiefs fire on all cylinders for Week 15 highs

Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs running back De'Anthony Thomas (13) reacts after scoring a touchdown on a punt return against the Oakland Raiders in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs running back De’Anthony Thomas (13) reacts after scoring a touchdown on a punt return against the Oakland Raiders in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs (8-6) ended a three-game losing streak by defeating the Oakland Raiders (2-12) 31-13.

The Chiefs’ last win came against the Seattle Seahawks during Week 11, but Sunday’s win put the team back on the right track with hopes for a postseason berth.

The Chiefs have two more games on the season, one at Pittsburgh (9-5) and one at home against San Diego (8-6).

Here are the highs and lows of Week 15.

HIGHS

• Rookie running back De’Anthony Thomas returned a punt 81 yards to the house for the first score in the game. The return was Thomas’ first-career punt return touchdown.

“I had great blockers from the guys up front, holding those gunners down,” Thomas said. “It’s just a great play to get the tempo going for our offense.”

Thomas’ return was the first touchdown off a punt return for the Chiefs since Dec. 8, 2013. Dexter McCluster found the pay dirt with a 74-yard punt return early in the second quarter in Kansas City’s win over Washington. Thomas finished with 156 punt return yards, ranking second in Chiefs history for a single game.

• The Chiefs defense sacked Oakland quarterback Derek Carr four times on Sunday. Linebacker Justin Houston had the first one of the day, bringing his season total to 17 and is tied for the lead in the NFL. Other players chalking up sacks were linebacker Tamba Hali (1), defensive end Jaye Howard (½), defensive end Vance Walker (½), rookie linebacker Dee Ford (½) and linebacker Josh Martin (½).

• Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 297 passing yards on the day. The last time Smith threw for more than that was in 2012 when he was still with the San Francisco 49ers. He threw for 303 passing yards against the Buffalo Bills during Week 5.

• Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe became the fastest Chief in organization history to surpass 7,000 receiving yards. He accomplished the feat in 116 games, passing Otis Taylor’s mark of 122 games.

• The longest play from scrimmage on the afternoon was a 70-yard shot from Smith to running back Knile Davis. That was Smith’s longest touchdown pass since Jan. 4, 2014 when Smith threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donnie Avery during the playoffs.

LOWS

• Rookie kicker Cairo Santos missed a 44-yard field goal attempt wide left in the first quarter. Santos was riding on a streak of 14-straight made field goals dating back to Week 2. He also missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.

• Arrowhead Stadium was penalty central on the afternoon. The Chiefs had 11 penalties for 84 yards . Tight end Anthony Fasano chalked up three penalties, and cornerback Marcus Cooper had two. The penalty calls weren’t one sided though. The Raiders were flagged 11 times for 75 yards during the game.

• Running back Jamaal Charles only had eight rushing attempts for 38 yards rushing. Charles left the game in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He passed the test, but did not return due to re-aggravating his ankle injury. He’s confident that he will play at Pittsburgh, despite the ankle.

“I feel good,” Charles said. “I just think I need to get off of it and ice it and heal it and get it back right because it is still tender.”

• The streak continues for Smith and the wide receiving corps. The Chiefs still have not had a wide receiver touchdown on the season.

• Tight end Travis Kelce had his second straight game with a fumble, marking his third fumble on the year.

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