Rivalry games are always weird. The first installment of the Kansas City Chiefs versus the Oakland Raiders this season was no exception and the Chiefs pulled out their sixth straight win, 24-20.
Fans and onlookers were left scratching their heads as special teams turned into special disasters for both squads.
There were some bright spots and some not-so-bright spots in the 110th regular season meeting of the two teams.
• In the fourth quarter, interceptions were abound.
Linebacker Josh Mauga picked off Oakland quarterback Derek Carr. The 245-pound Nevada prospect ran for 66 yards before being brought down at the 2-yard line. Maclin found the endzone three plays later.
Rookie cornerback Marcus Peters, an Oakland native, finally had something go his way after having a less than average day in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter as he also picked off Carr. He ran for 58 yards before being tackled at the 13 yard line.
With under three and a half minutes to go, safety Tyvon Branch, a former Raider, intercepted Carr for a pick-six.
• Smith’s interception-less streak continues. Smith came into the game riding on a 283 pass attempt streak without an interception. He ended the day with 22 pass attempts, moving him up to 305 pass attempts without an interception. In 2010, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady broke the record with his feat of 335 pass attempts without an interception.
• It took a while, but Kansas City finally got going on offense with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Maclin ran in for one touchdown and caught for another. His two touchdowns on the day
Kansas City’s lone touchdown of the first half came off of a 3-yard run from quarterback Alex Smith. Smith’s rushing touchdown was his second rushing touchdown of the season and the eighth of his career.
• Linebacker Frank Zombo sacked Carr on back-to-back plays inside the second half’s two-minute warning. Kansas City didn’t have a sack in the game up until that point.
• Smith’s 16 of 22 passes equates to a 72.7 completion percentage. That’s his second highest of the season. His best was an 80 percent completion day at San Diego on Nov. 22.
• Kansas City was plagued with extra point woes. On the first two touchdowns, kicker Cairo Santos nailed the extra points, but after that extra points were few and far between.
What arguably could have been the strangest special teams play this season for Kansas City unfolded in the fourth quarter. After Maclin’s 1-yard touchdown run, punter Dustin Colquitt had the ball snapped and put it in place for Santos to kick the extra point. Santos ran up to kick the ball, and then didn’t. Colquitt threw the ball in the vicinity of no one.
Santos missed the kick after the ensuing touchdown as well. He didn’t go back out for an extra point attempt on the final touchdown of the game. Smith threw to Kelce for a two-point conversion.
• Maclin and tight end Travis Kelce had a case of the fumbles on Sunday.
Maclin committed his first fumble of the season on the first play of the second quarter. Luckily for the Chiefs, the fumble resulted in a Raiders three-and-out.
Kelce’s fumble marked his second of the season. His fumble came inside the two minute warning of the first half and resulted in a touchdown for the Raiders to take the lead going into halftime. His first fumble of the season came at Cincinnati, his hometown team.
• The offensive line deteriorated quickly in the game, giving up four sacks on Smith. In the second quarter, Smith was brought down by Raiders rookie linebacker Ben Heeney, a product out of the University of Kansas and native of Hutchinson, Kan.
His four sacks on the afternoon put Smith at 38 (34 before this game) on the season. He’s on pace to be sacked 50 times. Smith’s highest total of sacks in a season came in 2014, when he was brought down 45 times.
• Aside from his interception, Peters had somewhat of a rough homecoming. He was flagged for defensive pass interference in the first quarter and unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter. He lost his cool on the sidelines. On Oakland’s next drive, Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper juked and lost Peters. Cooper would have, most likely, found the endzone, but he couldn’t haul in the pass. He was caught on TV throwing up after Oakland’s missed field goal. With just over three minutes to go, Peters tried cutting out on a route and went down. He slowly got up and went to the sideline.
• Chiefs defensive end Mike DeVito was ruled out with a concussion.