Kansas City 26, Oakland 15
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 10, 2017
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs shook off the absence of All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters with one of their stronger defensive outings of the season Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, knocking off the Oakland Raiders 26-15 and remaining atop the tight AFC West race.
Alex Smith finished 20 of 34 for 268 yards with an interception and Kareem Hunt led the Chiefs on the ground with 116 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries as Kansas City (7-6) ended a four-game losing streak.
Smith credited the defense for igniting the team early with favorable field position and an aggressive attitude.
"I think they kind of kept us going, kept our energy going," Smith said. "Certainly the way they were playing in the first half gave us a bunch of energy."
Tight end Travis Kelce had seven receptions for 74 yards and Tyreek Hill caught four passes for 75 yards as the Chiefs avenged an earlier one-point loss at Oakland.
Kansas City's defense set the tone early, forcing the Raiders back eight yards on the game's opening drive. A poor punt gave the Chiefs a short field at their own 42-yard line. They capitalized when kicker Harrison Butker connected on a 53-yard field, giving the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said the early defensive stand followed by the quick score set the tone early.
"Anytime you can get to the quarterback the way he was hit early, that affects him," Reid said. "Then we rallied to the ball as far as the run game goes."
Kansas City moved steadily and more deliberately on its second drive. Smith marched the Chiefs 86 yards in 14 plays, culminating with a 1-yard scoring run by Hunt. Smith converted a huge third-and-16 pass to Hill to keep the drive alive, and set up the score with a tight-end screen to Kelce off a fake to Hill for a 10-0 lead.
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said the third-down conversion to Hill proved an early backbreaker for his team.
"I thought the defense was hanging in," Del Rio said. "That third-and-long was a killer. Gave up a third-and-long that led to their only touchdown in the first half, and that was a killer."
The Chiefs extended their lead to 13-0 on their third drive with another Butker field goal, this time from 29 yards. Smith connected on a 36-yard gain to wide receiver Albert Wilson, who made a difficult catch going out of bounds while holding onto the ball.
Butker added a 33-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining, extending the lead to 16-0 at the half.
The Kansas City defense smothered the Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr throughout the game.
The Chiefs entered the game without Peters, who received a one-game suspension from Reid for incidents that occurred during and after last week's game against the New York Jets. Reid said he did not deliver his team any challenge with Peters away from the club for a game.
"We've always had the next-man-up thing and that's how we roll," Reid said. "It's no different than that. Marcus will be back, and he will be back and playing doing his thing."
Cornerback Terrance Mitchell drew the start in Peters' place, intercepting a pass and breaking up three others.
Kansas City maintained its steady offensive pressure, racking up 409 yards of offense and holding onto the ball for more than 36 minutes. Butker's fourth field goal of the game gave the Chiefs a 19-0 lead to open the third quarter. Running back Charcandrick West added a 13-yard touchdown run later in the quarter, extending the advantage to 26-0.
Linebacker Derrick Johnson said the big third-quarter lead resulted from team football, with the offense and defense rolling at the same time and feeding off one another.
"We knew what the stakes were when we stepped on the field," Johnson said. "Maybe we play better when our back's against the wall, but we know we're not done. We have to keep winning."
Oakland finally broke onto the scoreboard midway through the fourth quarter on a 22-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch.
The Raiders (6-7) recovered an onside kick following that score. Tight end Jared Cook hauled in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Carr, who then hooked up with receiver Michael Crabtree for a two-point conversion to cut the lead to 26-15.
Carr completed 24-of-41 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. Lynch added 61 yards on the ground on seven carries with a touchdown while Cook caught five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.
However, Carr's two interceptions and a fumble by wide receiver Johnny Holton contributed to what Del Rio called a disappointing loss.
"We really wanted this one," Del Rio said. "It's not about want-to, it's not about preparation or effort or energy, it's about execution. We didn't execute well enough today and they did."
Carr took responsibility for the offense's failures in execution.
"It wasn't good enough and you can put it all on me," Carr said. "Don't you blame one coach, one player. It's all my fault."
The loss leaves the Raiders one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West race. The Chiefs are tied with the 7-6 Chargers, who defeated Washington Sunday. Those teams play Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.
NOTES: Oakland WR Amari Cooper left the game after aggravating an ankle injury midway the rough second quarter. The team listed him questionable to return, but he did not come back into the game. ... Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt established an NFL record earlier this season with 100 yards or more from scrimmage in his first seven games as a rookie, but his 138 yards from scrimmage against Oakland ended a five-game streak with fewer than 100 yards from scrimmage. ... Tyreek Hill led three Chiefs receivers with more than 70 yards receiving with 75 yards. TE Travis Kelce added 74 while WR Albert Wilson picked up 72 yards. ... The Chiefs' defense collected three sacks against Raiders QB Derek Carr. ... LB NaVorro Bowman led all Oakland defenders with nine tackles and a sack. LB Bruce Irvin chipped in two sacks among his four tackles.
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Team Stats Summary
Kansas City will play their next game at home against L.A. Chargers. The Chiefs have a W/L % of .714 after a win and .333 after a loss.
Oakland will play their next game at home against Dallas. The Raiders have a W/L % of .333 after a win and .571 after a loss.