The Oakland Raiders had more rushing yards, more first downs, won time of possession and won the turnover battle, 3-0. And yet, the Kansas City Chiefs survived Thursday Night Football with a 21-13 win over their AFC West rival.
“That’s what it’s all about – getting the job done,” Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “No game in this league is easy. The first time we beat them, we made some plays and came out with a huge victory. This game, we had a different type of situation. We had to stop them at a pivotal moment in the game and we came up with it.”
Indeed, the Chiefs stopped the Raiders on fourth down with just under two minutes to go. The offense then picked up a first down to ice the game.
In truth, the game was won earlier than that. The Chiefs committed two turnovers early in the third quarter deep in their own zone. The defense, however, allowed just three points on Oakland’s ensuring drives.
“That comes from the leadership within,” Jones said. “Eric Berry, Dontari Poe – those guys let us know we can’t worry about nothing but playing defense. No matter what the score is, we give it all every play. They instilled that in our minds. We don’t care what the score is or what type of position we’re put in. We’re going out and playing defense.”
The Raiders, who fell to 10-3, are 0-2 against the Chiefs. They are 10-1 against the rest of the league and haven’t lost to a non-Chiefs team since Week 2 (Atlanta).
Derek Carr was held to a season-low 117 passing yards on Thursday and finished without a touchdown.
“That’s what we focused on all week,” Jones said. “We knew they had a very explosive offensive line. He has the fewest sacks in the league, and we just wanted to affect him. If it’s not a hit, get a hand in his face; if it’s not a hand in his face, jump up high and try to tip the ball. Whatever we can do to affect the quarterback.”
With the win, the Chiefs went from Wild Card to first-round playoff bye; the Raiders did the exact opposite, with Denver (8-4) still in the mix.
“The AFC West is very tough,” Jones said. “We got three teams in the race for the playoffs. The Denver Broncos are not out of it. Us and Oakland are tied. It’s a tough division. You can’t count anyone out.”
Kansas City plays its next to games at home against Tennessee (6-6) and Denver on Dec. 18 and Dec. 25, respectively. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m. ET.