OAKLAND, Cal — Not one, not two, not three, but six times the Chiefs picked off Oakland quarterbacks Sunday, leading to a 28-0 route, pulling the Chiefs within a game of first-place and setting up a first-place showdown Monday at Arrowhead against the first-place San Diego Chargers (4-2).
The six interceptions alone were enough to win the game as two were brought back for touchdowns — Kendrick Lewis a 59-yarder tight-roped down the sideline from Kyle Boller on the first drive of the game and a Brandon Flowers’s 58-yarder to give the Chiefs a 28-0 lead in the fourth quarter.
Starter Kyle Boller was filling in for an injured Jason Campbell, who is out for the season with a collarbone injury, lost his 12th straight start, throwing three first-half picks, the first Raiders quarterback to do that in 13 years.
“Carson, Carson, Carson!” chants from the Oakland fans clamoring for newly-acquired Carson Palmer, soon ended as Palmer threw three fourth quarter interceptions ensuring the Chiefs (3-3) victory.
When was the last time a team has had two QB’s throw three picks in the same game? You let me know when you find out.
The Chiefs have now won three straight after a dismal 0-3 start and have done so without their best offensive (Jamaal Charles) and defensive player (Eric Berry). The Raiders (4-3) are a half-game ahead of the Chiefs and a half-game behind San Diego and do not play this week.
The Chiefs, even without Charles, entered the game fifth in the NFL in rushing, but were the only team in the league without a rushing TD. That changed Sunday. Dwayne Bowe had a touchdown overturned, setting the Chiefs up on a first and goal from the six-inch line when Le’Ron McClain seemingly fumbled into the end zone, to be recovered by Jon Asomoua for a touchdown, making it 14-0 with 1 minute, 53 seconds remaining in the first quarter, capping off a 61-yard drive. Later, McClain was awarded a touchdown. Cornerback Javier Arenas’ 7-yard run out of the Wildcat on the Chiefs opening drive of the second half put the Chiefs up three touchdowns, 21-0, with 10:25 left in the third quarter.
Then, the Chiefs defense did the rest.
Palmer, who was acquired at the trade deadline on Tuesday from the Bengals, was not expected to play, but entered the game after despite having a minimal handle on the offense and having not practiced all season prior to the trade.
He came out and hit three of his first five passes, but the rustiness was noticeable, with his throws at the feet of receivers on sideline routes. His first pass of the second half from midfield was read perfectly by Flowers — first second interception of the game, for the TD return and a 28-0 lead. Palmer was picked off two more times in the quarter, once by Travis Daniels and another from Jon McGraw. Brandon Carr also picked off Boller in the second quarter on an underthrown deep ball.
The Raiders best drive of the game late in the second quarter. Running back Michael Bush got going and set up the Raiders with a first and goal at the one, where Derrick Johnson made four straight tackles, including a TD-saving play on fourth down with Bush out of the Wildcat.
Bush ran for 82 yards in the first half, but finished with just 99 yards on 19 carries.
Matt Cassel wasn’t great, throwing two picks with 0 TD’s on 15-of-30 passing, but managed the game. Jackie Battle had a decent day on the ground with 76 yards on 16 carries. Dwayne Bowe led the Chiefs with 76 yards on six catches and Steve Breaston added 65 yards on five catches.
The 28-point victory in Oakland is the Chiefs largest in franchise history.
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