When the Chiefs spread the wealth, nobody seems to go empty-handed.
Two of the biggest plays in their 26-10 victory over the Raiders on Sunday were a pair of Alex Smith completions. Not to Jeremy Maclin or Travis Kelce or Chris Conley. Not to Spencer Ware or Jamaal Charles.
They all had big moments, but so did De’Anthony Thomas and Albert Wilson, who were on the receiving end of important plays as the Chiefs changed the game’s momentum.
Thomas’ reception came in the first game in which he’s been active this season. On third and 8 from the Raiders’ 23 in the first quarter, Thomas hauled in a pass near the sideline for a first down.
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“Great feeling,” Thomas said. “Just going out there and doing whatever I can to help us, getting a first down to keep alive a drive.”
A drive that ended with the Chiefs’ first touchdown and tied the game.
Thomas dressed for the first time this season, but the frustration didn’t show afterward.
“I made it a motivational experience,” Thomas said. “And a learning experience, a chance to look at defenses and their coverages and see what we can do to attack them.”
Smith said he noticed Thomas’ work ethic.
“That was kind of the focus when we decided we would bring De’Anthony,” Smith said. “And credit to him. He was working hard. He did a great job when his number was called. I think we had nine guys catch balls today, so anytime you’re spreading the ball like that you’re making it hard on a defense to zero in on what you’re doing.”
Smith is correct. Nine players caught passes. It would have been 10, but his third-quarter touchdown throw to defensive tackle Dontari Poe was changed to a lateral.
Wilson entered the game with 10 receptions this season, tied for seventh on the team, and a long of 17 yards. Early in the second quarter, he was lined up in the slot and broke to the outside. The Chiefs had the matchup they wanted when Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack picked up the coverage.
Wilson streaked by Mack and made the over-the-shoulder grab, taking the Chiefs from the Raiders’ 30 to the 4.
Wilson might have been able to score, but he bobbled the ball before hauling it in and stepping out of bounds. No matter. Charles scored on the next play for his first touchdown of the season.
“It kind of drifted on me to outside and I had to make an adjustment,” Wilson said. “But it was a great throw.”
Wilson said for a fleeting moment he thought about what to do after he made the catch, but caught himself.
Two big plays were authored by the supporting cast. That seems to happen when the Chiefs’ offense is humming.
“That’s the thing about this offense and coach (Andy) Reid, there’s a lot of talent,” Wilson said. “And when you run different formations, spread everybody out and get everybody the ball, it’s just a great way to run offense.”