Punter Marquette King celebrated his 45-yard punt that was downed at the 1. The Raiders owned the lead, and although they had just punted for the first time on Thursday, the ball couldn’t have been placed any better for a defensive stop.
In three plays, the Chiefs reversed fortune. But they couldn’t hold on and fell 31-30 to the Raiders.
On a night when the Chiefs amassed 425 total yards and got another superb passing performance from quarterback Alex Smith, it wasn’t enough to prevent a second straight loss.
This one came down to the final play of the game, an untimed down because of a penalty that ended with Derek Carr’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree, and that’s all Smith — despite his 342-yard, three-touchdown, no-interception performance — could think about.
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“It’s a great rivalry, it’s what sports is about,” Smith said. “To come down to the end like that, if you’re on the other end it’s no fun.”
The Chiefs couldn’t ultimately cash in on a lightning-quick 99-yard drive.
After King’s punt in the second quarter, Smith, standing toward the back of the end zone, took the first snap from the shotgun and launched a pass to Demarcus Robinson, who turned to haul in what would become a 33-yard reception. Had Robinson caught it in stride he could have run for a while. The turn to make the catch cost him his balance, but with one snap the Chiefs were out of the hole.
On the next play, Kareem Hunt bulled forward for 2 yards. That would be the only time Hunt touched the ball on the series, but he saved his biggest contribution for the next snap.
Standing to Smith’s right, Hunt moved in front of his quarterback after the snap to pick up blitzing linebacker NaVorro Bowman, leaving Smith enough time to unload a pass down the right sideline.
Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill had blazed past cornerback David Amerson, and without safety help Hill was able to haul in the deep ball and sprint to the end zone for a 64-yard score.
The touchdown was the 16th of Hill’s career and eighth of at least 50 yards, including returns and rushes.
According to NFL research, only two other teams have eight touchdowns of 50-plus yards in that span, the Miami Dolphins and Washington. Every other team has fewer than eight.
The Chiefs’ offense was back after a week of largely missing in action, returning to the form that shaped the first five games.
Against the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the Chiefs were stunningly bad in the first half, when they mustered 6 total yards and one first down on 16 plays.
Things got better after the break on Sunday, but the Chiefs lost for the first time this season.
The short week didn’t hinder either offense on Thursday.
Smith threw three touchdown passes. On the first, tight end Travis Kelce went up high in the end zone to pull down a 10-yarder in the first quarter.
The Chiefs got a fortunate bounce in the third quarter when Albert Wilson kept stride after a Smith deep ball was tipped ahead by Oakland’s Keith McGill. Wilson snared it and finished the 63-yard score. It was Smith’s 15th touchdown pass this season, matching his total from 2016.
Smith now has 22 touchdown passes against the division rival, the most for Smith against any opponent.
But they weren’t enough. Carr, who has had three of his worst 11 passer-rating games against the Chiefs, fired a pair of touchdown passes to Amari Cooper and the game-winner to Crabtree and finished with 417 passing yards, the second highest total of his career.