Eventually, the Oakland Raiders were going to beat somebody. Their quarterback, Derek Carr, all but guaranteed it.
And Carr’s 9-yard touchdown pass to James Jones with 1 minute, 42 seconds left in regulation gave the previously winless Raiders a stunning 24-20 victory over the Chiefs on a rainy and dreary Thursday night at O.co Coliseum.
The loss dropped the Chiefs, 7-4, from a first-place tie with Denver, 7-3, in the AFC West. The Broncos will play at home against Miami on Sunday before visiting the Chiefs on Nov. 30 in a prime-time game at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Raiders, 1-10, won for the first time all season and snapped a 16-game losing streak dating to Nov. 17 of last year. Oakland was sparked in the first half by a 90-yard touchdown run by third-team running back Latavius Murray, the longest run against the Chiefs in franchise history.
“I didn’t have the football team ready to go the way we should have,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, whose team spotted Oakland leads of 14-0 and 17-3. “We started way too slow and didn’t finish strong enough. They outplayed us and outcoached us.”
Carr, a rookie who promised Tuesday “good times were ahead” for the struggling Raiders, converted sneaks on fourth and 1 and third and 1 on a 17-play, 80-yard drive after the Chiefs had taken a 20-17 lead on Cairo Santos’ 25-yard field goal with 9:03 left.
Then, Jones, a free-agent signee from Green Bay, made a move on Chiefs cornerback Ron Parker and caught the game-winning touchdown pass alone in the back of the end zone. Parker also had been flagged for pass interference on a borderline call on third and 9 at the Chiefs’ 29 on the drive.
The Chiefs, who looked hopelessly out of it when trailing by two touchdowns late in the third quarter, tied the score at 17-17 with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to tight end Anthony Fasano late in the third quarter, and a 30-yard catch-and-run by Jamaal Charles with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter.
“I was probably too conservative all the way around early in the game,” Reid said. “We threw the ball down the field (later). It was tough early with the weather the way it was, but we have to execute better, and I have to do a better job of putting guys in position.”
Sebastian Janikowski had given the Raiders the 17-3 lead with a 40-yard goal with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter when Knile Davis, who started to hesitate 6 yards deep in his end zone, brought it out to the Chiefs 40.
Smith hit wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for 11 yards and tight end Travis Kelce for gains of 21 and 11 yards. On third and 1 from the 19, Smith found Fasano alone near the goal line. The ball was underthrown, but Fasano caught it with his back to the goal line and then broke the plane while being tackled.
The Chiefs were facing second and 16 from their 30 when Smith slipped a pass to Charles, who got away from safety Charles Woodson and sped past Brandian Ross and D.J. Hayden on his way to his 11th touchdown of the season.
The Chiefs, who were pushed around on both sides of the line of scrimmage, trailed 14-3 at halftime.
Oakland came into the game with the NFL’s worst running game, averaging 63 yards a game, on pace to rush for the fewest yards in NFL history. But Murray, a two-year veteran from Central Florida, shredded the Chiefs’ run defense in record proportions.
Murray opened the scoring by sweeping left 11 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, his first NFL touchdown and the first rushing touchdown allowed by the Chiefs this season.
He was just getting warmed up. On a first-down play from the Raiders 10, Murray bolted up the middle on a trap that cleared out the Chiefs defensive front. Inside linebacker Josh Mauga made a futile swipe for Murray, but he was gone for 90 yards — the longest run against the Chiefs in their 55-year history — giving Oakland a 14-0 lead with 12:28 to play in the second quarter.
The previous record for longest run against the Chiefs was 87 yards by San Diego’s Paul Lowe in 1961.
Murray, who carried four times for 112 yards, left the game after suffering a concussion while was tackled by the Chiefs’ Kurt Coleman on a kickoff return following a 24-yard field goal by Santos. Murray did not return to the game.
But even that field goal was a win for the Oakland defense.
Oakland’s Denarius Moore muffed a Dustin Colquitt punt, and it was recovered at the Raiders’ 11 by the Chiefs’ Frank Zombo.
Charles carried for 5 yards to the Oakland 6, but on second down, a pass intended for Charles went incomplete. On third down, a short pass intended for De’Anthony Thomas was broken up by Ross short of the first-down marker.
That brought on Santos, who made his 12th consecutive field goal, making it 14-3 with 7:19 to play in the half.
Smith, who enjoyed a perfect 158.3 passer rating in last year’s 56-31 victory here over the Raiders, was terribly inaccurate in the rainy conditions. He completed just eight of 18 passes for 48 yards in the first half, with several passes wide or over the heads of his targets.
The Raiders were well-prepared for the screen passes that Smith threw so effectively last year to Charles, who scored five touchdowns in that game. On a first-possession swing pass that was ruled a lateral, Charles lost 9 yards.
And a screen to Charles from the Oakland 36 in the second quarter was diagnosed by Oakland’s defense, which threw him for a 12-yard loss.
It got even more bizarre when Thomas tried returning a punt from his 17 rather than calling for a fair catch, and he was chased back for a 12-yard loss to the Chiefs’ 5.
In the third quarter, Thomas got away from a punt when he should have called a fair catch, and the ball was downed by Oakland at the Chiefs’ 10. The Chiefs possession ended on a third-down sack of Smith by Woodson.