Seven hundred and sixty three days separate our current reality from the last time the Chiefs lost an AFC West game, an absurd stretch of time that includes two division titles but never a game quite like this.
The streak ended here, in a wild and bizarre game that included a skirmish, an ejection, missed calls, untimed downs and the winning point in a 31-30 Raiders win with no time left on the clock.
It was the Chiefs’ first loss to a division opponent since September of 2015.
If there has been a better game this NFL season, it hasn’t been by much. And if there is a more entertaining game in front of us, this is going to be one heck of a season.
In the end, the Chiefs’ unbeaten run in the division required an incredible confluence of events, decisions, and one bonkers final drive.
▪ Some of those were panic penalties there at the end. The Chiefs’ defense has some major problems, you guys.
▪ The weekly initial Alex Smith take: missed some throws and didn’t see some receivers early, but by the third quarter was absolutely dealing. He had some plays that required quick decisions and bold execution, threw deep and worked around inconsistent pass protection.
Good luck helped, too. The deep ball to Albert Wilson was — unless I’m forgetting a throw — the closest Smith has come to an interception all season. Probably should’ve been picked, too, if we’re honest. But it bounced off Keith McGill’s hands and into Wilson’s for a 64-yard touchdown.
▪ If Marshawn Lynch was really trying to protect Marcus Peters in that skirmish — and I want to be very clear: that’s exactly what it looked like — then I’m just not sure I’ve seen anything stranger on a football field in my life.
Lynch was not in on the play that ended with a skirmish after Peters came in low and late-ish on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Peters was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Lynch sprinted onto the field from the sideline, shoved an official, and honest-to-goodness appeared to be trying to keep his own teammates away from Peters.
Lynch and Peters are both from Oakland, and very close. Peters has called Lynch his cousin. Both have a deep love for their hometowns and a complete refusal to take even a little crap. You can see why they’re close.
But has this ever happened before? Someone from one team protecting an opponent, against his own teammates, who were ostensibly protecting their own quarterback?
You guys. This is fascinating.
▪ The officials had a rough first half. Amari Cooper appeared to commit a fairly blatant offensive pass interference penalty that went uncalled on a 38-yard touchdown. Then, a fumble recovery by Justin Houston around the Oakland 20 was wiped out on an illegal contact penalty on Eric Murray. Even with a few looks at the replay, it’s hard to see what the officials saw.
That drive ended with a punt downed at the Chiefs’ 1-yard line, which meant one missed call cost the Chiefs seven points and another cost about 80 yards. But ...
▪ The Chiefs answered with what was apparently the first 99-yard drive in three or fewer plays since 2011. The key plays were a 33 yard pass to Demarcus Robinson, and a 64-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill.
The touchdown throw is a perfect example of what separates this Chiefs team from so many in the past. Hill was even with the defender when Smith threw the ball, and then just outran everyone down the right sideline.