Chiefs

After yielding TD on opening drive, Chiefs lock down on defense

Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford celebrated sacking Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on a fourth-down play in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday.
Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford celebrated sacking Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on a fourth-down play in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Dee Ford experience was in full force in the Chiefs’ 26-10 triumph over the Raiders on Sunday.

Ford, a third-year outside linebacker, came up with both Chiefs sacks, the first one with a forced fumble to complete the package.

It may have been Ford’s best game in a Chiefs uniform, one that at least rivals his three-sack game against the Chargers last season, and it occurred at an important juncture in the season.

Coming off a 29-point loss at Pittsburgh two weeks ago, the Chiefs could have fallen two games behind the Raiders in the AFC West in the loss column.

Instead, the Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos all have two losses, with the Chiefs having played one fewer game.

“This was fun, very fun,” Ford said. “The defensive line played well, and the secondary played great. They were able to give us opportunities to get to (quarterback Derek) Carr.”

Ford’s sacks happened on successive Oakland possessions in the fourth quarter, with the Raiders forced to play catch-up. The Raiders had driven to the Chiefs 20 when Ford used his speed to sidestep tackle Austin Howard and hit Carr from behind to force the fumble that Tamba Hali recovered.

A series later, Ford sacked Carr on fourth down on what became the Raiders’ final snap.

“If you affect him, get in his face a few times and hug your coverage to make him hold the ball and make him a little unsure about his reads you have a chance,” Ford said. “He’s a really good quarterback.”

But Carr has struggled against the Chiefs. After beating the Chiefs for his first career victory in 2014, Carr and the Raiders have dropped four straight in the series. In two games last year, Carr threw four interceptions and was sacked 10 times.

There was one interception Sunday, and it was big. The Raiders scored their touchdown on their first possession. The Chiefs were stopped and punted away. Another Oakland score would have sent the game spiraling for the Chiefs, as it did in Pittsburgh.

Instead, Carr was flushed and fired a floater off his back foot that was picked off by cornerback Marcus Peters, the Oakland native who now has interceptions in each of his two visits to his hometown. Peters was lined up against Michael Crabtree, who got behind him.

“But I knew that (Carr) wouldn’t be able to throw the ball that far,” Peters said. “I knew the ball was going to hang. So as soon as he got past me, I just looked up. I trusted my instincts.”

The Chiefs drove for a touchdown after the Peters pick, his fifth of the season and 13th of his career that is less than 1  1/2 seasons old, and the Chiefs’ defense dug in for a stellar afternoon.

“That pick, Marcus always tends to come up with something like that in the clutch,” Chiefs safety Eric Berry said. “We just feed off that.”

Carr said “no excuses,” when asked about the interception and was unsure why the Raiders were unable to solve the Chiefs.

“It hurts,” Carr said. “Especially a division game, especially against the Chiefs. It hurts, man. It (stinks). That was a bad performance by us. When you play at home that has to be an advantage. We should be able to create the biggest home-field advantage and go out there and dominate. But we haven’t created that yet.”

Especially against the Chiefs, who won in Oakland for the third time in four years.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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