The frantic final moments of the Raiders’ 31-30 final-play triumph over the Chiefs came down to one snap, an untimed down that ended with Derek Carr’s 2-yard touchdown pass at the pylon to Michael Crabtree.
But for the Chiefs, the final drive was a torturous backpedal that they were powerless to stop. That’s what hurt most to linebacker Derrick Johnson.
“As a defense we take a lot of passion or pride in taking the ball away or coming up with a play when we need a play,” Johnson said. “We lacked that on the last drive.”
The Raiders took over with 2:25 remaining at their 15 with one timeout and needed a touchdown.
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The Chiefs needed a stop, a sack, a turnover, something big in a game that had provided few defensive highlights. It didn’t happen. For the first time in seven games, the Chiefs went without a sack or takeaway.
“Just one more play, give all you got,” Johnson said. “That’s what we were thinking.”
The first opportunity presented itself on a fourth-and-11 from the Chiefs’ 42. But a blitz didn’t get home and Carr completed a 13-yard strike to Jared Cook against Chiefs safety Eric Murray.
“I was guarding the tight end, and a lot of them are bigger than me,” Murray said. “He just made a play.”
That set up the drama at the goal line. First a Carr pass to Cook that originally was ruled a touchdown but came out to the 1 after a replay review.
The Chiefs looked to catch a huge break on the next play — an offensive pass interference penalty on Crabtree. That moved the ball to the 10 with 3 seconds remaining.
But two straight defensive pass-interference calls, the first on Ron Parker the next on Murray set up the final Carr-to-Crabtree touchdown.
Cook said the calls were overdue.
“Man, they were holding the whole game,” Cook said. “We told them in the first quarter, and the referees did nothing about it, nothing at all. That’s crazy it takes them the entire game to call that.”
For the game, the Chiefs didn’t record a sack. They deflected a couple of passes at the line and came up with four tackles for loss. But for the second straight game, the Chiefs didn’t come up with a takeaway.
The Raiders recorded the game’s only sack and it came at the most opportune time — on the Chiefs’ final snap. The loss meant the Chiefs had to punt away and rely on its defense to come up with a stop. It never came.
The Chiefs will remain atop the AFC West, a half-game in front of the Denver Broncos, but a chance to open a division lead was lost.
“This one hurt,” Johnson said. “Even though we’re 5-2, and that’s a good record in the NFL, this one hurts.”