Red Zone

Halftime observations: Chiefs 20, Raiders 14. And about that first-half officiating ...

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill flashes what’s become his trademark on touchdowns — the peace sign – after scoring on a pretty Alex Smith pass in the first half at Oakland.
Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill flashes what’s become his trademark on touchdowns — the peace sign – after scoring on a pretty Alex Smith pass in the first half at Oakland. jsleezer@kcstar.com

It’s halftime of the Chiefs’ seventh game of 2017, and they lead the Oakland Raiders 20-14 at the Oakland Coliseum. Here is Chiefs beat writer Terez A. Paylor’s quick analysis.

1. One of the worst no-calls I’ve ever seen

I have covered 70 straight Chiefs games, and I will tell you this –– that Amari Cooper push-off on his first touchdown is one of the most egregious no-calls I’ve ever seen. The fact the refs threw the flag, then picked it up and waived it off, was insane. It was one of a number of calls that went against the Chiefs in the first half. Guys, I never indulge your ref-bashing tweets –– never –– but I think you have a reason to be annoyed tonight.

2. Andy Reid has brought out the good plays

The Chiefs’ playcalling wasn’t up to snuff in the loss to the Steelers on Sunday. You can’t say that tonight. Chiefs coach Andy Reid brought out his best stuff, like he always seems to do against AFC opponents. Lots of different formations, lots of different personnel groupings, a good mix of run and pass, short, intermediate and deep throws. Good stuff here from Andy.

3. The 99-yard scoring drive was money

You kind of had to be here to understand how money that drive, which came early in the second quarter, was. The Raiders had all the momentum, the Coliseum was rocking, and the Chiefs were backed up to their 1-yard line after an all-madden level bounce that was downed by the Raiders punt cover squad. But Reid brought out the big-boy plays. Quarterback Alex Smith lined up in the gun and delivered a 33-yard strike to Demarcus Robinson, then Smith against lofted an absolutely gorgeous deep ball that Tyreek Hill tracked, ran under and breezed into the end zone with. The score gave the Chiefs a 17-14 lead –– against all odds, it felt like –– and gave them hope of stemming the Raiders’ momentum.

4. That second quarter skirmish was fascinating

Here’s what happened: Allen Bailey sacked Derek Carr on third-and-10. Marcus Peters came in late and hit Carr. The Raiders’ offensive linemen (understandably) didn’t like that. A skirmish ensued. Marshawn Lynch raced in from the Oakland sideline, seemingly to get between Peters –– who considers him a cousin –– and his teammates. Lynch pushed a ref to get close to Peters and was ejected. I, like your boy Sam Mellinger, think he was trying to protect his buddy. Knowing how territorial those two are of Oakland ... there’s no way Lynch would let anything happen to Peters in their hometown, on that field. Just a theory, but I think that’s what happened.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters spoke to the media on Thursday about growing up in Oakland, being a Raiders fan and bringing friends and family to O.co Coliseum in Oakland on Sunday when the Chiefs travel to play the Raiders.

5. Somebody in the secondary needs to make a play

Derek Carr has been throwing the ball around with impunity. Amari Cooper has gone off. Somebody in the Chiefs’ secondary needs to swipe one of these throws. Paging Marcus Peters, who has recorded an interception the last two times he’s played in his hometown of Oakland.

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