OAKLAND, Calif. — With two weeks to stew over a lopsided loss, the Kansas City Chiefs went back to basics and put together a balanced offense that allowed the running game to shine.
Spencer Ware ran for a career-high 131 yards and a touchdown, Alex Smith picked apart Oakland’s struggling defense and the Kansas City Chiefs shut out Derek Carr and the Raiders in the second half of a 26-10 victory Sunday.
“That’s the game we play,” said defensive lineman Dontari Poe, who got into the act on offense with a TD run of his own.
“You come out sometimes and it doesn’t go your way, but you got to make sure it goes your way the next time. Can’t keep on the downward spiral. You got to get it back up.”
In their first game since getting blown out by 29 points in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, the Chiefs (3-2) efficiently handled a Raiders team that had overcome defensive shortcomings with a big-play offense to lead the AFC West.
Smith completed 19 of 22 passes for 224 yards and the Chiefs forced two turnovers by Carr to dampen a fast start to the season by the Raiders (4-2), who are trying to end a 13-year playoff drought.
“I felt like we did a great job taking our shot today and when we did, hitting them,” Smith said. “But certainly the running game got us going and staying with that. Those guys drove it down in the beginning.”
Marcus Peters set up Ware’s TD run with an early interception of Carr and Dee Ford forced a fumble from Carr in the fourth quarter to end any hopes of a late comeback.
After allowing a touchdown on the opening drive, the Chiefs held the Raiders to one field goal the rest of the way.
“It hurts man,” Carr said. “We didn’t do good enough at all. That was bad. That was a bad performance by us.”
BIG-MAN TD: The 346-pound Poe showed off some versatility. With the Chiefs facing 3rd-and-goal from the 1 in the third quarter, Poe came in as an eligible receiver. He initially lined up in the backfield before shifting out wide right. He then took a lateral from Smith and bulled with way into the end zone for the TD . It was the first TD run by a defensive player since Poe had won last year against San Diego.
“I’m taking credit for that one for all the chubby guys out there,” coach Andy Reid said. “He’s got phenomenal hands. … It’s just a matter of looking it in, be patient and then cut the beast loose.”
WELCOME BACK: After getting only two carries in his first game back from a torn ACL, Jamaal Charles played a bigger role this week. He scored his first TD since Sept. 28, 2015, with a 4-yard run midway through the second quarter. Charles finished with nine carries for 33 yards and two catches for 14 yards.
QUICK TURNAROUND: Just when it looked as if the Chiefs would add on to a 13-7 lead late in the first half, there was a major momentum shift. Spencer Ware was stopped for a 2-yard loss on third-and-1 by Stacy McGee and Cairo Santos missed a 38-yard field goal. The Raiders took over with 25 seconds left and one timeout. But Carr quickly completed three passes for 44 yards and then spiked the ball with 1 second left, setting up a 46-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski that cut Kansas City’s lead to 13-10 at the half.
All that momentum was erased when Kansas City took the second-half kickoff and drove down for a touchdown.
“To come out and let them go right down the field to start the second half, that’s a major can’t do,” coach Jack Del Rio said.
HAPPY HOMECOMING: For the second straight year, Peters had an interception in his return to his hometown. Peters left the game for a bit in the second half to go through the concussion protocol, but was cleared and able to return.
FAST START: The Raiders jumped out early, thanks to a 50-yard return of the opening kick by Jalen Richard. Carr completed four of five passes on the ensuing drive, including a 3-yarder to Andre Holmes that made it 7-0 with Oakland’s second first-drive TD of the season. That was about it for highlights for the Raiders as Carr struggled in the rain and wasn’t helped by dropped third-down passes from Seth Roberts and Richard.