Chiefs Fall to Raiders 26-16

Posted Oct 28, 2012

Turnovers continue to plague the Chiefs

The return of Matt Cassel provided a much-needed spark for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to overcome four turnovers in a 26-16 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

Cassel led the Chiefs to scoring drives on his first two possessions of the game after replacing an injured Brady Quinn during the second quarter, and finished 20-of-30 passing for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first action since suffering a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5.

Cassel was cleared to return to practice last week, but head coach Romeo Crennel elected to give Brady Quinn his second start of the season.

Turnovers, though, continue to plague the Chiefs, overshadowing what would otherwise be considered an encouraging return by the starting quarterback. Cassel was efficient and accurate in his return, moving the offense effectively and making several plays with his feet when coverages by the Raiders left with him with no options. Cassel added 35 yards on 7 carries to finish the day as the Chiefs leading rusher.

The turnovers by the Chiefs – a fumbled snap, a muffed punt return and two interceptions – led directly to 13 points for the Raiders. The Chiefs got the running game going in the second half and were able to sustain several drives, but were undone by the turnovers and several timely, big plays by the Raiders.

A 32-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey put the Raiders up 23-9 midway through the third quarter, and ultimately it was too much to overcome. Sebastian Janikowski added a 32-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, his fourth of the game.

Turnovers have been a season-long problem for the Chiefs, who have 25 giveaways and a minus-18 turnover differential through the season’s first seven games. That trend continued against the Raiders, and each time opportunity presented itself, the Chiefs were unable to overcome their own mistakes, which led to stalled drives and field goal attempts instead of touchdowns.

The Chiefs had to settle for field goals of 30, 42 and 52 yards by Ryan Succop until Cassel found Dexter McCluster for a 10-yard touchdown in the closing minutes of the game. It was too little, too late.

The Raiders effectively contained leading rusher Jamaal Charles, who finished with five rushes for four yards and three receptions for six yards. If there was a silver lining in the Chiefs’ rushing attack, it was that Peyton Hillis returned from a four-week absence due to an ankle injury and gained 23 yards on four carries.

The Chiefs struggled to move the ball early, as Quinn led the offense to just one first down on the team’s first three possessions before he was pulled in favor of Cassel. Quinn finished 2-of-4 passing for one yard with an interception.

It was the second start of the season for Quinn, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 212 yards and two interceptions in last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Palmer finished 14 of 28 passing for 209 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Denarius Moore led the Raiders with four receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders kept feeding the ball to Darren McFadden despite solid rush defense from the Chiefs early on, and he finished with 29 carries for 114 yards, along with four receptions for 23 yards.

The Raiders opened the scoring with a 36-yard field goal from Janikowski on their second possession of the game. Palmer, who was intercepted by Stanford Routt on the game’s first play from scrimmage, connected with Moore on a key 58-yard catch and run to set up the score.

The Chiefs failed to capitalize on their early opportunities, and the Raiders turned two first-half turnovers into points. The Chiefs failed to take advantage of solid field position on their third drive of the game when Quinn threw his third interception of the season. On second and 17 from their own 42 yard line, Quinn overthrew tight end Tony Moaeki on a seam route and was intercepted by safety Matt Giordano.

The Raiders answered with a long drive and a 35-yard field goal from Janikowski to make it 6-0.

The Chiefs got on the board with a 30-yard field goal by Succop early in the second quarter, capping an eight-play, 68-yard drive after Cassel took over for Quinn . Cassel completed 2 of 3 passes on the drive for 53 yards, highlighted by a 46-yard strike to Dwayne Bowe.

After a three-and-out possession by the Raiders, the Chiefs tied the game briefly at 6 with another field goal from Succop, this one from 42 yards.

But the Chiefs came back and hurt themselves with another costly mistake on the ensuing drive when Javier Arenas muffed a catch on a punt return. The Raiders took over at the Kansas City 11-yard line, and two plays later Palmer connected with Moore on a 9-yard touchdown to the Raiders up 13-6.

It was the last time the game would be in reach for the Chiefs.

Bowe led the Chiefs with three receptions for 65 yards. Moeaki finished with four receptions for 57 yards.

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