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Chiefs vs. Raiders: 10 Observations

Here are 10 things that stood out about the game on Sunday


  1. De'Anthony Thomas takes one back**

Late in the first quarter, the scoring got started in a big way for the Chiefs as rookie returner De'Anthony Thomas took one to the house to give the Chiefs the early 7-0 lead.

The 81-yard return was the first punt return touchdown for the Chiefs since December 8 of last season against Washington.

It was the first return touchdown of any kind against the Raiders in Arrowhead since 2000 (Tamarick Vanover).

2. Jamell Fleming coverage on third-down play

One play that stood out on Sunday was early in the second quarter when the Chiefs defense faced a third-and-8 from the Raiders 36-yard line.

Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton dialed up a blitz with veteran safety Husain Abdullah coming off the edge with just one defensive lineman, Dontari Poe, in on the play.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr scrambled out to his right and threw it up the right sideline to receiver Andre Holmes, but cornerback Jamell Fleming knocked the ball down and the pass fell incomplete.

It was a great display of total team defense on a key third down early in the game.

3. Smith and the passing game opened up


Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense took their shots down the field against the Raiders defense in the passing game.

It was a 48-yard pass deep down the field to rookie receiver Albert Wilson that showed the vertical passing game people had been asking about throughout the season.

Smith finished the game 18 of 30 for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

4. Colquitt's fake punt-punt

Midway through the second quarter and with the Chiefs facing a fourth-and-2 from the Raiders' 37-yard line, punter Dustin Colquitt looked to be attempting a fake punt-pass, but hesitated and ultimately punted the ball late.

The ball was downed at the 6-yard line on a great punt, but it looked like Colquitt either faked out his entire team, or the pass option wasn't there, which would make the play even better by Colquitt to get it off.

5. Chiefs make change along offensive line


For the first time this season, the Chiefs had someone besides veteran Mike McGlynn at left guard, as veteran Jeff Linkenbach got the start in his place.

It was the 34th career start for Linkenbach, who came over this past offseason from the Indianapolis Colts.

6. Receiving touchdowns from non-receivers

After 14 games, the Chiefs still do not have a touchdown reception from a receiver.

Tight end Travis Kelce caught a 20-yard touchdown while split out like you'd see from a receiver, and then running back Knile Davis caught an angle route out of the backfield and broke it for a 70-yard touchdown.

Both touchdown receptions were from non-receivers, and neither was a swing pass or screen. Both passes were thrown across the line of scrimmage and so the streak continues.

7. Chiefs dominated third quarter


After last week's struggles offensively in the second half against the Cardinals, the Chiefs were a different group on Sunday.

It was three consecutive drives in the third quarter that ended with touchdowns that really broke the game open for the Chiefs.

The first touchdown came on a Knile Davis 3-yard run, then Kelce's 20-yard reception and then Davis caught Smith's pass across the middle and took it 70 yards for the touchdown to break it open at 31-6.

8. Smith to Bowe on third down sets up Davis' touchdown

One play that might be overlooked in a game full of Chiefs highlights was the third-and-5 pass from Smith to Bowe that went for 21 yards.

It was midway through the third quarter and the Chiefs held a 10-6 lead after a Sebastian Janikowski 33-yard field goal after the Kelce fumble.

There was momentum on the side of the Raiders and Smith delivered his best pass of the day when it mattered the most.

Photos from the Chiefs Week 15 matchup against the Raiders

9. Frank Zombo's fumble recovery

With the Chiefs leading 17-6 midway through the third quarter, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr fumbled the snap on first down deep in Chiefs territory.

It was recovered by linebacker Frank Zombo, who was stepping in briefly for Tamba Hali on the outside.

It set up the Kelce 20-yard touchdown reception that broke the game open for the Chiefs at 24-6.

10. Chiefs defense answers the call

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr finished the game 27 of 56 for 222 yards and one late touchdown pass. He was under constant pressure from the Chiefs front seven and was sacked four times in the game.

The Chiefs defense allowed just 3.6 yards per play as the Raiders seemed content to try and throw the ball for the majority of the game.

In the first half, the Raiders attempted 25 passes to just 10 rushing attempts.

Latavius Murray, who had 112 yards on four carries with two touchdowns in the first meeting between these two teams, finished with 12 carries for 59 yards.

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