Chiefs vs. Raiders: 10 Observations

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

The Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) beat the Oakland Raiders (7-9) by a score of 23-17 Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Here are 10 observations from the game:

1. The Chiefs win their 10th consecutive game, will travel to Houston next weekend

The Chiefs finish the regular season in style, winning their 10th consecutive game and setting a franchise record for consecutive wins in the process.

Coming into the game, the Chiefs had already tied the record set twice before, as the 2003 and 2013 teams had also won 9 straight games. That 2003 team was also the last team to win at least five divisional games.

But on Sunday, this team earned its place all alone in the record books. It was the end of a historic regular season that gave fans an emotional ride with each and every win.

And it's not over yet.

After the Denver Broncos edged out the San Diego Chargers and earned the No. 1 spot in the AFC playoffs, the fate of the Chiefs was sealed. They will travel to take on the Houston Texans next weekend in a rematch of the Week 1 contest that saw the Chiefs leave with a 27-20 victory.

The Texans won the AFC South division with a 9-7 record and earned the No. 4 spot in the AFC playoffs. The Chiefs, who began the season with only one win in their first six games, earned the No. 5 spot.

2. The Chiefs defense dominates again on Sunday

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The Raiders finished Sunday's game with just 205 yards of total offense and converted just 3 of 14 first downs. It was another dominant performance by the Chiefs defense, which finished with 5 sacks on the day.

In the six divisional games this season, the Chiefs defense allowed 7 touchdowns passing and had 12 interceptions while also sacking opposing quarterbacks 20 times.

The only touchdown that the Chiefs defense allowed on Sunday was a late 31-yard strike from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree, and one that coach Andy Reid called "questionable" after the game as it looked like Crabtree pulled Marcus Peters down on the play for what could have been called offensive pass interference.

Here are a look at the final stats:

FINAL STATS

KC

OAK

1st downs

23

14

Passing 1st downs

9

9

Rushing 1st downs

12

2

1st downs from penalties

2

3

3rd down eff. (Made-Att-Pct)

6-13-46%

3-14-21%

4th down eff. (Made-Att-Pct)

1-2-50%

1-1-100%

Total Plays

65

55

Total Yards

339

205

Yards per play

5.2

3.7

Total Drives

12

11

Timeouts (Used-Rem)

1-2

0-3

Total Return Yds (no Kickoffs)

22

26

Punt Returns (Num-Yds)

3-22

0-0

Kickoff Returns (Num-Yds)

3-30

4-147

Int. Returns (Num-Yds)

1-0

2-26

Extra Points (Made-Att)

3-3

2-2

Kicking (Made-Att)

3-3

2-2

2Pt Conversions (Made-Att)

0-0

0-0

Safeties

1

0

3. D.J. Alexander's blocked punt gives Chiefs a safety, leads to a touchdown

After narrowly missing two blocks earlier in the game, the Chiefs finally got one midway through the third quarter, and it ultimately became the play of the game.

After a third-down sack by Dee Ford, the Raiders were forced to punt from deep in their own territory.

Rookie linebacker D.J. Alexander sliced through the Raiders blockers and blocked the punt out of the back of the end zone, giving the Chiefs a safety and the ball.

After the play, the Chiefs held a 16-10 lead and the ball.

It was the first blocked punt for the Chiefs since October 14, 2012 against Tampa Bay. It was the first safety for the Chiefs since September 23, 2012 against New Orleans.

4. Demetrius Harris' first career touchdown

It was exactly the kind of play that Demetrius Harris will always remember, and not only because it was the first touchdown of his career, but also because it's one of the best catches of the season.

After the Alexander blocked punt that gave the Chiefs a safety midway through the third quarter, the Chiefs drove down the field on the ensuing drive and it culminated with Smith tossing it up to Harris from the 15-yard line on first-and-10.

Harris was running a seam route vertically down the field and Smith threw the ball high and where only the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Harris could come down with it.

Harris high-pointed the ball over a couple of defenders and brought it down to finish off one of the best catches of the season.

5. Chiefs offense got things going early in the game

On the opening drive of the game, the Chiefs drove 80 yards on 8 plays in 4:08 and finished it with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Jeremy Maclin to take the early 7-0 lead.

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It was the third touchdown for Maclin against the Raiders this season after he caught 9 passes for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first meeting between the two teams.

On the first play of the game, the Chiefs went with a play-action pass to fullback Anthony Sherman in the right flat, and he was able to turn it up the field for 18 yards.

Charcandrick West carried the ball 3 times for 15 yards on the opening drive, including a 13-yarder on the third play of the game.

Smith finished 4 of 5 for 65 yards and the touchdown to Maclin on the opening series.

6. Second offensive drive works as good as the first for the Chiefs

The second Chiefs offensive drive looked as pretty as the first.

This one ended with a Spencer Ware touchdown run on a little inside trap as Ware was lined up as a fullback. It was Ware's 4th carry of the game.

One of the main reasons that Ware went into the end zone untouched on the 3-yard carry was the block from left guard Jeff Allen, who completely sealed the defensive end and gave Ware a clean lane to the end zone.

The drive went 87 yards on 12 plays in 6:05, and it gave them a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.

The touchdown was only possible because of the 9-yard scramble by Smith on third-and-4 on the third play of that opening drive. Smith's ability to escape and scramble out of the pocket has been one of the most dangerous aspects of the Chiefs offense throughout this winning streak.

The big plays on the drive were an 18-yard end-around to Maclin and a 16-yard reception along the sideline for rookie Chris Conley, who jumped up and was able to keep his feet in bounds after the corner route gave Smith a little window to deliver the football.

7. Ron Parker sets franchise record, then picks off another pass

Early in the first quarter and on the first offensive possession for the Raiders, Ron Parker came on a blitz from his nickel position and was able to chase down Derek Carr on the far sideline. Parker was also able to knock the ball loose from Carr, but it went out of bounds.

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Parker was credited with the sack, which gave him the 7th of his career and broke the franchise record for sacks in a career by a Chiefs defensive back.

The record was previously held by safety Reggie Tongue, who played for the Chiefs from 1996-99.

Parker also made a key interception in the end zone midway through the second quarter.

After the first of Alex Smith's two interceptions in the first half, Carr was guiding the Raiders down the field and took a shot to the end zone towards rookie Amari Cooper, but Parker had good position and jumped up, made the play and came down with the ball.

It was the 3rd interception of Parker's season and the 6th of his career.

8. Jeremy Maclin also sets franchise record

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With his 17-yard reception in the middle of the third quarter, Maclin set the record for most receptions in a season by a receiver in franchise history.

Maclin needed just 3 coming into Sunday's game to break the record previously held by Dwayne Bowe (2008).

Maclin finished the game with 3 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

9. Marcus Peters also sets franchise record, too!

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On the first drive of the second half, the Raiders faced a third-and-9 from their 30-yard line. Carr scrambled outside of the pocket, and as he did that, Michael Crabtree went vertical to try and give Carr a target to throw the football.

Carr threw it on the run and over the outside shoulder of Crabtree, who was deep down the field and near the sideline.

But it was rookie first-round pick Marcus Peters who made a fantastic play on the ball to knock it down. It gave Peters his 26th pass defensed of the season, which is a franchise record.

It's another line in the résumé that looks very much like what you'd expect from the NFL's Defensive Rookie the Year award winner—something Peters should be in serious consideration for after a stellar rookie season.

10. Back-to-back turnovers hurt Chiefs in second quarter

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On back-to-back offensive drives, Smith abnormally threw interceptions, the second of which was returned 24 yards for a touchdown by cornerback David Amerson.

Amerson undercut the out route from second-year receiver Albert Wilson and had nobody in front of him once he caught the ball.

That cut the lead for the Chiefs to 14-10 midway through the second quarter.

That was the first pass attempt after Smith threw another interception on the previous drive. That one was intercepted by T.J. Carrie, who got underneath the post route and made a nice play on the ball to give the Raiders a chance to get a touchdown on the board, but Parker's play in the end zone gave the Chiefs their 22nd interception of the season.

Smith had only thrown 6 interceptions on his first 446 pass attempts this season, but had 2 in his first 15 passes on Sunday.

Photos from Chiefs Week 17 matchup against the Raiders

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