Chiefs vs. Raiders: 12 Observations

Here are 12 things that stood out about the win on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) beat the Oakland Raiders (5-7) on Sunday afternoon in Oakland by a score of 34-20.

Here are 12 things that stood out about the game:

1. Chiefs sweep the AFC West on the road for the first time since 1995

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It had been 20 years since the Kansas City Chiefs had gone undefeated on the road against teams within their division, and that's exactly what they've done this year after Sunday's win.

The last time they achieved that feat was back in 1995.

In the wins over the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers and now the Raiders, the Chiefs outscored them 96-36 combined in those games.

2. Quite a homecoming for Marcus Peters, Tyvon Branch

Marcus Peters grew up less than 10 miles from O.co Stadium in Oakland, California, and Tyvon Branch spent the last seven years of his career playing for the Oakland Raiders.

Both of them had key interceptions in the fourth quarter to help the Chiefs pick up their sixth consecutive victory and move to 7-5 on the season.

Coming into the game, the second-year quarterback of the Raiders, Derek Carr, had thrown just 6 interceptions all season.

The Chiefs defense forced 3 in the fourth quarter alone, culminating with Branch's 38-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave the Chiefs a 34-20 lead and ultimate victory.

Peters said after the game that it's hard to put into words what today meant to him

3. Josh Mauga's interception changed the game

On second-and-10 from the 33-yard line and leading 20-14 early in the fourth quarter, the Raiders were driving deep in Chiefs territory and looking to take control of the game with a two-possession lead.

After the snap, Carr dropped back to pass and couldn't find anyone open, so he stepped up and around the pocket and tried to buy some time for someone to come open down the field.

They never did.

As Carr was scrambling around, Dee Ford never stopped rushing despite being stopped on multiple occasions.

Ford was starting in place of the injured Justin Houston, who missed the game as he recovers from a hyperextended knee suffered in last week's game.

Ford finally got to Carr, and as he hit him, the ball popped up into the air and into the waiting arms of linebacker Josh Mauga, who took off down the field.

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Mauga took it 66 yards back and made it as far as the 1-yard line before he was tackled.

After a run that resulted in no gain, Alex Smith hit Jeremy Maclin on a quick strike and he walked into the end zone.

Just like that, the Chiefs tied the game after being a few yards away from a possible two-possession deficit.

That interception changed the game.

4. Jeremy Maclin has a big day

He caught the first six passes of the game for the Chiefs, and up until the two-minute warning in the first half, Jeremy Maclin was the only player to catch a pass for the Chiefs.

Maclin finished the game with 9 catches for 95 yards and 2 fourth-quarter touchdowns, both of which came in less than four minutes of each other.

His first touchdown came from a 1-yard out and tied the game 20-20 with 11:19 remaining in the game. The second touchdown came from 13 yards and gave the Chiefs the 26-20 lead with 8:03 remaining in the game.

Both of them required teammates to do their jobs in front of him, as they were quick-hitting strikes that called for blocks.

Albert Wilson had a great block on Maclin's second touchdown catch.

5. Smith to Maclin for key third-down conversion early in the game

With the Chiefs trailing 7-0 early in the first quarter, Alex Smith found Jeremy Maclin on a key third-and-9 conversion from the Oakland 25-yard line.

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Just two plays later, Smith ran it in from 3 yards out to get the Chiefs on the board. After a Cairo Santos extra point, the game was tied 7-7.

With pressure coming off the right side from linebacker Khalil Mack, Smith evaded the pressure and quickly found Maclin out to the right, and Maclin turned it up field for another few yards.

It was the key play on the drive that led to a touchdown.

The Chiefs were helped on the drive by three Raiders penalties (resulting in 20 yards), one of which was illegal contact on cornerback T.J. Carrie on first-and-15.

6. Chiefs run defense buckles up in second half

After one quarter of play, running back Latavius Murray had carried the ball 8 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

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His best run of 35 yards came on their first drive, when he got around the right edge and raced down the field and forced a couple of missed tackles before Eric Berry was able to catch up with him.

Murray would have 7 carries for just 18 yards in the second half thanks to the defense of linebacker Derrick Johnson, who led the team with 14 tackles, and the continued leadership of safety Eric Berry, who continues to make plays for this defense.

7. Tamba Hali makes a great open field tackle

On first-and-10 from midfield, the Raiders had great field position and a promising chance to take a lead as the game was tied 7-7 early in the second quarter.

With rookie receiver Amari Cooper running some pre-snap action out of the backfield, Carr found him quickly in the left flat, and the only Chiefs defender in the area at the time was veteran Tamba Hali.

As Cooper caught the ball and looked up field, Hali was there, broke down his feet and wrapped up Cooper for a loss of 5 yards.

It ruined a promising drive and showed that Hali, who normally finds himself mixed up with large offensive linemen in the trenches, can make a big tackle out in space.

8. Chiefs defense holds strong on three key Raiders drives in first half

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The Raiders fourth, fifth and sixth offensive drives of the game would all be three-and-outs, totaling just 9 yards.

Two of those three drives would begin at midfield, but the Chiefs defense would hold strong and not allow the Raiders to get into field goal range for Sebastian Janikowski, which is saying something with the distance he can hit from.

While the defense was holding strong, the offense struggled to move the football and the Raiders were winning the field position battle.

9. Fumble leads to late first-half touchdown for Raiders

The Chiefs were driving late in the first half after a nice punt return from Frankie Hammond Jr., but after a short catch-and-run by Travis Kelce to the right side, veteran Charles Woodson came from behind and stripped the ball from him as he was fighting for extra yards.

Woodson picked up the ball and returned it 38 yards before Alex Smith brought him down at the 36-yard line.

The turnover would ultimately set up a Carr touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree, who made a fantastic play to hold onto the ball as he was hit and sandwiched between two defenders in the end zone.

10. Fumbles, penalties and protection issues stymie offense in first half

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The Chiefs fumbled the ball twice in the first half, marking the first time they committed a turnover since the game back on October 18 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Both of the turnovers came on Oakland's side of the field.

The Chiefs were called for 5 penalties totaling 57 yards in the first half, and Alex Smith was sacked 3 times, led by linebacker Khalil Mack, who thrived and finished with 6 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 quarterback hits in the first half.

Smith went 8 of 11 for 94 yards passing in the first half, also leading them on the ground with 4 rushes for 24 yards as well.

Photos from the Chiefs Week 13 matchup against the Raiders

11. The Chiefs responded in the second half

Trailing 14-7 and without a lot going right for them in the first half, the Chiefs offense responded with a HUGE drive to begin the second half.

The Chiefs went 80 yards on 9 plays in a little more than 5 minutes to tie the game 14-14 after a 10-yard touchdown run from Spencer Ware, who continues to break through would-be tackles as he's taken a larger role on the offense recently.

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The key play of the drive was on third-and-6 from the Raiders 44-yard line when Smith found Kelce across the middle of the field. His perfectly placed pass allowed Kelce to pick up the majority of the yards after the catch, an area Kelce leads the NFL in over the past two seasons.

That play picked up 26 yards for the Chiefs and kept the drive going.

It was exactly the kind of response the Chiefs offense needed after turnovers, penalties and protection issues kept them from finding any kind of rhythm in the first half.

12. Penalty on third down leads to go-ahead touchdown for Raiders

With the game tied 14-14 late in the third quarter, the Chiefs defense faced a third-and-6 from their own 12-yard line, and Carr's pass intended for Crabtree fell incomplete.

But there was a flag on the play.

Derrick Johnson was called for roughing the passer and the Raiders were given a first down. The call on the field was that Johnson made contact with Carr's head.

Two plays later, Carr found tight end Lee Smith in the right flat for the touchdown. It was the last time the Raiders would score in the game, as the Chiefs responded with 20 unanswered points to win the game 34-20.

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