Charles' five TDs carry Chiefs to rout of Raiders

Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- On the Kansas City Chiefs' first play from scrimmage Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, running back Jamaal Charles caught a screen pass from quarterback Alex Smith in the left flat and raced 49 yards for a touchdown.
That was just a hint of what was to come.
Charles scored a team-record-tying five touchdowns, and the Chiefs clinched a playoff berth with a resounding 56-31 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Charles caught four touchdown passes from Smith -- three on screens -- and ran for a touchdown, tying former running back Abner Haynes for the team touchdown record, set in 1961 against the Raiders.
Charles caught eight passes for a career-high 195 yards and added eight carries for 20 yards, helping the Chiefs (11-3) make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Last season, Kansas City finished 2-14, tied for the NFL's worst record.
"We worked so hard," Charles said. "This just shows you how hard work pays off. If we keep working this way, we can go farther."
The Chiefs also pulled into a tie for first in the AFC West with Denver, but the Broncos beat Kansas City twice, so they own the tiebreaker.
The Raiders (4-10) lost their fourth consecutive game and set a franchise record for points allowed, snapping the old mark of 55, which they gave up three times, including last season against the Baltimore Ravens.
"We get paid out there to play, we get paid out there to not let these guys light up the scoreboard the way they did," Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter said. "They did what we didn't want them to do. We have no one to blame but ourselves. That's just something that we have to live with for now."
Smith completed 17 of 20 passes for 287 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. He posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
"Teammates made me look good," Smith said. "I didn't do much. I mean, three screens for touchdowns. I've never been a part of anything like that or seen that. Pretty special."
Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin completed 18 of 36 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted four times and had a passer rating of 57.1. Backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor went 1-for-4 for 12 yards with an interception.
Chiefs safety Eric Berry intercepted two passes, returning his first pick 47 yards for a touchdown. In all, the Chiefs' defense forced seven turnovers -- five interceptions and two fumbles.
"We're a humble group," said Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, who had one interception. "Last year was a year that we wouldn't wish on any team -- on or off the field -- that we went through. But it's just gratifying how we've grown in the short time with the new regime coming in. (Coach) Andy Reid has been a huge part to our success, and our confidence is very high, and we've played well."
The Raiders were officially eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday when the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots. It is the 11th consecutive year Oakland missed the playoffs and failed to finish above .500.
"We just have to play better," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "I have to do a better job of getting them ready to play."
The Chiefs built a 35-17 halftime lead, despite being penalized seven times for 114 yards, as Charles caught three touchdown passes -- all screens from Smith -- and ran for a score.
According to Smith, the Chiefs took advantage of Oakland's aggressiveness on defense with their screen game.
"They're such a big pressure team," Smith said. "I thought we had a great plan. I thought Coach called a great game putting us in really good situations. Like I said, Jamaal and the line doing a great job, those guys downfield blocking really well. Anytime you have long plays like that, (credit) those guys downfield blocking."
The Raiders scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half, cutting Kansas City's lead to 35-31 with 4:56 left in the third quarter. McGloin threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Holmes, capping a 74-yard drive, then hit tight end Mychal Rivera on a 14-yard scoring strike at the end of an 86-yard drive.
However, the Chiefs again turned to Charles to regain momentum and control of the game.
Facing third-and-1 from the Kansas City 28, Smith and Charles teamed up for a 71-yard touchdown, burning the Raiders on a play-action pass. As Smith faked a handoff to fullback Anthony Sherman, Charles ran past linebacker Miles Burris down the right sideline. Charles caught Smith's pass at the Raiders 37-yard line then cut across the field and into the end zone, increasing the Chiefs' lead to 42-31 with 3:34 left in the third.
"I saw that one coming in practice," Charles said. "Our coach said this probably can go if they play the right cover on me. I saw the linebacker on me. I had to beat one guy."
On the ensuing kickoff, Chiefs linebacker Josh Martin forced Oakland's Taiwan Jones to fumble, and safety Husain Abdullah recovered at the 28. Jones was initially ruled down by contact, but Reid challenged the call, and it was reversed.
NOTES: Chiefs rookie OT Eric Fisher re-injured a shoulder late in the second half and came out of the game. ... Chiefs WR/PR Dexter McCluster (ankle), LT Branden Albert (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (concussion/knee) and OLB Justin Houston (elbow) were inactive. ... Raiders RB Darren McFadden (ankle) was inactive for the second straight game and for the fifth time in the past six games. ... After missing three consecutive games, Raiders WR Denarius Moore returned to action Sunday. He made two catches for 46 yards. ... Raiders DT Vance Walker (concussion) was inactive.

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