Chiefs 56, Raiders 31

Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Running back Jamaal Charles scored a team-record-tying five touchdowns, and the Kansas City Chiefs clinched a playoff berth with a resounding 56-31 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Charles caught four touchdown passes from quarterback Alex Smith 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, 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.
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.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 17 of 20 passes for 287 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. He posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
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.
Chiefs safety Eric Berry intercepted two passes, returning his first pick 47 yards for a touchdown.
The Raiders were officially eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday when the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots. It is the 11th consecutive years Oakland missed the playoffs and failed to finish above .500.
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.
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.
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 Chiefs coach Andy Reid challenged the call, and it was reversed.
Chiefs safety Quintin Demps returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to Oakland's 49, and Kansas City needed just one play to take a 7-0 on a screen pass from Smith to Charles.
Charles caught Smith's pass in the left flat, bounced outside as center Rodney Hudson blocked three Raiders at once, and turned on his sprinter's speed, racing down the left sideline and into the end zone.
The Raiders answered with Sebastian Janikowski's 34-yard field goal, but Charles took another screen pass the distance, this time 39 yards for a touchdown.
A wide-open Charles made a one-handed catch of Smith's pass in the left flat, bolted up field, then cut back and sprinted untouched into the end zone, giving Kansas City a 14-3 lead with 7:27 left in the first quarter.
Less than three minutes later, the Chiefs increased their lead to 21-3 on Berry's 47-yard interception return for a touchdown. Berry knifed in front of Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, picked off McGloin's short pass and kept running.
Oakland cut Kansas City's lead to 21-10 on Rashad Jennings 1-yard touchdown run with 14:40 left in the half, capping an 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive that was aided by three Chiefs penalties.
The Chiefs then took advantage of another Raiders miscue on offense to extend their lead to 28-7 on Charles' 1-yard touchdown run.
With the Raiders facing third-and-8 from their 22, center Stefen Wisniewski's shotgun snap was slightly off-target, and McGloin couldn't catch it or corral it on the ground. Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali recovered at the Raiders 11, and three plays later, Charles was in the end zone with 8:59 remaining in the half. Charles, who finished with 20 yards on eight carries, scored on a 1-yard run.
Berry set up another Chiefs touchdown with his second interception, picking off a McGloin pass over the middle intended for wide receiver Rod Streater and returning 49 yards to the Oakland 16.
On first down, Charles caught a screen pass in the left flat and darted upfield for a 16-yard touchdown, increasing Kansas City's lead to 35-10 with 5:42 left in the first half.
The Raiders marched 80 yards in eight plays for Jennings' 1-yard touchdown run, making it 35-17.
NOTES: 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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