Chiefs improve to 6-0 by beating Raiders

Bob Gretz, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Whether the 76,000-plus people who crammed into Arrowhead Stadium broke a record for crowd noise is a matter of conjecture. What's not in doubt is the noise the Kansas City Chiefs defense has been making all season.
Led by outside linebacker Tamba Hali, the Chiefs defense sacked Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times and intercepted three passes as they moved their record to 6-0 with a 24-7 victory over the Raiders on Sunday.
Hali had 3.5 of those sacks while defensive backs Quintin Demps, Marcus Cooper and Husain Abdullah each had an interception. Abdullah returned his 44 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs produced points on all of those takeaways.
The victory continued the remarkable start for Andy Reid's first Kansas City squad. It's only the second time in franchise history the Chiefs started a season 6-0. They are the only team in NFL history to win two or fewer games the season before, then come back and to win their first four games -- and now their first six games - the next year.
"This is really the same team this year as it was last year," said Hali, who now has 7.5 sacks on the season. "With a couple exceptions it's the same players. The difference is the coaching. Andy Reid and the staff he brought in have gotten us to this point. They get us prepared every week. We come in and every week they have it figured out on how we are going to play."
The victory ended a six-game winning streak at Arrowhead for the Raiders, who are now 2-4 on the season. They were not helped by 11 penalties walked off against them.
"We had a chance to win this game," said Raiders defensive end Jason Hunter. "We were one score down until late in the game. I thought we played hard; we just have to find a way to win. We can't make mistakes in a game like this."
A representative of the Guinness Book of World Record was in the house on Sunday and certified that the Arrowhead fans produced the loudest crowd roar for any outdoor sports stadium. The crowd noise reached 137.5 decibels, breaking a record held by the Seahawks fans in Seattle (136 decibels). Appropriately, the record was set when Abdullah scored in the fourth quarter, ending any chance of a Raiders comeback.
"I fed off our defense and our crowd all day," said Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who had a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs. "They fired everybody up all day long. They never gave the Raiders a chance to breathe."
The Raiders had problems along their offensive line, and that showed up in their protection of Pryor and the ability of running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings to find daylight. That duo had 20 carries for 64 yards. Oakland started without center Stefen Wisniewski and rookie tackle Menelik Watson. Replacement center Andre Gurode left in the second quarter with a knee injury, and right tackle Tony Pashos went out in the third quarter with a groin problem.
That forced right guard Mike Briesel to move to center and brought rookie Lamar Mady in at guard, while first-year man Matt McCants stepped in at right tackle. They were less than solid up front, and the Arrowhead crowd noise helped lead to three false-start penalties and three delay-of-game flags against the Raiders.
Oakland got on the board first with less than 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Pryor directed the Raiders on a six-play, 78-yard drive for a touchdown. Pryor was 3-for-3 in the possession, including a 39-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Denarius Moore.
Quarterback Alex Smith got the Chiefs offense moving with just a bit more than two minutes left in the half. He connected with Charles for 14 yards, then wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for 17 yards. The key play was a 17-yard pass interference call against Oakland cornerback D.J. Hayden as he was trying to cover Bowe. That gave the Chiefs first-and-goal at the Raiders 7-yard line. Charles punched it in on first down and the teams were 7-7 when they went to intermission.
"We're starting slow and we've got to start a little faster," said Reid of his offense. "It will make things easier as we go from here if we can do that."
In the third quarter, the teams traded turnovers deep in Oakland territory. First, Chiefs wide receiver Donnie Avery lost control of a completed pass when he was hit by Hayden, and the fumble was recovered by safety Charles Woodson.
But the Raiders couldn't get anything going offensively and on a third-and-13 play at the Oakland 19-yard line, Pryor made his first mistake of the game, throwing a pass under pressure that was picked off by Demps. Five snaps later, Charles scored on a two-yard run and the PAT kick gave the Chiefs a 14-7 lead.
"You can't make the mistakes that we did against a good football team like this and expect to win the game," said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen. "We have to do a good job of learning from this."
Ryan Succop added a 33-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter on a possession set up by Cooper's interception, the second in two weeks for the rookie out of Rutgers. Then Abdullah scored on his interception to set the final at 24-7.
NOTES: Both teams started the game without two starters. The Raiders were without Wisniewski (knee) and strong safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), while the Chiefs did not have cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee) and tight end Anthony Fasano (knee) ... The Chiefs came within one of tying the franchise record for sacks in a game. That was 11 against Cleveland in 1984 ... Kansas City has allowed just 65 points in six games this season. Last season, they gave up 75 points in their first two games.

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