AP photo: Tyreek Hill (10) wide receiver of the Kansas City Chiefs blows past Taiwan Jones (22) of the Oakland Raiders after a second half kick off at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Thursday Night Football
By Jeremy Kahn
You know when ever the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs meet on the football field you know that it is a big deal.
In the rivalry that had been going on since 1960, there is a now a new player involved in one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries and his name is Tyreek Hill.
The rookie returned a Marquette King punt 78 yards for a touchdown, and then caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, helping the Chiefs to a 21-13 victory over the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.
With the victory, the Chiefs moved into a first-place tie with the Raiders in the AFC West with three games to play; however with tiebreakers, the Chiefs are in first place, since they swept the season series from their longtime rivals from Oakland.
The Raiders, who entered the game as the number one seed in the AFC, ahead of the New England Patriots due to a tiebreaker have dropped to fifth and number one wild card seed along with another division rival in reigning Super Bowl Champion, the Denver Broncos.
On the evening, Smith threw for 261 yards, along with that one touchdown and an interception, as the Raiders committed three turnovers against the Chiefs.
Charcandrick West scored on a touchdown run, while tight end Travis Kelce caught five passes for 101 yards, as the Chiefs defeated the Raiders for the seventh time in their last eight meetings.
Despite the victory, the Chiefs did suffer one huge loss to their vaunted defense, as linebacker Derrick Johnson tore his left Achilles’ tendon in the second quarter and will be out for the remainder of the season.
Derek Carr went just 17-for-41 on the night, as he was unable to get into a groove on a cold Kansas City night, where with the wind chill factor, temperatures were down to the single digits on the Arrowhead Stadium field.
Latavius Murray led the Raiders in rushing with 103 yards and a touchdown.
Hill became the first rookie since Gale Sayers in 1965 with touchdowns on the ground, through the air, a kickoff and punt return in the same season.
Following the Johnson injury, the Raiders drove down the field in 13 plays for 92 yards in a drive that consumed over six minutes for their only touchdown of the game, when Murray scored from one yards with 14 seconds remaining in the first half.
With the Chiefs leading 21-10 coming into the third quarter, Smith literally gave the Raiders a chance to comeback on the third play from the scrimmage out of the locker room.
Smith threw an interception, but the Raiders were held to just a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. On the Chiefs very play from offense, Smith was hit by Khalil Mack and was strip-sacked by the Raiders; however the Chiefs held the Raiders to a field goal attempt.
The usually reliable Marquette King was unable to get the hold down and the Chiefs staved off the Raiders rally to take over on downs.
With just over two minutes remaining in the game, the Raiders began what looked like it could be a possible game-tying drive ended when Carr’s fourth down pass was batted down on fourth-and-six after the Raiders were penalized for a illegal formation on the previous play.