KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Tony Sparano took over as interim coach in Oakland, one of his priorities was to make sure that the Raiders stopped beating the Raiders.
They'd been doing a better job of that until Sunday.
Beaten up by Kansas City's pass rush and plagued by a plethora of penalties, the Raiders fell 31-13 to the Chiefs in a game that spiraled out of control in the final 20 minutes.
“We aided in our demise today, I can tell you that,” Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck said. “The penalties we had today and the timing of them came back to bite us a lot.”
Derek Carr was just 27 of 56 for 222 yards, his only highlight a TD pass in the final minute. The rookie was sacked four times and fumbled a snap that led to a Kansas City touchdown.
Latavius Murray, who ran for 112 yards and two scores in a win over Kansas City last month, was held to just 59 yards on 12 carries Sunday by a Chiefs defense that had struggled against the run.
“You've got to give Kansas City credit, but there are some clear situations there where we had a little bit of Oakland beating Oakland,” Sparano said. “We had a couple of penalties in there that aided that thing, which led to a score. We got the ball back and fumbled the center-quarterback exchange, which obviously cannot happen. Then they hit us on a big play.”
The Raiders (2-12) have lost 10 straight on the road, and still have not won back-to-back games since Weeks 7 and 8 of the 2012 season. That includes a pair of duds in the appropriately named Show-Me State â€” they were routed 52-0 at St. Louis two weeks ago.
“I'm a little bit surprised, to be honest with you,” Sparano said. I applaud our guys' effort. But you can't keep drives alive when you're playing good football teams on the road.”
Meanwhile, Alex Smith threw for 297 yards and two scores for Kansas City (8-6), which ended a three-game skid that began with its loss to the Raiders. Knile Davis accounted for touchdowns running and receiving, and De'Anthony Thomas returned a punt 81 yards for another score.
“I think everyone was confident,” Smith said. “You get so many opportunities and guys understand that. You don't want let guys hang around and get hope.”
Both teams got off to slow starts in a penalty-filled matchup, but Kansas City finally got a jolt of energy when Thomas fielded a punt at the 19-yard line and headed up the sideline. He picked up a nice block from Kelcie McCray before somersaulting over the goal line for the score.
Chiefs kicker Cairo Santo atoned for missing his first field-goal attempt since Week 2 early in the second quarter by knocking through a 41-yarder later in the half. Sebastian Janikowski then matched him with a 53-yarder as time expired to get Oakland within 10-3 at the break.
Oakland had a chance to make the game interesting in the third quarter when Travis Kelce fumbled and the C.J. Wilson recovered. But in a fitting summation of the Raiders' season, Wilson ended up hurt on the play, and the Raiders went nowhere before Janikowski kicked another field goal.
The Chiefs took advantage of the opening â€” and a roughing the passer penalty on Justin Tuck â€” to go 70 yards on their next possession. Davis finished it off with a short touchdown run.
Running back Jamaal Charles took a vicious hit near the goal line on the drive. He was checked for a concussion on the sideline and was cleared to continue, returning to the game only briefly. But when the outcome was in hand, coach Andy Reid decided to hold him out.
That point came just a few minutes later.
Carr fumbled a snap deep in his own territory, Kansas City recovered and Smith hit Kelce from 20 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs then forced three-and-out, and Smith's throw to Davis a few minutes later capped their three-TD spurt and gave Kansas City a 31-6 lead.
“The whole second half, it started falling apart,” said the Raiders' Charles Woodson, “and we were never able to recover and it got out of hand.”
NOTES: Chiefs LB Josh Mauga had an oblique strain and CB Sean Smith cramps. Both finished the game. … Kansas City improved to 6-1 when leading at halftime. … Carr now has 313 completions, becoming the sixth rookie QB to surpass 300 in a season. … The teams combined to convert eight of 31 third downs. They also had 21 penalties.