Raiders victorious, McFadden errupts

September 14, 2008 2:19:57 PM PDT
The Oakland Raiders, with plenty of help from Kansas City, set aside all their backbiting and turmoil long enough to win a football game.

Rookie Darren McFadden ran for 164 yards and a touchdown and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team-record 56-yard field goal, leading the Raiders to a 23-8 victory Sunday over an inept Chiefs team that tried three quarterbacks.

Lane Kiffin, amid reports that his job is in jeopardy, won for just the fifth time 18 games as coach of the Raiders (1-1).

The Chiefs' young defense gave up 300 yards rushing, including 90 by Michael Bush, who all by himself beat the Chiefs' 55 yards on the ground. Kansas City started 0-2 for the third time in three years under Herm Edwards and has lost 11 regular-season games in a row.

In using three quarterbacks, the Chiefs had only 65 net yards at halftime and barely managed to avoid their first home shutout since 1994.

Of course, the Raiders (1-1) made one attempt at self-destructing in the final minutes.

After Tyler Thigpen's 2-yard touchdown pass and 2-point conversion made it 16-8 with 4:04 left, Bush fumbled and Bernard Pollard recovered for Kansas City on the Chiefs 36. But three plays later, Kirk Morrison intercepted Thigpen's pass.

With 51 seconds left, Bush scored on a 32-yard run to put out of reach one of the worst games the Chiefs have played at home in years.

For Oakland, it was a happy ending to a week that started with a 41-14 blowout loss to Denver on Monday night and included Kiffin's public comment that Raiders owner Al Davis "doesn't keep people very long."

The only sour note was an injury in the first half to running back Justin Fargas. He went out with a groin injury early in the first half.

But that gave McFadden, the overall No. 4 draft pick last April, a chance to find his rhythm. McFadden, who carried nine times for 46 yards in his NFL debut on Monday night, last week, eclipsed that on one play.

Breaking through a big hole on the right side of the Chiefs' line, he went 50 yards before Pollard ran him down from behind at the 25. Three plays later from the 19, he went over the right side and dived across the pylon, beating Jarrad Page's attempt at a tackle.

Damon Huard, who replaced injured quarterback Brodie Croyle in the season opener at New England, took the first series for Kansas City, but was replaced on second-and-17 in the second series by Marques Hagans, a reserve wide receiver who was promoted off the practice squad Wednesday.

Hagans came in for one play three different times in the first half, resulting in an illegal shift penalty and two ineffective runs. He also completed a short pass in the second half.

Thigpen, a second-year player who had thrown only six NFL passes, replaced Huard after the 12-year veteran's pass was intercepted by Tyvon Branch near the end of the quarter. Huard stood on the sideline, apparently uninjured. But the Chiefs announced at the end of the third quarter that he had sustained "mild head trauma" and was questionable to return.

Thigpen hit 14 of 33 passes for 151 yards.

Janikowski kicked the team-record 56-yarder in the first quarter and added a 25-yarder after Branch's interception. He also had a 40-yarder in the fourth quarter.

In the first half, the Chiefs' defense was further damaged by the loss of tackle Turk McBride, who was kicked in the abdomen, and cornerback Patrick Surtain, who hurt his shoulder.


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