By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 at 2:18 pm in Oakland Raiders.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal on the first possession in overtime as the Raiders remained in the thick of the playoff race with a 16-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Janikowski’s kick was set up by a 53-yard strike from Carson Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey to the Kansas City 23, with a pair of Michael Bush runs setting up the game winner and touching off a Raiders celebration.
Combined with a loss by Denver in Buffalo, the Raiders pulled into a first-place tie in the division race at 8-7, but will need the Broncos to lose to the Chiefs next to win the title _ provided Oakland closes out with a win against San Diego.
Oakland also remains in the hunt for a wild card berth, although they’re a game back of the Cincinnati Bengals at 9-6.
The Raiders defense, which gave up 71 and 98 yards in touchdown drives to the Lions in last week’s 28-27 loss, allowed Kansas City to go 80 yards in five plays in 1:53 to tie the score 13-13 on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Dwayne Bowe.
It came after the Raiders took a 13-6 lead on a 32-yard field goal by Janikowski, a short-field drive set up when Oakland stuffed Jackie Battle on fourth-and-1 from the Chiefs 43-yard line.
Following a Raiders’ three-and-out, Kansas City got itself back in position for a game-winning 49-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Succop with five seconds left only to have Trevor Scott block the attempt at the gun. Had Succop converted the kick, the Raiders playoffs hope would have been over.
For all the Raiders penalties, the most costly came in the first half and erased a perfectly executed 36-yard touchdown pass from Shane Lechler to Brandon Myers on a 53-yard fake field goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski.
Lechler took the snap and pitched a shovel pass to Myers, who was running from left to right, and turned the corner to score what appeared to be a game-altering touchdown.
Unfortunately, the snap came a fraction after the play clock had hit zero, with the Raiders absorbing a painful delay of game penalty that hurt even worse when Janikowski’s ensuing 58-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar.
The Raiders took a quick 3-0 lead as Bryan McCann returned the opening kickoff 91 yards to the Buffalo 14, with the Raiders failing to capitalize with a touchdown and settling for a 28-yard field goal by Janikowski.
The Chiefs tied it 3-3 on Ryan Succop’s 29-yard field goal, set up by a Derrick Johnson interception of Palmer when the Oakland quarterback was hit by a defender as he threw.