The Raiders inserted themselves into the AFC West picture with the help of four Sebastian Janikowski field goals and two touchdown passes from Carson Palmer in a 26-16 win Sunday over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Oakland’s second straight win and sixth in a row in Kansas City improved its record to 3-4, the same as the San Diego Chargers, with Denver, 3-3, playing New Orleans Sunday night.
Kansas City, 1-6, came into the game with a league-worst minus-15 turnover differential, and true to form, coughed the ball up four times to once for Oakland.
Two of the Chiefs miscues were unforced, with Javier Arenas muffing a punt that led to a 9-yard Palmer-to-Denarius Moore touchdown and a fumbled snap by Matt Cassel leading to Janikowski’s 29-yard field goal.
A third turnover, an interception by Matt Giordano against starter Brady Quinn, also led to a Janikowski field goal. An interception by Pat Lee near the Raiders goal line with 4:58 to play sent what was left of the 74,730 in attendance streaming for the exits.
The Raiders had just one turnover on the game’s first play _ a deep throw intended for Darrius Heyward-Bey that was intercepted by former Oakland cornerback Stanford Routt.
Routt struggled the rest of the day, and missed a one-on-one tackle on Heyward-Bey’s 32-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to cap an 80-yard drive and give Oakland a 23-9 lead with 5:40 left in the third quarter.
Janikowski, now 32-for-36 on field goal attempts at Arrowhead, connected from 36, 35, 29 and 32 yards _ the final conversion coming after he missed at 37 with the Chiefs jumping offsides.
The Chiefs had field goals from Ryan Succup of 32, 52 and 52 yards, and finally broke through for a touchdown pass from Cassel to Dexter McCluster from 10 yards out with 2:27 remaining.
Quinn was forced to leave the game in the first half with a head injury after throwing just four passes.
As evidenced by the four field goals, the Raiders execution deep in Kansas City territory left something to be desired, but the Raiders defense allowed only three field goals by Ryan Succup from distances of 30, 42 and 52 yards.
Running back Darren McFadden, bottled up for much of the day, got enough yards late with the Raiders protecting a lead to finish with 112 yards on 28 carries, his second 100-yard game of the season.
Defensively, the Raiders pressured Quinn and Cassel throughout, with Rolando McClain, Philip Wheeler and Richard Seymour recording sacks.
The Raiders, who struggled protecting the passer in last week’s 26-23 overtime win over Jacksonville, did well in that area against the Chiefs. Palmer was not sacked and had plenty of time to throw throughout.
Oakland, which had 21 penalties in the last two games, had just two for 25 yards against the Chiefs.
The Raiders return home next week against Tampa Bay with a chance to get to .500.