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Defense does job for K.C.

©Associated Press
October 28, 2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs defense turned in an atypical performance, spurring a rare win over the Raiders.

Instead of giving up points in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs helped create them. Instead of getting embarrassed by the league's top offense, its lowest-ranked defense allowed one touchdown and led Kansas City to a 20-10 victory Sunday.

"We shut up our critics, for a while anyway," said defensive tackle Derrick Ransom, who blocked Sebastian Janikowski's 44-yard field goal try in the first half. "We're professionals. We have our pride. All that stuff people were saying, you just have to let it go in one ear and out the other."

The defense, which lost double-digit fourth-quarter leads in consecutive losses, set up the clinching touchdown when linebacker Mike Maslowski forced a fumble by Jerry Rice and recovered it with 4:39 left.

Less than two minutes later, Trent Green hit Tony Richardson for a 4-yard score, giving the Chiefs their first win over Oakland in six games.

After looking like one of the league's best teams a few weeks ago, the Raiders have lost three straight.

"Hats off to the defense," Richardson said. "All year long, people have criticized them."

Before Sunday, critics had ample evidence to predict a basketball-like score between the AFC West rivals.

The Chiefs had given up 441 yards and 32.9 points a game, and though the Raiders missed starters at running back (Tyrone Wheatley) and in the secondary (corners Phillip Buchanon and Charles Woodson), they were averaging almost 33 points. But Oakland's only touchdown came on a 1-yard pass from Rich Gannon to Doug Jolley in the first quarter.

Gannon was 35-of-55 for 334 yards and joined Steve Young and Kurt Warner as the only players to pass for more than 300 yards in six straight games.

"I thought we had a good plan," Gannon said. "All I can tell you from being out there is that there were too many mistakes offensively. You can't expect to beat a good team on the road when you make the mistakes we did."

Priest Holmes totaled 184 yards running and receiving for the Chiefs, including a 3-yard score that made it 13-7 late in the third. Holmes had 91 yards on 23 carries and caught six passes for 93 yards.

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