It's nice to be alone at the top!
By Josh Dubow
4:25 p.m. October 21, 2007
OAKLAND – The Kansas City Chiefs didn't need much production from Priest Holmes to extend their winning streak over the Oakland Raiders. Larry Johnson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs beat the Raiders for the ninth straight time, winning 12-10 Sunday in Holmes' return from a two-year absence.
Holmes, Kansas City's career leader in yards rushing and touchdowns, was activated this week for the first time since suffering a neck injury on a vicious hit from San Diego's Shawne Merriman on Oct. 30, 2005. Holmes entered the game on the third play of Kansas City's third drive. He caught a screen pass from Damon Huard, but was tackled by Nnamdi Asomugha for a 6-yard loss. Holmes had no other catches and rushed four times for 9 yards, gaining a key first down with under 3 minutes left and Kansas City (4-3) protecting a 12-10 lead.
The Chiefs were unable to run out the clock and the Raiders (2-4) took over at their 26 with 1:46 remaining and one timeout.
Daunte Culpepper completed three straight passes to move the ball to the 44 before Jarrad Page jumped in front of a slant pass to Ronald Curry with 35 seconds left, sealing Kansas City's fourth win in five games.
It was another nail-biting finish for Kansas City against Oakland. Eight of the wins during the Chiefs' streak have been by seven points or fewer. It's the longest streak any team has had against the Raiders, who have also lost 17 straight division games.
Johnson rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries to lead Kansas City. Huard finished 16-for-31 for 177 yards.
Culpepper was 18-for-29 for 228 yards, while LaMont Jordan was held to 29 yards on 11 carries as Oakland's running game had problems for a second straight week.
Both teams struggled offensively before the game opened up with a few big plays in the second half. Johnson, bottled up early, had a season-long 54-yard run midway through the third quarter. Kansas City couldn't capitalize when Dave Rayner missed a 30-yard field goal that would have put the Chiefs up 9-0.
The Raiders immediately seized the momentum, with Culpepper hitting Jerry Porter on a 59-yard pass on the next play. Culpepper followed with a 21-yard scoring strike to Curry, who had dropped three passes earlier in the game, to give Oakland a 7-6 lead. The Raiders had gained only 102 yards before getting 80 on the back-to-back plays.
Early in the fourth quarter, Huard eluded the rush from Warren Sapp on a third-and-10 and flung the ball downfield before Kirk Morrison could hit him. Dwayne Bowe came up with the 58-yard catch to the Oakland 16, setting up Johnson's go-ahead score that made it 12-7.
The Raiders answered with a 37-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with 5:49 left to cut it to 12-10, but couldn't score on their final drive.
The Chiefs scored the only points in an offensive-challenged first half on a pair of field goals by Rayner. The teams combined for 192 yards in the half, getting only 10 first downs.