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Chiefs’ defense can’t make big play Chiefs prevent Raiders from scoring a touchdown, but they give up lots of yards,

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, at 9:12 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at 12:06 p.m.

— The Chiefs’ defense kept the Oakland Raiders out of the end zone on Sunday. But not off the scoreboard.

The Raiders dominated time of possession (40 minutes, 6 seconds) as well as the line of scrimmage in shutting out the Chiefs 15-0 on five Sebastian Janikowski field goals at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Raiders didn’t hit many big plays. Their longest pass play was 19 yards and biggest run was a bolt up the middle of 43 yards by Mike Goodson.

But the Chiefs missed enough tackles and left enough receivers open, especially on third down, that they surrendered a season-most 205 yards rushing and 385 net yards, tied for the third most all season.

And this against a team that came into the game ranked 30th in rushing and 25th in points scored.

“We missed too many tackles and on a couple of third downs we weren’t able to get off the field and allow them to keep drives alive and end up with field goals,” said coach Romeo Crennel, whose team fell to 2-12.

Typical of the day, Janikowski’s first field goal, from 20 yards, capped an 11-play drive; and his fourth field goal came at the end of a 13-play drive in which the Raiders converted on third and 4 and third and 9.

“We did what we could, we played bend-but-don’t-break defense,” said safety Kendrick Lewis. “Unfortunately we gave up five field goals. Coming into the game, we knew if Janikowski gets anywhere near the 50 or inside it, that’s what it is.

“He’s a good kicker, he’s got a strong leg, so we had to play defense to where we had to get three-and-out, three-and out and three-and-out.”

Instead, the Raiders went three-and-out just once, on their opening drive.

Running back Darren McFadden pounded the Chiefs 30 times for 110 yards, mirroring his 29-carry, 114-yard effort in Oakland’s 26-16 win at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 28, the last time the Raiders won a game.

“We felt like we did a good job of running the ball against them the first time around, so we just wanted to come out and give it a shot again, and it was working for us,” McFadden said. “Coach did a good job of rotating (him with Goodson, who 89 gained yards in 13 carries). It worked out perfect for us.”

Even when the Chiefs’ defense came up with a big play, it wasn’t enough.

Linebacker Justin Houston batted down a pass by Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer in the first quarter on third and goal from the 2, but Janikowski made the 20-yard field goal.

In the second quarter, safety Eric Berry stopped McFadden for a 2-yard loss on third and 1 at the Chiefs 30 . So Janikowski hammered home a 50-yard field goal.

And cornerback Jalil Brown broke up a fourth-down pass intended for Darius Heyward-Bey, but Janikowski made a 41-yarder.

“At times we played really well,” linebacker Derrick Johnson said, “and at times … between the 20 and 20, it seemed like, ‘Come on, we’ve got to make a play …’ ”

The Chiefs’ defense came up with its first turnover in three weeks when linebacker Brandon Siler forced a fumble that was recovered by Houston at the Raiders 18 early in the fourth quarter. But the offense couldn’t take advantage.

“It’s very frustrating,” Siler said. “Anytime you get a turnover you think it will spark you or could possibility get you a score, but we weren’t able to do that.”

The 15 points allowed were the fewest permitted by the Chiefs since a 9-6 loss to Baltimore on Oct. 7 when the Ravens kicked three field goals. But the Chiefs gained little solace from that.

“We gave up too many yards on the runs, we had too many missed tackles,” defensive lineman Shaun Smith said. “Overall, when you keep a team from scoring touchdowns and kicking field goals, you’ve got to score some points. We had opportunities to score on defense … we just played like trash out there. “

To reach Randy Covitz, send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com

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