Johnson's 2-yard plunge lifts Chiefs over woeful Raiders

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When two of the NFL's worst teams meet, it figures that a botched play would be the biggest.

That's just what happened Sunday when Maurice Leggett scooped up a fumble on a fake field goal attempt and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown to help the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 20-13 and snap a seven-game losing streak.

"I was surprised they actually ran a fake," Leggett said. "It surprised me. When I saw the ball on the ground, it was an opportunity to make a play. ... It's a great win -- a big confidence boost."

It was a big letdown for the Raiders (3-9), who actually had the audacity to talk about playoff possibilities after beating Denver last week but now are assured of their sixth straight losing season.

The botched fake was a fitting symbol of another lost season in Oakland. With the score tied at 3 in the second quarter, the Raiders lined up for a 43-yard field goal try. Holder Shane Lechler took the snap and flipped the ball through his legs to kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

But Leggett read it perfectly and was in position to make a tackle on Janikowski. Instead, the errant pitch hit the ground, so Leggett picked it up for the biggest play of his rookie season.

"We haven't had a problem handling it for almost two years now," interim coach Tom Cable said. "It's been something we've worked for really two years. We've handled it well. It's something we've come up with. We just didn't execute it."

That play was the only touchdown for the Chiefs (2-10) through the first three quarters. But Tyler Thigpen managed to put together one long drive to help Kansas City win for just the second time in 21 games.

With the Chiefs locked in a 10-all tie and backed up to their own 9 following a punt, Thigpen got the offense moving to earn his first win in seven career NFL starts. He got Kansas City started with a 23-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez and hit the tight end twice more for 28 yards on the drive.

Thigpen also ran for 24 yards on scrambles and designed draws to set up Larry Johnson's 2-yard run that made it 17-10. After a fumble by Justin Fargas on Oakland's next drive, Thigpen ran it 25 yards to set up Connor Barth's second field goal.

"You have no idea how good it feels to finally get a win. It's been so long," said Gonzalez, who had eight catches for 110 yards. "We haven't been able to get over that hump. So it just feels real good to come out here and get a good victory."

Thigpen finished 15-for-22 for 162 yards and ran for 48 more. After Janikowski's 51-yard field goal cut the lead to 20-13 with 2:55 remaining, Thigpen connected on a 12-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe for a first down that helped Kansas City run out the clock.

"We had a lead in the second half and finally put one away," coach Herm Edwards said. "It was tough. It got sticky again. You kind of looked at it and you're wondering, 'OK, are you guys going to find a way to win this?' And they did. Hopefully we can gain some confidence from that."

After allowing a franchise-worst 54 points in a loss to Buffalo last week, the Chiefs managed to shut down a Raiders team that scored 31 to beat Denver a week ago. Oakland's only touchdown came on a 1-yard drive following Chris Johnson's 44-yard interception return.

The Raiders managed just three points on three first-half trips inside the Kansas City 30, as the offense reverted to its form before the Denver game. Oakland had gone 15 quarters without an offensive touchdown.

JaMarcus Russell went 10-for-28 for 132 yards.

"It hurts just a little bit because we were thinking about the playoffs," cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. "Even though we were 3-8, we were still thinking that there was a chance that we could get to the playoffs. It hurts us because now it's pretty much out of the way. So, we just got to keep playing and, hopefully, get some more wins before the season's over."

The Chiefs won for the sixth straight time in Oakland. Kansas City had won just one game since beating the Raiders 12-10 at the Coliseum on Oct. 21, 2007. The Chiefs' only other win since then came at home against Denver in September.

The Raiders used many different looks on offense, with Darren McFadden lining up at receiver and quarterback and even taking a pitch from Ronald Curry after a short pass for a hook-and-lateral to set up a field goal on Oakland's first possession. But the Raiders couldn't manage much else on offense.

Game notes
Johnson had 92 yards on 24 carries. ... The only catch by a Raiders receiver came on the hook-and-lateral play, with Curry getting credit for a 0-yard catch.


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