- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Just when Oakland seemed in position to take control, Derek Carr started giving the ball - and possibly the Raiders’ playoff hopes - away.

Carr’s three fourth-quarter interceptions turned into three Kansas City touchdowns as the Chiefs handed the Raiders their fourth loss in five games, 34-20 on Sunday.

“I’m pretty ticked off, especially on how some of them happened,” Carr said. “I get pretty upset. Those things will happen. It just (stinks) that it happened all back to back like that.”

Alex Smith threw two TD passes to Jeremy Maclin after Carr’s first two interceptions and former Oakland safety Tyvon Branch returned the third for a game-clinching score that gave the Chiefs (7-5) their sixth straight win.

After starting the season with five losses in six games, the Chiefs are in the lead in the AFC wild-card race.

“We knew we dug ourselves in a hole in the beginning of the year, but we’ve been battling back every week - just working hard and believing in each other and coming out with victories,” said linebacker Josh Mauga, whose interception started the fourth-quarter barrage.

The Raiders (5-7) had been right in the hunt for the playoffs before this recent slide, but now seemed doomed to a 13th straight season without a playoff berth.

Safety Charles Woodson, who recovered two fumbles in the first half, said he viewed this as a playoff game, making the loss sting even more.

“I played a lot of football in my life, won a lot of games, lost a lot of games. But today was probably one of the hardest losses I’ve been a part of in my career,” Woodson said. “That was a tough loss.”

The game turned odd late in the third quarter after the Raiders took a 20-14 lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Carr to Lee Smith. But Sebastian Janikowski hit the upright on the extra point, ending a streak of 225 straight makes.

The Raiders then forced a punt and were driving to make it a two-score game when Carr tried to make something out of nothing and it cost him. He tried to throw the ball away to avoid a sack, but was hit on the play and the ball went right to Mauga, who rumbled 65 yards to the 2 on the return.

“The only thing in my mind was try to get as close to the goal line or even score,” Mauga said. “I was hoping I could score, but I ran out of gas.”

Maclin then scored on a 1-yard pass from Smith. But the holder Dustin Colquitt couldn’t get the snap down and the Chiefs missed the extra point, keeping the game tied at 20.

Carr then threw another interception on the next possession after Michael Crabtree tripped and Oakland native Marcus Peters returned it 58 yards to the 13. Maclin then took a short pass and ran 13 yards for the go-ahead score only to have kicker Cairo Santos miss the point after attempt.

The botched kicks proved contagious as Janikowski hit the upright again on Oakland’s ensuing possession on a 49-yard field goal try.

The Raiders got another chance, but Branch scooped up a pass that deflected off Cooper’s hands and ran it back 38 yards for the score.

Carr became the third Raiders quarterback since the team moved back to Oakland in 1995 to throw three fourth-quarter interceptions.

“It just got away from us,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “Turned the ball over and you can’t do that. The last four drives were three turnovers and a missed field goal. That’s not the way you want to close out a game you want to win.”

The Raiders took a 14-7 lead going into the half after Woodson ripped the ball away from Travis Kelce with the Chiefs in field goal range and returned it 38 yards to the Kansas City 36. That set up Carr’s 25-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree.

NOTES: Former Raiders WR Tim Brown was presented with his Hall of Fame ring at halftime. … Chiefs DL Mike DeVito left the game with a concussion. … Raiders S Nate Allen left with a knee injury.

___

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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