- Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Charles Woodson walked off the field one last time Sunday, his sterling career spent mostly with the Oakland Raiders coming to an end exactly where it began 18 years ago.

With the exact same result, too.

Unable to protect quarterback Derek Carr, who was sacked a career-high six times, the Raiders’ offense sputtered in a 23-17 loss to the playoff-bound Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium.

“It didn’t end like you want it to end, but the great thing about this team is they fought all the way to the end,” Woodson said afterward. “That’s how it goes sometimes.”

It wasn’t just the finale for Woodson, either. It may have been the final game for the Raiders representing Oakland. They are expected to file for relocation to Los Angeles this week.

Not that it was on the players’ minds Sunday. They were focused on finishing .500, which would have matched their best record since 2003 and been a significant milestone in their rebuilding.

“We didn’t win this game, but there was no lack of determination or grit,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “I love that about how we developed, how we can stay in it.”

Meanwhile, the Chiefs (11-5) will turn their attention to a playoff opener in Houston after their franchise-record 10th consecutive victory - all on the heels of a five-game skid.

The Raiders (7-9) accounted for two of those wins.

“We believe in each other. That’s what happens when a team and a family come together,” Chiefs running back Charcandrick West said. “This is a super rare team. We have something special going on here.”

In perhaps their final game representing Oakland, the Raiders only mustered a field goal on offense until the final minutes, when Carr connected with Michael Crabtree from 31 yards.

They did get the ball back with 1:34 left, but Carr took one final sack that helped time expire.

Carr finished with 194 yards passing, leaving him 13 yards short of 4,000 for the season. Latavius Murray, the AFC’s rushing leader coming in, carried 11 times for just 31 yards, while David Amerson had a pick-six late in the first half for their only other touchdown.

“We sputtered,” said Carr, who hurt his right hand during the game. “Sometimes when we needed it the most, we looked like ourselves. But other times we just looked sloppy.”

The Chiefs started crisply for the third straight game, driving 80 yards for a score on their opening possession. Jeremy Maclin capped it with a 25-yard touchdown reception.

After forcing a punt, the Chiefs cobbled together a creative 12-play, 87-yard drive that included a jet sweep by Maclin for a first down. Spencer Ware’s short touchdown run made it 14-0.

“We started the game great,” Smith said. “We were rolling.”

It was still 14-3 when Smith threw interceptions on consecutive passes. The first was picked by TJ Carrie late in the second quarter. Then, after Carr was picked off in the end zone by the Chiefs’ Ron Parker a few minutes later, Smith tossed another pass that was caught by Amerson and returned 24 yards for a touchdown that got Oakland within 14-10.

Smith had only thrown five interceptions all season, at one point going 312 passes without one.

“It’s funny how that happens,” he said, “back to back.”

The Raiders’ offense fared no better, though. On their first chance of the second half, Carr was sacked twice and Marquette King had his punt blocked through the end zone for a safety.

Kansas City got the ball back on the free kick and got back in synch on offense. Smith hit Maclin for a long gain on third down, and then hit Demetrius Harris in the end zone. It was the seventh catch of the season for Harris, and the first of the former college basketball player’s career.

The Raiders got within 23-17 on Crabtree’s touchdown, but their comeback ran out of time.

“I would have liked to walk off the field with a win,” said Woodson, who began his career with Oakland in the same stadium on Sept. 6, 1998. “There’s nothing like going out there between the lines every Sunday afternoon or whatever day you play. I had such a great time doing it.”

NOTES: Maclin briefly left the game with a bruised hip. He returned to finish. … Chiefs C Mitch Morse was being evaluated for a concussion and did not return. … Woodson finished with 65 picks, tied for fifth in NFL history. … The Chiefs had 189 yards rushing. The Raiders had 48.

___

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


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide