KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has been playing football for a couple decades now between high school, college and the NFL. Never had Smith ever heard the sounds coming out of the Arrowhead Stadium stands on Thursday night.
The Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 21-13 in a victory that left the long-time rivals tied for first place in the AFC West with matching 10-3 records. One of the key plays for Kansas City came in the second quarter, when the Raiders punted the ball to K.C.'s rookie sensation Tyreek Hill. The punt hung high and by the time Hill got his hands on the ball, he was driven backward and lost four yards on the return. However, a penalty flag was thrown on Oakland's Taiwan Jones for going out of bounds on coverage. It's a 5-yard penalty and the Chiefs forced the Raiders fine punter, Marquette King, to kick again.
That's when the chant started from the 75,000-plus sitting in Arrowhead: "Tyreek, Tyreek, Tyreek." The sound rolled across the stadium, bouncing off the building's upper deck. On the second punt, King drove the ball to the Kansas City 22-yard line -- a 54-yard kick. Hill grabbed the ball, tucked it under his arm and proceeded to run through the Oakland coverage team for a 78-yard touchdown, and a 21-3 first-half lead for the Chiefs.
"I don't think I've ever seen what happened tonight," said Smith. "I've never seen a stadium chanting a guy's name like that and then he houses it (touchdown return). It gave me chills on the sideline. The whole stadium is chanting his name and then he answers. It's one of the coolest things I've seen, for sure."
It was just part of a typical Chiefs-Raiders game they've been playing for 57 years now. The Chiefs jumped to that 18-point lead on Hill's return score, and never changed the scoreboard after that. Oakland's offense struggled all night, and was able to get only one touchdown and a couple field goals.
"Everything about tonight was unusual, and frustrating," said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who saw his team's six-game winning streak halted by the poor offensive performance. "Obviously we played awful and it wasn't good enough."
Although they won the game, the Chiefs suffered a big loss as the defense's leading tackler, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, left the field with a ruptured left Achilles. The season is over for the 34-year old Johnson, who missed 15 games in the 2014 season with a torn right Achilles.
"It's a sad deal," said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on losing Johnson. "We had a letdown after it happened. But Justin (Houston) and Eric (Berry) got them going again. That would have been the last thing D.J. wanted, would be a letdown."
The Chiefs controlled the game in the first half thanks to Hill, with his punt return score and a 36-yard touchdown pass from Smith. Running back Charcandrick West also contributed a 3-yard scoring run.
But in the second half, Kansas City was suddenly in a giving mood as Smith threw an interception and then was stripped of the ball on a sack by Oakland's Khalil Mack. The Raiders were not able to take advantage of the takeaways, scoring only a 33-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski. Another field-goal attempt went awry due to a bad snap.
Carr had the worst statistical performance of what's been a very good season, completing just 41.5 percent of his throws (17 of 41) for only 2.9 yards per passing attempt. Carr's accuracy was in doubt throughout the game and his receivers didn't help matters with many dropped passes. It was a surprising display of poor offense.
"Nothing is surprising in this league," said wide receiver Amari Cooper. "We have to go out and play good football if we want to win."
The only reliable part of Oakland's offense was its running game. The Raiders rushed for 135 yards as a team and Latavius Murray finished with 103 yards on 22 carries and scored the only Oakland touchdown.
Oakland scored first on a 44-yard field goal. The Chiefs found the end zone on the first play of the second quarter. Smith hit a streaking Hill for a 36-yard touchdown, with the receiver running past Oakland cornerback David Amerson. The PAT kick gave the Chiefs a 7-3 lead.
The next time Kansas City's offense took the field, Smith directed a 78-yard march on seven plays before West scored on a 3-yard run. Smith hit big completions in the drive to Chris Conley for 31 yards, Travis Kelce for 28 and Hill for 16. Another PAT kick gave the Chiefs a 14-3 lead.
Then, Hill struck again for the punt return score.
Being down 18 points lit a fire under the Oakland offense, which moved 92 yards on 14 plays before Murray scored on a 1-yard run. The Raiders went to the halftime locker room trailing 21-10.
NOTES: The Raiders were surprised before the game when an illness forced them to add starting LG Kelechi Osemele to the inactive list. Stepping into his spot on the first-team group was rookie Vadal Alexander. ... Kansas City got WR Jeremy Maclin back on the field for the first time in over a month. Maclin finally recovered from a groin injury, but wasn't much of a factor with only one catch.