Chiefs crush Raiders to clinch playoffs

  • Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) returns an interception for a 47-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

At the end of the year, Charles may get a trophy as the NFL's most valuable player. Sunday, he got a beer in the face from fans in the Black Hole after one of his TDs.

"I had to wipe it down," Charles said. "I was like, whoa, they just threw beer at me. That's the fun about this game, playing in this Black Hole, seeing their fans get into the game so much. They get crazy."

The fans may have planted a direct hit on Charles, but the Raiders never could on those screen passes. One of them came on the first snap of the game, a dreadful omen for the home team. The second came on third and 19 and featured a one-handed grab by Charles. The third immediately followed a turnover and bumped Kansas City's lead to 35-10.

Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs


After all that, the Raiders managed to momentarily make things interesting.

Rashad Jennings took advantage of an end-zone pass interference call on the Chiefs to score on a 1-yard run late in the second quarter. Taiwan Jones' 52-yard catch set up Matt McGloin's short touchdown pass to Andre Holmes to start the third quarter, and Oakland cut its deficit to 35-31 on McGloin's 14-yard throw to tight end Mychal Rivera about seven minutes later.

The Coliseum crowd, which had booed the home team just seconds into the game, got into the spirit. Appropriately, it was Charles who dampened their fervor. On third and 1 from the Kansas City 29, he ran a wheel route, caught a pass in stride from Alex Smith, eluded free safety Charles Woodson and streaked for a 71-yard score.

"You have to, of course, give him credit for being as versatile as anybody, being able to do it running and catching," Raiders linebacker Nick Roach said of Charles.

"At the same time, hey, it's our job to try to stop him."

After Charles' fifth touchdown (to put it in perspective, no Raider has ever scored that many in a game) Jones fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, Smith hit tight end Sean McGrath with a 6-yard touchdown pass four plays later and the Raiders never mounted another serious threat.

It was the first five-touchdown game in Smith's nine-year career. In fact, he'd never thrown four before. Then again, it can look pretty easy when you're tossing the ball to Charles.

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