Originally created 09/07/98

Chiefs soundly whip Raiders

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The youngest head coach in the NFL must be feeling very, very old.

Kansas City ran up a 17-0 lead before Oakland ran a successful play and Derrick Thomas sacked Jeff George six times as the Chiefs romped past the mistake-prone Raiders 28-8 Sunday night.

It was a painful debut for 35-year-old Jon Gruden, who saw Thomas come up one short of his NFL record for sacks.

But victory could be costly for the Chiefs, because of an injury to quarterback Elvis Grbac.

The second-year starter, who missed six games last year with a broken collarbone, was hurt on the last play of the first half. The Chiefs said it was a bruise to his right shoulder. He left the field in obvious pain and was replaced by Rich Gannon.

The Chiefs, beating the Raiders for the 16th time in 18 meetings, had 10 sacks altogether. Their offense was sharp, too, and scored on their first possession.

Then they recovered Desmond Howard's muff on the ensuing kickoff and added a second TD 17 seconds later on Grbac's 30-yard pass to Andre Rison, who beat Charles Woodson, last year's Heisman Trophy winner.

When George fumbled on the Raiders' first play from scrimmage, Wayne Simmons recovered and the Chiefs set up Pete Stoyanovich's 28-yard field goal. In the game's first 8:30, the Raiders had the ball only 30 seconds.

The Chiefs had three of their sacks on the Raiders' first series of the fourth quarter, and recovered five Raiders fumbles.

Thomas, who set the NFL record with seven sacks of Seattle's Dave Krieg in 1990, got George for the sixth time in the end zone for a safety with 1:58 left. The 10 sacks were one short of the Chiefs' record.

Howard muffed a punt early in the second quarter and Reggie Tongue recovered. A few minutes later Stoyanovich, who had a poor exhibition season, hit a 19-yarder for a 20-0 lead and broke Nick Lowery's team record of 21 straight field goals.

Oakland's first touchdown came with 21 seconds left in the third quarter and was aided by a weird play. Thomas sacked George and forced a fumble, which 335-pound tackle Lincoln Kennedy picked up and rambled 27 yards with to the 10. George left the game at that point with an apparent injury to his arm, but returned later.

Twice during the drive, the Raiders failed on fourth down, but the Chiefs were called for penalties. Harvey Williams scored on a 2-yard run, then backup quarterback Donald Hollas threw for a 2-point conversion that made it 23-8.

Donnell Bennett, who rushed 23 times for 115 yards, scored from the 1 on the Chiefs' first drive. Tony Richardson forced Howard's muff on the ensuing kickoff and Joe Horn recovered on the 30. Rison, who sat out the second half after apparently aggravating a hamstring injury, beat Woodson on the next play.

On the Raiders' first play, George hit Napoleon Kaufman in the hip with the ball and it squirted free.

Gannon, 5-1 in relief of Grbac last year, helped set up field goals of 48 and 33 yards by Stoyanovich.


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