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Chiefs thump Raiders to keep playoff hopes alive

The Chiefs (8-6) snapped their ugly three-game losing streak with a convincing win over the hapless Raiders (2-12). Our takeaways from Kansas City's 31-13 win:

  1. The Chiefs are very much alive in the AFC playoff race after taking care of business at home against Oakland. The credit goes to a Kansas City defense that held the Silver and Black to just 3.6 yards per play and smothered Derek Carr with four sacks and another 11 hits on the Raiders rookie passer. It was another reminder that no team in the league has less talent on offense than Oakland.
  1. Alex Smith's 297 passing yards were his most all season, with the Chiefs' quarterback taking shots downfield and throwing for a pairof scores. Neither of those touchdowns went to a Kansas City wideout, though, leaving the Chiefs as the only team in the NFL without a scoring strike to a receiver in 2014. This offense can be tough to watch, but Kansas City found ways to move the ball on a day that saw Jamaal Charles run for just 52 yards. 
  1. After playing his best game of the season in last week's upset of the 49ers, Carr took a beating. Kansas City held the rookie quarterback to 222 yards at 4.0 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 64.7. Much of that yardage -- and his lone touchdown pass -- came in garbage time for a Raiders team that managed five or fewer plays on 10 of Oakland's 16 drives.
  1. The Raiders might have a keeper in the backfield with Latavius Murray. The second-year runner managed 59 yards at 4.9 yards per clip and showed good speed and cutting ability. Oakland is destined to blow up the machine this offseason, but Murray gives next year's coaching staff an intriguing piece to build around.
  1. Rookie De'Anthony Thomas sparked Kansas City with an 81-yard punt return touchdown to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead they wouldn't lose. It marked the team's first return score in over a year.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from Week 15 and discusses all the playoff implications. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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