Who needs Marcus Peters? Chiefs snuff Raiders without him

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs rescued their season from the brink Sunday, their victory over the Oakland Raiders guided by a most unlikely set of heroes.

The Chiefs' beleaguered defense paved the way for a 26-15 win at Arrowhead Stadium that snapped a four-game losing streak and allowed Kansas City to retain at least a share of the AFC West lead.

Playing without their best cornerback, the suspended Marcus Peters, the Chiefs had their most complete defensive game of a season that has otherwise been dismal in that regard. The Raiders had 198 yards passing, and many of their yards and all of their points came after the Chiefs had built a 26-0 lead in the third quarter.

The Chiefs moved to 7-6 and set up next Saturday night's showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers, also 7-6, at Arrowhead (8:25 ET, NFL Network). The Raiders dropped to 6-7.

The win also gives the Chiefs a split of their two games against the Raiders and would put the tiebreaker into place if one becomes necessary to decide the division champion. The Chiefs are 3-1 in division games, and the Raiders are 2-3.

The Chiefs played so well without Peters that it's natural to wonder whether they would be better off without him against the Chargers, even though his one-game suspension is finished. But coach Andy Reid answered the question quickly after the game.

“Marcus will be back in playing and doing his thing," Reid said.

In his place, starters Terrance Mitchell and Steven Nelson played so well that it was still a postgame question.

Mitchell had Kansas City's first interception against a quarterback since a Week 8 victory over the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs did get a pick three weeks ago against the New York Giants, but that came on a pass from a running back and should never have been thrown.

Nelson forced a fumble and otherwise played his best game of the season.

The Chiefs played well defensively around them until the game's latter stages. The Chiefs sacked Oakland's Derek Carr three times, tying for their second-highest total of the season.

The Chiefs set the tone for the game on Oakland's first possession. Nelson broke up a pass on the first play of the game and one play later Chris Jones had a sack as the Chiefs forced a three-and-out, one of five in the game for the Kansas City defense.

"That got us going," safety Ron Parker said. "We got off to a fast start. We got our hands on the ball. We got off the field on third downs. That kind of answered all the problems we had the previous weeks. ... The energy was there. We (were) having fun with each other."

The turnaround for Kansas City was dramatic and unforeseen. The Chiefs allowed Carr to throw for 417 yards and three touchdowns in the October game between the teams in Oakland.

The Chiefs allowed 488 yards, including 331 via the pass, and 38 points in last week's loss to the New York Jets.