OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Early in his coaching career, Dick
Vermeil saw something he liked in a football player named
Tuiasosopo. Decades later, that same man's son threatened to wreck
the Kansas City Chiefs' best start ever.
Backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo led a stirring rally that
fell just short when Oakland's Tim Brown was tackled on the Kansas
City 1 as time expired. The unbeaten Chiefs won their seventh
straight game Monday night, beating the Raiders 17-10 -- but not
before a potential shutout turned into a thrilling shootout.
Vermeil watched with a mixture of concern and fascination as
Tuiasosopo led the Raiders to 10 points in a surprising
While coaching at UCLA, Vermeil recruited Tuiasosopo's father,
Manu, who played defensive line for the Bruins and went on to an
"I knew him before he was born," Vermeil said of the younger
Tuiasosopo. "I'm happy to see him doing well. I'd just (rather)
have him do it against somebody else."
Trent Green passed for 206 yards for Kansas City, which tied a
franchise record for consecutive wins. But the Chiefs had to
overcome Tuiasosopo, who had thrown just six passes all season for
the Raiders but looked anything but inexperienced after taking over
for injured MVP Rich Gannon in the second half.
"I know my role is backup quarterback. I fully understand
that," Tuiasosopo said. "I go into each week prepared to play.
I've got to. I can't afford not to. It's for games like this."
In the final 1:47, Tuiasosopo marched the Raiders (2-5) from
their own 6 to the Kansas City goal line on a drive featuring two
catches by Jerry Rice and a huge 35-yard reception by Jerry Porter.
Oakland even tried a fake spike to get in the end zone, but the
game ended when Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley tackled Brown on a
catch at the 1 while time ran out.
"I guess he just sparked a fire in them, but we put it out just
in time," Woods said. "He was eyeballing Tim Brown the whole
time. I thought that if I just make a tackle and don't worry about
a pick he's never going to get into the end zone."
Gannon bruised his right shoulder in the final minute of the
second quarter, then spent the second half on the sidelines nursing
the injury which came from two vicious sacks by Shawn Barber and
several other hard hits.
Tuiasosopo also struggled before sparking the Raiders to an
impressive fourth quarter. The third-year pro had just 69 yards
passing in his entire career, but was 16-of-28 for 224 yards in the
"Tui wrote his name here today," Porter said. "I'm not
surprised. He's been sitting and waiting for the opportunity to
Priest Holmes rushed for 123 yards and ran for a 2-yard
touchdown with 4:57 left after Phillip Buchanon muffed a punt
return deep in Oakland territory. The score gave Kansas City a 17-3
lead -- but Tuiasosopo was just getting started.
The Chiefs gave Vermeil a win in his first appearance on Monday
night as a head coach since his Philadelphia Eagles played in Miami
in 1981. Vermeil has seen a similar last-second tackle before: His
St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl four years ago when Mike Jones
tackled Tennessee's Kevin Dyson on the 1 as time ran out.
For the Chiefs, this win took some of the sting out of an
embarrassing 24-0 loss in Oakland last Dec. 28, the first time in
88 meetings between the former AFL foes that the Raiders shut them
That game, played in a steady downpour, gave Oakland the top
seed for the AFC playoffs, as well as a much-needed bye, and
eliminated the Chiefs from making the postseason for the fifth
How different things are this year: Despite the spirited
fourth-quarter rally, the Raiders are reeling one year after
winning the AFC championship.
The Chiefs remain one of two unbeaten teams in the NFL this
season along with Minnesota (6-0).
Kansas City's stingy defense held Oakland to 114 yards through
the first three quarters, frustrating the offense that was the
NFL's best last season.
Tuiasosopo led the Raiders to the Kansas City 8 midway through
the fourth quarter, but Oakland settled for a 27-yard field goal by
Sebastian Janikowski. The kick with 8:06 left kept the Raiders from
being shut out for the first time since Dec. 7, 1997, in Kansas
The Raiders lived up to their promise to keep the ball away from
dangerous kick returner Dante Hall, but that strategy hurt them
midway through the first quarter. Stranded deep in his own
territory, Shane Lechler punted directly toward the Oakland
sideline, giving Kansas City the ball at the Raiders' 44.
Moments later, Eddie Kennison slipped underneath two defenders
and hauled in Green's 43-yard pass at the 1 despite safety Derrick
Gibson's interference on the play. Green sneaked around the right
end two plays later.
Kansas City had a 55-yard drive late in the second quarter,
leading to Morten Andersen's 37-yard field goal with 1:07 left.
Otherwise, Oakland's defense had reasonable success against the
Chiefs' powerful offense.
Porter, the Raiders' brash deep-threat receiver, played his
first game since having multiple hernia surgery on Sept. 12. He
finished with four catches for 69 yards.
Before the game, the Chiefs placed CB Darrius Johnson on
injured reserve and signed DT Montique Sharpe to the active roster.
... The Raiders' beat-up offensive line took another hit when
Langston Walker hurt his right knee in the first quarter. ...
Holmes also caught four passes for 50 yards.
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