Chiefs clinch postseason berth behind star running back Jamaal Charles

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

25 PHOTOS
Jamaal Charles
See Gallery
Chiefs clinch postseason berth behind star running back Jamaal Charles
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs against Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs past Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (24) and linebacker Miles Burris (56) to score on a 71-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs toward the end zone to score on a 49-yard touchdown reception against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring on a 39-yard touchdown reception during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs scores a touchdown on a one yard run against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs scores on a thirty nine yard sceen play against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring on a 39-yard touchdown reception with guard Geoff Schwartz, left, quarterback Alex Smith, rear, and wide receiver Donnie Avery against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, right, celebrates with quarterback Alex Smith (11) after they connected on a 16-yard touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Fans throw liquids at Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) as he celebrates with tight end Sean McGrath (84) after scoring on a 39-yard touchdown reception during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring on a thirty nine yard sceen play against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs is congratulated by Eric Fisher #72 after Charles scored on a thirty nine yard sceen play against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Alex Smith #11 after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left, greets running back Jamaal Charles (25) on the sideline during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, left, shakes hands with Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford (12) after an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. The Chiefs won 56-31. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jamaal Charles carried the Kansas City Chiefs straight into the playoffs with a record performance.

Charles tied a franchise record with five touchdowns in a game and gained 215 yards from scrimmage as the Chiefs beat the Raiders 56-31 on Sunday to clinch at least a wild-card spot.

Alex Smith threw five TD passes, going 17 for 20 for 287 yards to make the Chiefs the fourth team ever to make the playoffs a year after losing at least 14 games. Kansas City (11-3) is tied for first place in the AFC West with Denver but needs help to win the division because the Broncos swept the season series.

Matt McGloin threw four interceptions and lost a fumble while sharing time with Terrelle Pryor as Oakland (4-10) allowed the most points in franchise history and lost its fourth straight game. The Raiders had seven turnovers overall.

The performance drew constant boos from a crowd frustrated over 11 straight seasons without a winning record and raise questions about whether the Raiders are showing enough progress in year two under coach Dennis Allen to convince owner Mark Davis to keep him around for a third season.

There is not questioning the progress the Chiefs have made in their first year under coach Andy Reid. He took over a 2-14 team and authored an impressive turnaround.

The addition of Smith to a talented roster that featured six Pro Bowl players also helped. Charles was one of those Pro Bowlers a year ago but he never had a game quite like this even though he only rushed for 20 yards in eight carries.

He did most of his work in the passing game, beating blitzes with screen passes and also having success running patterns downfield. He caught eight passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns in the third-most productive receiving day by a running back since the 1970 merger.

Charles also joined Shaun Alexander, Jerry Rice and Clinton Portis as the only players since the merger to score five touchdowns and gain at least 200 yards from scrimmage in a single game.

The Chiefs built a 35-10 lead before the Raiders scored three straight touchdowns to make it a game late in the third quarter. It quickly became a blowout again.

On a third-and-1, Smith found Charles on a wheel route down the sideline for a completion. Charles then cut toward the middle and raced in for the 71-yard score that tied Abner Haynes' team record set in 1961 against the Raiders with five TDs in a game.

The Chiefs put the game away after Taiwan Jones fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up a 6-yard TD pass to Sean McGrath that made it 49-21.

Knile Davis' 17-yard run midway through the fourth quarter gave the Chiefs the highest-scoring game in the NFL this season and the most points ever scored against the Raiders, breaking the mark of 55 last reached by Baltimore in 2012.

The Raiders were officially eliminated from the playoff chase for the 11th straight season shortly before kickoff and played like a team going nowhere.

The tone was set right from the start when Quintin Demps returned the opening kick 50 yards and Charles then took a short pass from Smith and raced 49 yards for the score. Charles scored on a 39-yard screen pass on third-and-19 on the next possession.

The game quickly got out of hand from there as Eric Berry returned an interception 47 yards to make it 21-3. McGloin then fumbled a shotgun snap from Stefen Wisniewski, setting up a 1-yard TD run by Charles and threw another interception to Berry that was followed by a 16-yard screen to Charles on the next play to make it 35-10.

Read Full Story

People are Reading