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Chiefs Can't Explain Mastery of Raiders : Pro football: L.A. team has lost eight of nine against AFC West rival and hasn't won in Kansas City since 1987.

November 07, 1994|LONNIE WHITE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neil Smith merely smiled when asked about the Kansas City Chiefs' success against the Raiders in recent years.

"That's a tough question because they are a talented team that plays us hard every time," Smith said after the Chiefs' 13-3 victory Sunday night. "I wouldn't call it a domination, but we do always seem to beat them."

The Chiefs have won eight of the last nine meetings between the two teams and seven in a row over the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

"It's weird because they really play us hard every time, but we seem to keep them from making the big plays they need to win," Smith said. "That's how we beat them."

The Chiefs could write a book on stopping the Raiders in key game situations. The last time the Raiders left Kansas City a winner, Marcus Allen was still their best running back and Jay Schroeder was their quarterback of the future.

"All I know is that the Raiders have to be the best 4-5 football team in the league," Chief lineman Joe Valerio said. "When you look at them on paper and see how hard they play on the field, you figure that this team will still be playing come January."

In losing Sunday night, the Raiders played like a team hoping for big plays instead of expecting them to happen.

They turned the ball over three times and had 15 penalties for 115 yards. Quarterback Jeff Hostetler was sacked five times and did not complete a pass to a wide receiver other than Tim Brown.

Was the Chiefs' defense that good, despite playing with three defensive starters--Mark Collins, David Whitmore and Dan Saleaumua--injured for most of the game?

"It came down to the fact that we wanted to get a streak started within our division and the Raiders match up very well with us," Smith said. "We came out early and let the Raiders know that it wasn't going to be an easy night right from the start."

What the Chiefs did was turn the Raider offense into a three-man team in Harvey Williams (93 yards rushing in 24 carries), Hostetler (17-of-33 passing for 172 yards) and Brown (six catches for 84 yards).

So, what happened to the Raiders' other weapons--wideouts Alexander Wright, Rocket Ismail and James Jett?

"I don't know, but it isn't normal for a team with so many good receivers to complete passes to only one player," Kansas City safety Charles Mincy said. "We usually bracket Tim Brown and double-team him, forcing them to go to their other receivers. For some reason, that did not happen tonight."

Defensively, the Raiders did well in shutting down the Chiefs--except for a 57-yard touchdown pass from Joe Montana to tight end Derrick Walker in the first half.

"I would say that they did a great job in stopping us," said Montana, who completed 17 of 28 passes for 173 yards. "They came in with a plan that was a good one. But, we made one big play and that was one more than them."

Playing the Raiders came at a good time for the Chiefs, who have had their own problems with consistency this season.

"This was a good, timely win for us because we've struggled some this year," Kansas City middle linebacker Tracy Simien said. "Of course, it's better because we beat the Raiders."

The Raiders will now have to regroup before their playoff hopes are ended for good.

"I really don't know what their problem is because they have so much talent on the team," said Allen, who is undefeated against the Raiders since joining the Chiefs. "It's a mystery to me on why they keep losing."

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