OAKLAND — The confident Kansas City Chiefs wanted nothing more than to beat the Oakland Raiders in decisive fashion. They ended up barely holding on to victory Monday night when a backup quarterback turned a potential shutout into a shootout.
Oakland's Tim Brown was tackled on the one-yard line as time expired, and the unbeaten Chiefs won their seventh consecutive game, beating their bitter rivals, 17-10.
Trent Green passed for 206 yards for Kansas City, which tied a franchise record for consecutive wins. But the Chiefs had to survive a gutsy last-minute drive led by Marques Tuiasosopo, who had thrown only six passes all season for the Raiders.
"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."
Tuiasosopo took over for an injured Rich Gannon in the second half. He led two scoring drives and marched the Raiders (2-5) from their own six with 1:47 left 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 one while time ran out.
Gannon's right shoulder was bruised on a sack by Shawn Barber in the final minute of the second quarter. He spent the second half on the sideline.
Tuiasosopo also struggled before sparking the Raiders to an impressive fourth quarter. The third-year pro had only 69 yards passing in his career, but Monday he completed 16 of 28 passes for 224 yards in the second half.
The Chiefs gave Dick Vermeil a win in his first appearance on Monday night as a head coach since his Philadelphia Eagles played at 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 one as time ran out.
Vermeil has a connection to Tuiasosopo: As UCLA coach, he recruited Tuiasosopo's father, Manu, who played defensive line for the Bruins and went on to an NFL career.
"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."