KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s often said championships are won with defenses, and there’s no arguing an elite unit resides at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs defense turned in a dominating performance, notching 10 sacks and three interceptions, including a pick-six by safety Husain Abdullah, catapulting the Chiefs (6-0) to a 24-7 win over the Oakland Raiders (2-4).
“The coaches believe in us,” Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali said. “When we’re doing it, we’re reminding ourselves that we’re out there to get our job done and we’re getting our job done.”
Hali led the defensive charge with a single-game career high 3 ½ sacks, while inside linebacker Derrick Johnson had two.
“Everybody’s trying to eat around here, everybody’s hungry, everybody’s thirsty,” Johnson said. “We’re not done yet, 6-0.”
Anchored by the defense, the Chiefs snapped a six-game losing streak to the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium in front of 76,394 fans.
And the win was even more special when it was announced the stadium set a new record as the loudest outdoor stadium, according to the Guinness World Record.
“When you can win with a crowd like this, it makes it even better,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I know we were striving to beat the noise record, the decibel record and we got it up to 137.5. That’s pretty incredible and it was loud. I mean real loud, ground-shaking loud.”
The crowd noise apparently affected the Raiders offense throughout the game, leading to 11 penalties for 68 yards, including three delay of game and three false start infractions.
“They have some good fans,” Raiders guard Mike Brisiel said. “You have to give them credit, though. Their defense played well and we didn’t make the plays when we had to, so they deserve the credit. We will see them again and hopefully they are still undefeated, so we can play them at our place.”
Still, for the Chiefs’ defensive heroics, the game wasn’t over until the fourth quarter.
Both offenses were lethargic in a scoreless first quarter before the Raiders scored in the second quarter when quarterback Terrelle Pryor found wide receiver Denarius Moore on a 39-yard strike.
The Chiefs scored on a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Jamaal Charles inside the two-minute warning to tie the game.
Some of the offensive issues from the previous four games remained for the Chiefs, as they entered the half 2-of-8 on third down (25 percent) and 108 total net yards on 34 yards.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed just 7-of-19 passes for 83 yards before the half and finished the game 14-of-31 for 128 yards.
“On offense, we got to start moving the ball a little bit more and just executing a little bit better,” Chiefs fullback Richard Sherman said. “Our defense keeps us in games and we find a way to win.”
That’s been the M.O. so far this season – keep the game close and let the opponent make mistakes – and Sunday wasn’t different.
After a first half of taking the care of the ball, Pryor morphed into a turnover machine in the second half, tossing three interceptions that led to the 17 points by the Chiefs.
Chiefs safety Quintin Demps recorded an interception, his third interception in as many games, in the third quarter that the Chiefs turned into Charles’ second rushing touchdown of the day. Charles finished the contest rushing for 78 yards on 22 carries, adding five catches for 50 yards.
Pryor’s second interception resulted in a Ryan Succop 33-yard field goal to push the Chiefs’ lead to 17-7.
Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah sealed the game late in the fourth quarter with a 44-yard interception returned for a touchdown with 1:45 remaining in the game.
“Sometimes we’re in awe like, ‘We scored again,’” Hali said. “That’s huge. It’s the coaches. I promise. We had the same team here last year minus a couple guys, and we’re having this much success, so credit to the coaches.”
The Chiefs offense hasn’t put together a complete game yet, but that hasn’t come back to a bite a defense that continues to carry the entire team on its back to weekly success.
And Johnson, who’s been with the Chiefs since 2005, is enjoying the ride.
“I’ve never been through this, this is something we need to get used to,” Johnson said. “This is how it is when you’re winning, what a great feeling. I want to have this feeling every year. I’m going to cherish this moment and just play good defense.”
Notes: Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game left tackle Branden Albert suffered a knee contusion and a hyperextended elbow … “X-rays were negative, but he’ll have an MRI tomorrow,” Reid said … Defensive tackle Dontari Poe suffered a “slightly sprained ankle,” Reid said … The Chiefs 10 sacks marks the second-highest total in team history … The last time the Chiefs notched 10 sacks also came against the Raiders on Sept. 6, 1998 … Running back Jamaal Charles became just the third player in team history to surpass 5,000 career yards rushing … Cornerback Marcus Cooper, starting in place of Brandon Flowers (knee), notched an interception in the third quarter, his second in as many weeks … Kicker Ryan Succop recorded six points, giving him 449 career points and ranks fifth in Chiefs history.