When the Kansas City Chiefs are at their best on offense, it all starts with the running game.
So after passing the ball 50 times in a blowout loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago, the Chiefs ran over the Oakland Raiders in a 26-10 victory on Sunday.
Spencer Ware ran for a career-high 131 yards and a touchdown , Jamaal Charles got his first TD back from knee surgery and the Chiefs gained 183 yards on the ground overall in a thorough victory over what had been the surging Raiders.
“It really felt like we did get one-dimensional and then we got back to us, which is balanced and mixed,” quarterback Alex Smith said.
“We’re throwing a lot of different looks at you — run and pass. Spreading the field, I thought we did a great job taking our shots today, and when we did, hitting them.”
After being stopped on the opening drive, the Chiefs (3-2) moved the ball with ease against the Raiders (4-2), who once again struggled on defense, but didn’t get the offensive performance to overcome that this week.
Ware gained 163 yards of offense and scored Kansas City’s first TD on a 2-yard run. Charles made the most of his most extensive playing time since his season-ending knee injury last year.
After having just two carries against Pittsburgh two weeks ago before the bye, he had nine runs for 33 yards and a TD against the Raiders.
“The line did a great job helping us move the ball up the field,” Charles said. “The quarterback and wide receivers did a great job looking the balls in. And it was all the way around on the offense.”
STALLED OFFENSE: The Raiders scored a touchdown on the opening drive and then were limited to three points the rest of the way as Derek Carr committed two turnovers and the running game never got going. Amari Cooper had nine catches for 117 yards in the first half, but just one for 12 yards after that as the Raiders were thoroughly beaten.
“It’s never what they’re doing, it’s what we do,” Cooper said. “We just need to execute better. Play how we practice. Do the things we practice in practice.”
BIG-MAN TD: Dontari Poe makes the most of his offensive chances. Kansas City’s 346-pound defensive lineman has two career TDs on two rushes. His first came late last season against San Diego.
He added another on Sunday. With the Chiefs facing third-and-goal from the 1 in the third quarter, Poe came in as an eligible receiver. He initially lined up in the backfield before shifting out wide right. He then took a lateral from Smith and bulled with way into the end zone for the TD .
“They both were pretty good,” Poe said. “They’re both worth six. I love them all.”
SPREADING IT AROUND: Smith was extremely efficient all game. He completed 15 straight passes at one point and had just three incompletions in 22 passes. He didn’t target a single receiver more than four times and completed at least two passes to seven different players.
CALLING THE SIGNALS: After a Week 2 loss at home to Atlanta, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he took over play-calling duties late from defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Del Rio hinted he might take a bigger role in calling the defense in the future, but said he didn’t do it against the Chiefs.
“Kenny has the headset,” Del Rio said.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Raiders prepare for a two-game trip to Florida. They face Jacksonville next Sunday and will stay in Florida the following week to practice before taking on Tampa Bay on Oct. 30. Kansas City returns home to take on New Orleans.
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