OAKLAND (AP) — In the end, it didn’t much matter whether Kyle Boller or Carson Palmer played quarterback for the Oakland Raiders. The Kansas City Chiefs had their way with both.
Kendrick Lewis and Brandon Flowers returned interceptions for touchdowns and the Chiefs took advantage of rusty quarterback play from Boller and Palmer to beat the Oakland Raiders 28-0 on Sunday.
Boller became the first Raiders quarterback in 13 years to throw three interceptions in the first half, including Lewis’ 59-yard score on the first drive of the game for Oakland (4-3). Palmer relieved in the second half and threw three more interceptions, including one that Flowers returned 58 yards to give the Chiefs a 28-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Javier Arenas and Le’Ron McClain each added touchdown runs for the Chiefs (3-3) on a day the Kansas City offense didn’t have to do much at all.
After being outscored 89-10 in lopsided losses to Buffalo and Detroit to open the season, the defending AFC West champion Chiefs have won three straight to get back into contention in the division race. While the wins came against cellar dwellers Minnesota and Indianapolis and a banged-up Raiders team missing its leading passer, scorer and rusher for most of the game, the Chiefs aren’t apologizing.
The Raiders promising season was jolted last week when starting quarterback Jason Campbell was knocked out with a broken collarbone. Coach Hue Jackson moved quickly to get a replacement by trading for Palmer on Tuesday.
Palmer had been in retirement because he refused to play with Cincinnati anymore and had been working out on his own in Southern California. Because of his rust and unfamiliarity with his teammates and the playbook, Palmer did not start in his debut.
It didn’t end up mattering because neither quarterback was able to do much besides throwing interceptions. Boller was 7 for 14 for 61 yards and became the first Raiders quarterback to throw three interceptions in the first half since Donald Hollas in 1998 against Miami. Palmer went 8 for 21 for 116 yards with the three interceptions.
This marked the first time the Raiders had thrown six interceptions in a game since that 1998 game against the Dolphins and the Chiefs had their first six-interception game since 1984 against Seattle.
This was also the sixth time the Raiders have been shut out at home, with five coming since the start of the 2006 season.
Jackson was coy all week about whether Boller or Palmer would start at quarterback in Oakland’s first game since Jason Campbell broke his collarbone. With star running back Darren McFadden leaving in the first quarter with an injured right foot, it didn’t much matter.
Oakland moved into Kansas City territory on its first drive and tried to run a trick play on third-and-1 that backfired. Third quarterback Terrelle Pryor lined up at receiver and went in motion to behind the center and took a quick snap for a keeper. The Raiders were called for a false start because Pryor was not set for a second.
On the next play, Boller threw an out pass to Jacoby Ford that Lewis stepped in front off and returned 59 yards for the touchdown to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
The boos of Boller started but Palmer remained on the sideline with a baseball hat. Boller threw his second interception on a deep pass to Denarius Moore that Flowers caught. The Chiefs then drove 61 yards for a score Le’Ron McClain’s 1-yard run.
Boller finally got the Raiders moving with some good runs by Michael Bush before Derrick Johnson stuffed him on fourth down at the 1 when Jackson called for a direct snap to the running back.
The Raiders drove to the Chiefs 36 late in the first half before Boller underthrew Darrius Heyward-Bey and was intercepted by Brandon Carr.
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