Andersen Sinks the Raiders Just for Kicks

From Associated Press

It's a special thrill that never gets old no matter how many times Morten Andersen does it.

Andersen kicked the 31st game-winning field goal of his career Sunday, a 35-yard kick that barely cleared the crossbar with four seconds left to give the Kansas City Chiefs a 27-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

"It is truly an adrenaline rush," said Andersen, at 43 the second-oldest player in the NFL. "I think it's 31 now for me in 22 years. When you get them, it's special and it's a rush. It's like no other rush of adrenaline you can have."

A blunder by Oakland's Phillip Buchanon and a great play by Chief quarterback Trent Green set the stage for Andersen's 500th regular-season field goal, which kept the Chiefs (10-1) one game ahead in the race for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. The Chiefs also can clinch the AFC West title next week if they beat San Diego, and Denver loses to Oakland.

Buchanon returned Jason Baker's punt 27 yards deep into Chief territory with about four minutes to go, but then ripped off his helmet and ran toward the stands. Out came the penalty flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, pushing the Raiders (3-8) back 15 yards to the Chief 41.

When Oakland's drive stalled, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 41-yard field goal for a 24-24 tie with 2:18 left.

Then Green drove the Chiefs down field and on fourth and 14 hit Marc Boerigter -- who was being covered by Buchanon -- for 16 yards.

"What a play by Trent," Andersen said. "If he doesn't make that play, we're probably in overtime."

The Chiefs were almost laughing at Buchanon.

"I must say we needed that one," said R-Kal Truluck, who had one of the Chiefs' three sacks of Rick Mirer. "They get [a touchdown] there, it makes it rough. Fortunately, that 15-yard penalty made a difference."

Buchanon was smiling when he met briefly with reporters.

"It was a tough game to lose," Buchanon said. "I didn't do enough for us to win. That's how it happens."

But Jim Otto, the Hall of Fame center who is now Oakland's director of special projects, was overheard in the locker room repeatedly calling Buchanon's action "stupid."

"The guy can't make a tackle. Can't play defense," Otto said.

After Andersen's 42-yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 24-14 lead, Jerry Rice caught a milestone touchdown pass to make it 24-21. It was his 1,500th reception and 193rd touchdown catch, both NFL records.

Kansas City's Priest Holmes, who leads the NFL with 15 rushing touchdowns, had 91 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving.

Oakland safety Derrick Gibson was loaded onto a stretcher and removed from the field after colliding with a teammate in the second quarter. The Raiders later said tests were negative and he had feeling and movement in his arms and legs.

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