Rookie Derek Carr gave the Oakland Raiders something to celebrate for a change.
Carr threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to James Jones with 1:42 remaining, and the Raiders snapped a 16-game losing streak with a 24-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
“I been through a lot of hard times, these losses have been hard,” Carr said.
Oakland’s Latavius Murray ran for two touchdowns on four carries before leaving the game with a concussion.
The Raiders (1-10) built a 14-point lead, but needed a 17-play, 80-yard drive led by Carr to secure its first win since beating Houston on Nov. 17, 2013.
Alex Smith threw two TD passes for the Chiefs (7-4), who had won five in a row. They fell a half-game behind Denver in the AFC West.
The Raiders became just the third team since the merger to beat a first-place team for their first win after losing at least 10 games to start the season. Indianapolis did it against Green Bay in 1997 and Buffalo did it to Dallas in 1984.
The Chiefs will have a long time to stew over this loss before hosting Denver on Nov. 30 in an AFC West showdown.
It took an impressive drive by the rookie Carr to win it. He twice had to sneak for first downs. He also threw an 8-yard pass to Mychal Rivera on third-and-6 and capitalized on a pass interference penalty against Ron Parker on another third down before finding Jones for the go-ahead score.
“That was really hard-fought, they are a great team obviously, they will probably go to the playoffs and do some great things,” Carr said. “I can’t wait to see my teammates’ smiles.”
The game wasn’t sealed until Smith threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-13 from his 48. Even that didn’t come without a tense moment. Khalil Mack and Sio Moore sacked Smith on third down and celebrated in the backfield while the Chiefs ran up to the line. An angry Justin Tuck had to call timeout as he seethed at his younger teammates.