KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If Lane Kiffin does get fired by the Oakland Raiders, he might want to apply for employment in Kansas City.
Amid escalating reports that Kiffin was in trouble with owner Al Davis and could be dismissed almost any time, the Raiders rushed for 300 yards Sunday and handed their harried young coach a 23-8 victory over the mistake-prone Chiefs. Kiffin has only five wins in 18 games with the Silver and Black, but two have been at Kansas City’s expense.
“I don’t worry about things I can’t control. That’s not my decision whether I’ll be here,” said the 33-year-old Kiffin. “I’m going to prepare my staff for the game next week.”
Rookie Darren McFadden rushed for 164 yards to help give the Raiders a happy ending to a tumultuous week that started with a 41-14 blowout loss to Denver on Monday night. There had also been a public spat between Lane and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and Kiffin’s comment that Davis “doesn’t keep people very long.”
Also with something to celebrate was kicker Sebastian Janikowski, whose three field goals including a team-record 56-yarder.
“Lane’s going to be Lane, Rob’s going to be Rob and Al’s going to be Al at the end of the day,” said Oakland cornerback DeAngelo Hall. “We don’t have any control over what happens up there. We just come out and try to play ball.”
The young defense of the Chiefs gave up the third-highest total in the history of the franchise. Michael Bush, with 90 yards rushing, personally beat the 55 yards the Chiefs had as a team.
For the third time in three years under Herm Edwards, the Chiefs are 0-2, and they have lost 11 regular-season games in a row.
“They came out and knocked us off the ball and ran the ball down our throat,” said Edwards. “We got embarrassed at home.”
In using three quarterbacks, the Chiefs had only 65 net yards at halftime.
After Tyler Thigpen’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez and 2-point conversion made it 16-8 with 4:04 left, the Chiefs recovered Bush’s fumble. But Kirk Morrison intercepted Thigpen’s pass and with 51 seconds left, Bush scored on a 32-yard run to put out of reach one of the worst games the Chiefs have played at home in years.
“We’ve got to look at the tape. There aren’t a lot of teams going to be rushing for 300 yards, I can guarantee that,” said Chiefs defensive end Tamba Hali.
The only sour note for Oakland was the injury in the first half to running back Justin Fargas. He went out with a groin injury early in the first half, but that gave McFadden, the overall No. 4 draft pick last April, a chance to find his rhythm.
McFadden who carried nine times for 46 yards in his NFL debut last Monday night, eclipsed that on one play.
Breaking through a big hole on the right side of the Chiefs’ line, he went 50 yards before Pollard ran him down from behind at the 25. Three plays later from the 19, he went over the right side and dived across the pylon, beating Jarrad Page’s attempt at a tackle.
Damon Huard, who replaced the injured Brodie Croyle in the season opener at New England, took the first series for Kansas City, but was replaced on second-and-17 in the second series by Marques Hagans, a reserve wide receiver who was promoted off the practice squad Wednesday.
Hagans came in for one play three different times in the first half, resulting in an illegal shift penalty and two ineffective runs. He also completed a short pass in the second half.
Thigpen, who had thrown only six NFL passes in his brief career, came in after Huard’s pass was intercepted by Tyvon Branch near the end of the first quarter. The Chiefs announced at the end of the third quarter that Huard sustained “mild head trauma.” Thigpen hit 14 of 33 passes for 151 yards.
“We wanted to use (Thigpen) in some series but not the whole game,” said Edwards.
Janikowski kicked his team-record 56-yard field goal in the first quarter and added a 25-yarder and a 40-yarder.
In the first half, the Chiefs’ young defense was further damaged by the loss of defensive tackle Turk McBride, who was kicked in the abdomen, and cornerback Patrick Surtain, who hurt his shoulder. ^Notes: It was the Chiefs’ first 2-point conversion in almost two years, and the first time KC had three quarterbacks complete a pass since Dec. 31, 2006 against Jacksonville. … Mario Henderson made his first NFL start, replacing left tackle Kwame Harris, who was on Oakland’s inactive list with a knee injury.