OAKLAND — Kyle Boller dropped back on Oakland’s first series and threw a pass to the left sideline that Kendrick Lewis intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Carson Palmer did the same to the right side to Brandon Flowers in the fourth quarter.
After all the talk this week about who would start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, it didn’t much matter. Boller and Palmer were equally bad.
Boller and Palmer each threw three interceptions and the Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of the rusty quarterback play to win their third straight game, beating Oakland 28-0 on Sunday in their most lopsided road win ever against the Raiders.
“It was just an awful feeling walking off the field to be beat like that in the fashion that we were beat,” said Palmer, who was a retired player at home less than a week ago. “We need to regroup.”
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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. 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.
Cornerback Javier Arenas and Le’Ron McClain each added touchdown runs for the Chiefs 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.
“We don’t have too many pretty games but as long as we come away with the victory that’s all that matters,” said cornerback Brandon Carr, who had one interception. “We’re definitely making progress and trying to keep this thing going.”
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 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.
Palmer now has the bye week to get up to speed before making his first start Nov. 6 at home against Denver.
“We’re not blinking,” Jackson said. “This football team is not going to blink. We have to play better. We have to play better offensively. I take full responsibility.”
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.
“We knew that they had a quarterback controversy,” Lewis said. “We studied film and studied their routes and that they were going to give him a limited playbook. When we had the opportunity to make big plays and capitalize, that’s what we did. And we did a good job with it.”
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 for 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 was intercepted again late in the half.
“I’m just extremely frustrated,” Boller said. “I had an opportunity to go there. It just didn’t go as planned. Definitely not my best outing. I feel bad for my teammates. I feel like I let my teammates down. There’s not much to say. The play speaks for itself.”