Raiders sweep AFC West but fail to make playoffs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Oakland Raiders have swallowed one bitter pill.

Missing two of their best players, the Raiders beat playoff-bound Kansas City 31-10 Sunday, becoming the first team since the 1970 merger to go unbeaten in its division and not make the playoffs.

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The Raiders (8-8) were 6-0 in the AFC West. Kansas City (10-6), was outplayed by the Raiders in every way in its first home loss of the year and finished 2-4 in the division. Yet the Chiefs will host a playoff game next weekend as AFC West champs.

Michael Bush rushed for 137 yards and Jason Campbell threw a TD pass for the Raiders, who beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium for the fourth year in a row.

Running back Darren McFadden and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour were inactive because of injuries, but the Raiders dominated from start to finish, intercepting two of Matt Cassel's passes and getting seven sacks. The two interceptions both led directly to scores. Jacoby Ford scored on a 10-yard reverse after Michael Huff's interception, and Stanford Routt returned a pick 22 yards for the Raiders' final TD when Cassel was hurried while throwing from his end zone.

The Raiders posted their best record since 2002 amid speculation coach Tom Cable may be out; the team went to 17-27 since he became head coach four games into the 2008 season. It was the first time since '02, when Oakland went to the Super Bowl, that it didn't lose at least 11 games.

The Raiders had 344 total yards to Kansas City's 201 and held the top-rated rushing offense to 115 yards on the ground.

The Chiefs' worst home game of the season came on the heels of news offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is returning to college coaching to become Florida's offensive coordinator. Weis, in one year with the Chiefs, has been given much credit for developing Cassel into a topflight quarterback and turning Jamaal Charles into a Pro Bowl running back.

Charles, who trailed Houston's Arian Foster by 56 yards for the NFL rushing lead, had 87 yards on 14 carries, including a 47-yard burst that was KC's offensive highlight. He finished the regular season with 1,467 yards.

The Chiefs' pass protection, good most of the season, began breaking down in the second quarter. Cassel was flagged for intentional grounding and then sacked for an 11-yard loss on the next play by Jarvis Moss.

Campbell got the Raiders going with a 9-yard completion to Zach Miller. On third-and-10 from the Oakland 46, Campbell dumped off to Michael Bush and he turned it into a 16-yard gain. With 7 seconds left in the half, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 39-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead.

Campbell, after sitting out a series when he apparently hurt his right knee, scrambled 21 yards during a 14-play, 91-yard drive. He hit Jacoby Ford for a 35-yard gain to the 6 and Chaz Schilens was wide open in the end zone for the touchdown pass that gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead.

The Chiefs managed a meager 72 yards in the first half to Oakland's 192, but Charles broke free for his 47-yard run to the 8. From the 5, Charles went in almost untouched for a 10-10 tie the Raiders erased on their next possession.

Aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty against Jovan Belcher, the Raiders moved 75 yards in nine plays. Bush went over the right side of the defense virtually untouched for a 27-yard touchdown, the first TD rushing the Chiefs allowed at home all season.

The Chiefs took a 3-0 lead on Ryan Succop's 30-yard field goal after Belcher recovered Darrius Heyward-Bey's fumble on the Oakland 17 on the Raiders' first play from scrimmage.

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