KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When Kansas City place-kicker Ryan Succop lined up for a 49-yard field goal attempt on the final play of regulation Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, the Raiders' season hung in the balance, and the Chiefs were on the verge of being a legitimate title contender in the AFC West.
That made it all the more exhilarating a short time later when Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime, giving the Raiders a 16-13 victory and keeping them alive for both the division title and wild-card berth.
Succop's kick was blocked by Richard Seymour, the Raiders won the overtime toss and immediately struck with a 53-yard pass from Carson Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey to the Kansas City 23.
Three plays later, Janikowski delivered the game-winner at his favorite stadium, and euphoria ensued. The Chiefs were done at 6-9 in terms of the division race, although they have a big job ahead from the Raiders' perspective when they visit Denver to end the season.
The Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak with their fifth consecutive win at Arrowhead to improve to 8-7.
"I don't know what it is about us," strong safety Tyvon Branch said. "We just find a way to make it interesting. It was a great win. We overcame a lot. We all stuck together. We all kept believing."
Denver, meanwhile, dropped to 8-7 with a 40-14 loss to Buffalo, and San Diego fell 38-10 in Detroit. Although the Chargers are 7-8, the only two teams that can represent the AFC West in the playoffs as division champion are the Broncos and Raiders.
Denver wins the AFC West if it beats Kansas City, even if Oakland beats San Diego at O.co Coliseum. The Broncos also win in the event of any tie at 8-8 with Oakland and the Chargers.
Cincinnati currently holds down the second wild-card spot at 9-6 but closes against Baltimore. Other teams currently at 8-7 include the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.
Rather than go through all the scenarios, Heyward-Bey figured the Raiders would be better off dealing with the matter at hand.
"I'm worried about us," Heyward-Bey said. "I don't play for Kansas City, and I don't play for Denver. We've got to take care of business. That's the most important thing."
The Raiders gave their fans plenty to worry about throughout the afternoon. They were outgained 435 to 308 and had half as many first downs (13 to 26) as the Chiefs as K.C. quarterback Kyle Orton completed 21 of 36 passes for 300 yards.
Turnovers were even, as each quarterback threw two interceptions.
Oakland had just one touchdown -- a 61-yard bolt from Palmer to Denarius Moore past safety Reshard Langford with 8:52 left in the third quarter.
The end of regulation play was reminiscent of the previous week's defensive meltdown in the Raiders' 28-27 loss to Detroit.
Not long after Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston stuffed Jackie Battle on a fourth-and-1 play at the Kansas City 43, Janikowski delivered a 31-yard field goal for a 13-6 lead with 2:57 to play.
Orton took only five plays to drive 80 yards and get the Chiefs into the end zone on a 3-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe, with the big play a 49-yard dump-off to Dexter McCluster through the heart of the Oakland defense.
The Raiders went three-and-out and punted, then Orton hit Bowe for 25 yards and Terrance Copper for 11 more to the 31, setting up Succop's ill-fated final attempt.
"That's Raider football right now. That's the way it's been," coach Hue Jackson said. "I'm not going to make an excuse for that. Obviously we don't want that to happen. Do I wish things were different? Yes, I do, but this game is about winning."
Penalties, another part of Raiders football, were again in abundance. Oakland was penalized 15 times for 92 yards, including a galling delay of game call in the second quarter that erased a perfectly executed 36-yard shovel pass for a touchdown to Brandon Myers on a fake field goal.
Making it worse, it pushed the Raiders back 5 yards, and Janikowski hit the crossbar from 58 yards -- his first miss at Arrowhead since 2005.
However, in the final 13:54 and overtime, the Raiders didn't receive a single penalty.
"We had three penalties at halftime last week, then in crucial times at the end, we get penalties and lose the game," Jackson said. "This time, we went the other way. It's like Jekyll and Hyde."
Although the Chiefs' postseason hopes are over, interim coach Romeo Crennel expects a good effort in Denver to close out the season.
"We want to go on the road and beat a division opponent," Crennel said. "That's what we're going to use (as motivation) -- pride in your performance and the group you represent. All these guys have pride and egos, and they want to win."