Sports

Raiders Notes: Raiders encouraged by defensive showning

OAKLAND -- The Raiders' defense might point to Sunday's 12-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs as the game it got its swagger back.

It was supposed to be the strength of the Raiders, but through five games, the defense had as many problems as the offense, even though all 11 starters and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan were back from last season.

But Oakland's defense looked like the unit it touted itself to be during the exhibition season, holding Kansas City to 12 points.

It's the fewest points Oakland has allowed since holding Arizona to nine points Oct. 22, 2006.

"I felt everyone played really well on defense," said coach Lane Kiffin. "And we played really well on defense for the majority of the game."

Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard was harassed nearly every time he tried to pass. The maligned run defense gave up 126 yards, but was not gashed with regularity.

"We're fixing to get it back rolling," said linebacker Thomas Howard. "We're fixing to get back to playing Raider defense. We've got 10 more games and the offense is going to bring it. We know they are."

Stanford Routt intercepted his third pass of the season. Warren Sapp notched his first sack of the season and spent most of the game making life tough on Huard.

A key for the Raiders was forgetting bad plays. Larry Johnson's 54-yard run led to zero points. And on the Chiefs' lone touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, Huard narrowly escaped Sapp's grasp to find Dwayne Bowe for 58 yards on a broken play.

"I was told by a great man a long time ago there's five plays that decide a game, you just don't know which five it's going to be," said Sapp, referring to his coach with Tampa Bay, Tony Dungy. "Good, bad, indifferent you've got to put that play behind you and go on to the next one."

WELCOME BACK -- Priest Holmes acknowledged he had butterflies. The Kansas City running back was playing his first game in nearly two years because of head and neck injuries suffered on a hit by San Diego's Shawne Merriman on Oct. 30, 2005.

"I was excited to get that first hit out of the way very early," said Holmes, who had four carries for nine yards. "It's very humbling and it's just a matter of snaps" to get that feel back.

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