OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jamaal Charles was taken aback when he caught a screen pass on the first play from scrimmage and raced 49 yards for a score
"I thought I was going to get hugged on the screen plays," he said. "I was surprised. When I saw nobody on me I was like, 'Whoa I have to go.'"
Charles kept going all game long. He set a running back record with four TD catches and also ran for a score to tie Kansas City's single-game record for touchdowns as the Chiefs beat the Raiders 56-31 Sunday to clinch a playoff spot.
Charles caught eight passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns in the most productive receiving day by a running back since Marshall Faulk had 204 yards in 1999 against Chicago.
Charles also had 20 yards rushing and joined Shaun Alexander, Jerry Rice and Clinton Portis as the only players since the merger to score five touchdowns and gain at least 200 yards from scrimmage in a single game.
"I don't know how anybody can be more valuable to a team and the success that we've had than he has," coach Andy Reid said.
Alex Smith threw four of his five TD passes to Charles, going 17 for 20 for 287 yards to make the Chiefs the fourth team to make the playoffs a year after losing at least 14 games. Kansas City (11-3) is tied for first place in the AFC West with Denver but needs help to win the division because the Broncos swept the season series.
Here are five things to take away from the Chiefs win over the Raiders:
NEAR RECORD: Charles had five touchdowns in the first three quarters before sitting out the rest of the game and missing a chance to tie the record of six held by Ernie Nevers, Dub Jones and Gale Sayers. Charles said he was ready to go back in for a sixth but Reid opted to rest him. Charles said he would have gotten a chance if the team got close to the end zone, but that chance ended when Knile Davis scored on a 17-yard run midway through the fourth.