As the Oakland Raiders poured out onto the field to celebrate Sebastian Janikowski's overtime kick, the 15 penalties, three turnovers and long stretches of offensive ineptitude were merely a footnote.
The Raiders won their biggest game in nearly eight years and are once again a contender in the AFC West.
Jason Campbell threw a 47-yard pass to rookie Jacoby Ford in overtime to set up Janikowski's winning 33-yard field goal that capped Oakland's 23-20 victory over the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
"It wasn't the way we draw it up but it was the way it was supposed to be," coach Tom Cable said. "We hung in there, fought, hung in there, fought, got a chance, made a couple of plays, made two kicks and now we're all happy. It's a great job by our team of really pulling together."
Campbell and Ford hooked up on a 29-yard pass in the closing seconds of regulation to set up Janikowski's tying 41-yard field goal. The Raiders (5-4) then won it in overtime for their most significant victory since winning the 2002 AFC championship. Oakland hasn't had a winning record at any time since being 2-1 in 2004 and not this late since '02.
By winning their third straight game for the first time since that season, Oakland heads into its bye week just a half-game behind Kansas City (5-3).
"This win was probably the win that does wonders for our season," Campbell said.
The Chiefs won the overtime toss but were unable to generate a first down. Campbell then hit Ford on a diving catch on the first play for Oakland. Ford, a fourth-round pick, caught six passes for 148 yards and returned the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown.
"It's something I've been wanting to do ever since I was little," Ford said. "I went out there, and it was a dream come true to be out there having fun making plays with those guys."
After a short run and a timeout by the Chiefs, Janikowski came on for the winning kick. As soon as it sailed through the uprights, the Raiders celebrated with the first sellout crowd in Oakland since last year's opener.
The talk all week was about the revival of a rivalry that was one of the sport's best for a decade starting in the 1960s. While the play was sloppy at times with five turnovers, 27 penalties and two blown fake punts, the intensity was top-notch.
The Raiders trailed 20-17 when they took over at their 25 with 2:06 to play. The big play came when Ford ripped a ball away from a defender for a 29-yard gain to the 22. Oakland rushed to the line and spiked the ball with 7 seconds left, setting the stage for Janikowski's tying field goal.
"Unfortunately, they took it down at the end of the game and we weren't able to produce in overtime," Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel said. "It's difficult to take when you make the mistakes that we did today and lose."
Kansas City had taken a 20-17 lead on a 20-yard pass from Cassel to Dwayne Bowe with 6:13 to play. That score was set up when Nick Miller muffed a punt and Kansas City's Verran Tucker recovered at the Raiders 30. It appeared as if Miller's knee might have been down before the ball came loose, but Cable had already used his two challenges so Kansas City kept the ball.
The Raiders had gained just 54 yards with their only score coming on Ford's 94-yard kickoff return to open the second half when they took over trailing 13-7 early in the third quarter.
The offense finally got going as Campbell hit Ford on a 16-yard pass and Darren McFadden followed with a 34-yard run. A 16-yard pass to McFadden moved the ball to the 2 and two plays later Campbell found tackle Khalif Barnes for a touchdown that gave Oakland a 14-13 lead.
The Raiders tacked on a 23-yard field goal by Janikowski after Campbell found Ford on a key third-down conversion for 37 yards.
After Rock Cartwright was stopped on Oakland's fake punt try, the Chiefs appeared to score on a slant from Cassel to Tony Moeaki on third-and-2 from the 6.
Cable challenged the call and won it when replays showed Moeaki's knee went down at the 1. Instead of giving the Chiefs a first down, the officials originally called it fourth and goal from the 1. After a holding call on Kansas City, the officials corrected the down and the Chiefs had first-and-goal at the 11.
Tucker made an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone on the next play. Cable challenged that call and lost it, meaning Oakland was out of challenges with 14:31 left in the half.
The Chiefs added a field goal from Ryan Succop after McFadden lost a fumble to make it 10-0 and could have had an even bigger lead at the half but had a touchdown and field goal erased by penalties. Cassel also threw an interception in the end zone in the final minute of the half.
"You can't have minus plays and expect to win in this league, you can't turn the ball over in the red zone and expect to win, you're just not going to do it — it's going to come back to get you," coach Todd Haley said. "You leave points out there, it usually comes back to haunt you."
Notes: Kansas City had won seven straight in Oakland, tied for the longest active streak by a visiting team. ... Oakland S Tyvon Branch left with a concussion in the third quarter.
(This version Corrects number of penalties for Raiders)