KANSAS CITY, MO., NOV. 4 -- The game that put the Kansas City Chiefs back in the AFC West race was something out of the leather-helmet era.

At least one of the scripts was more like one of Grimm's fairy tales.

The Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Raiders, 9-7, today on Nick Lowery's three field goals to improve to 5-3. The game was played in rain, sleet and gusty wind; three of the four scores followed turnovers; and the longest drive was 42 yards -- setting up Lowery's field goal with 11:58 left that turned out to be the game-winner.

But the most dramatic circumstance came late in the first period, with Kansas City leading 3-0 after Lowery's 36-yard field goal. That had been set up by Kevin Porter's blocked punt, the Chiefs' fifth block of the season.

Onto the field came two players -- Bo Jackson, the Kansas City Royals' outfielder who spends his "off-season" as a running back for the Raiders and Deron Cherry, the Chiefs' four-time Pro Bowl safety who was making his first appearance since Dec. 17, when he injured his left knee.

On the first play, Jackson burst through the Chiefs line for seven yards and Cherry burst into Jackson, knocking the ball loose at the Los Angeles 23. Three plays later, Lowery kicked a 48-yarder and it was 6-0.

"Could there have been any more fitting circumstance than what he did?" said Chiefs Coach Marty Schottenheimer. "When you get a player back from an injury, you wait for the first hit. What a hit that was."

"I was surprised on the first play to get a hole like that," said Jackson, who gained 40 yards in 10 carries. "He put his helmet right on the ball. There's no way for a person to get hold of the ball when you get hit like that."

All that, however, was the most dramatic thing about the game.

The Chiefs totaled minus-eight yards in offense on the possessions preceding Lowery's first two field goals; they had minus-one yard in the first quarter, 32 in the half and 67 in the first three quarters before finishing with 169.

The Raiders totaled 234 yards.

The Chiefs' Steve DeBerg was 10 of 21 for 59 yards, and the Raiders' Jay Schroeder 10 of 31 for 139 yards. Each overthrew wide-open receivers for what would have been touchdowns.

"The weather conditions were such that we droppped some passes that we normally would have caught," said Raiders Coach Art Shell. "Nobody could open up the offense."

"There were some balls that I threw that I had no idea where they were going," Schroeder said. "They just slipped out of my hand. Early in the game the ball was extremely wet, and with it so cold {the ball} was hard to handle."

The 6-0 Kansas City lead held until the Raiders got their turnover -- a fumbled punt by Naz Worthen recovered at the 26 by Elvis Patterson late in the third quarter.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, following a 17-yard pass to Willie Gault, Steve Smith went in from the 2 for a 10-7 Raiders lead.

But the Chiefs came back for their only drive -- 42 yards in six plays to set up Lowery's final field goal, a 41-yarder. One of those plays was a 14-yard run by Barry Word, who came on for Christian Okoye and rushed 15 times for 85 yards.

That made it likely that the division title will be settled when the teams meet Nov. 25 in Los Angeles.

And it was all due to a little eerie foresight by Porter.

Kevin told me before the game that I would hit Bo and that he would fumble," Cherry said. "As we came off the field after the play, he said, 'Didn't I tell you? Didn't I tell you?' "