Maybe next year the Los Angeles Raiders will be able to beat Kansas City. Or next century.

But not now, so their season is over. And the Chiefs are in the playoffs.Mark Collins returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half Saturday as the Chiefs beat the Raiders 19-9 in a playoff-decider. Kansas City has won 10 of its last 11 meetings with the Raiders.

Veterans Joe Montana and Marcus Allen also made significant contributions for the Chiefs before a sellout crowd of 64,130 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Montana completed 15 of 24 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Allen, a former Raider, became the ninth running back in NFL history to surpass the 10,000-yard mark by gaining 132 yards on 33 carries, leaving him at 10,018 for his career.

Montana left the game early in the fourth quarter with a contusion of the left knee, but the injury didn't appear serious.

Both teams finished 9-7, but the Chiefs qualify as an AFC wild-card team by sweeping the season series.

Kansas City, in the playoffs for the fifth straight year, will play at Miami or New England next weekend, pending the outcome of Sunday night's Detroit-Miami game at Joe Robbie Stadium.

The Raiders, preseason favorites of many to reach the Super Bowl, are finished until next year despite winning seven of their last 10 games.

They could have made the playoffs if Chicago had beaten New England, but the Patriots won 13-3.

Turnovers have played a major role in most of Kansas City's recent victories over the Raiders.

Trailing 7-3 and without any timeouts, the Raiders opted to run a first-and-10 play from the Kansas City 28 with 12 seconds left before halftime. Jeff Hostetler was hit by Neil Smith as he tried to pass to Rocket Ismail and the ball fell far short. It appeared Smith hit Hostetler on the facemask, but no penalty was called.

Collins caught the ball in full stride and sprinted down the left sideline untouched as time ran out in the half.

The play seemed to take the heart out of the Raiders, who didn't get a first down in the second half until eight minutes remained in the game. By that time, the outcome was decided.

The Kansas City defense, shredded for 45 points by Miami two games ago, held the Raiders in check.

The Chiefs extended their lead to 17-3 in the third period on a 22-yard field goal by Lin Elliott, and added two more points with 11:57 remaining when Don Mosebar was penalized for tripping Dan Saleaumua in the end zone, an automatic safety.

On the first play after the free kick, Montana was hit by Chester McGlockton after completing a 13-yard pass to J.J. Birden and was replaced by Steve Bono.

Hostetler suffered an injured right knee when hit by Derrick Thomas with 6:32 left. Vince Evans replaced Hostetler and threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Alexander Wright on the next play to make it 19-9. Evans then threw incomplete on a two-point conversion attempt.

The Chiefs ran out the final 6:21; Los Angeles had the ball for only 5:49 in the second half.

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Hostetler completed 14 of 27 passes for 167 yards before being injured.

Kansas City needed less than two minutes to take a 7-0 lead, scoring on a 47-yard pass from Montana to a wide-open Willie Davis on third-and-12.

The Raiders had the ball for 12 minutes and 14 seconds on their second possession, but had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Jeff Jaeger. Los Angeles used 22 plays to move 86 yards.

GAME NOTES: Joe Montana played in 14 games for the Chiefs this season and threw at least one touchdown pass in nine of them, including a 47-yarder to Willie Davis in the opening two minutes against the Raiders. The Chiefs won all nine games in which Montana threw at least one TD pass and were 0-5 in the games he didn't.

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