OAKLAND -- Alex Smith's return to the Bay Area couldn't have gone much better for him Sunday, and Jamaal Charles was a major reason for that.
In his first Bay Area game since he was traded from the 49ers to the Kansas City Chiefs last spring, Smith threw a career-high five touchdown passes and Charles tied the franchise single-game record for touchdowns with five in the Chiefs' 56-31 victory over the Raiders.
Charles caught eight passes for 195 yards with touchdowns of 49, 39, 16 and 71 yards. His other touchdown was a 1-yard run, as he rushed only eight times for 20 yards.
He nearly equaled the NFL record of six touchdowns in a game.
Smith completed 17 of his 20 passes for 287 yards with the five touchdowns and no interceptions.
"I really didn't feel like I did much, threw three screen passes, threw the ball to Jamaal, he still made the cutback and made a great play," Smith said. "I really feel like ... I'm kind of standing on 52 guys' shoulders."
Smith's first three touchdown passes were all screens to Charles. The Chiefs (11-3) attacked the Raiders immediately that way, as their first offensive play was a screen pass that Charles took 49 yards to the end zone. After the third one, Kansas City had a 35-10 lead with 5 minutes, 42 seconds still remaining in the first half.
"They do a great job, number one, rushing the passer, and their blitz game is phenomenal," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said about the Raiders. "We felt that since we didn't score one time out of the first five drives last game against them, we thought that maybe the screen game would help us ... and it worked for us."
"I thought I was going to get hugged on screen plays. ... When I didn't see nobody on me, I was like, 'Whoa, I've got to go,' " Charles said. "It was a blessed day for me to have ... probably the best game of my career."
"He's a great player, and he's going to take advantage of opportunities if they're there for him, and that's what he did today," Raiders linebacker Sio Moore said.
Charles, who gained the vast majority of his receiving yards after the catch, enjoys having Smith as his quarterback.
"It's fun playing with Alex, playing with a quarterback that can run the ball and take pressure off me, and throw the ball when we need it in crucial situations," Charles said. "He motivates us so much in the huddle."
But Charles is obviously the motor of Kansas City. When asked if Charles, now the NFL leader with 18 touchdowns, qualifies as a league MVP candidate, Reid said, "He's got my vote. ... I don't know how anybody can be more valuable to a team."
Smith said that it was a little strange being back in the Bay Area. "It's been a while since I've been back," he said.
But he couldn't argue with the results of the trip -- a postseason berth for his team.
"We knew we controlled our own destiny, and coming here and getting a win, that's all that mattered for us," he said.