The Oakland Raiders had a chance to control their own destiny and had already beaten the Kansas City Chiefs once this season. The Chiefs had lost six of their last seven games, and the Raiders were on a two-game winning streak. However, the Chiefs dominated the game and knocked off the Raiders, severely damaging the playoff hopes for Oakland as the season wears on to an end. The final score was 26-15, and the Raiders didn’t score any points until the fourth quarter. Here is a look at the Oakland Raiders’ team grades after this tough AFC West loss.
Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders offense were held scoreless for three quarters. While Carr led his team back in the fourth quarter, it was too little, too late. It took Carr too long to get comfortable in this game. He backed up to throw the ball 41 times, completing 58 percent of his attempts. However, he only averaged 8.7 yards per completion and tossed two interceptions compared to just one touchdown.
Amari Cooper, who was listed as questionable heading into the game, started but fell in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Tight end Jared Cook was Carr’s top weapon, catching five balls for 75 yards and a touchdown. Michael Crabtree also had a solid game, with seven catches for 60 yards. He did catch the two-point conversion, but it wasn’t enough to help the team win. Being down the entire game made running the ball difficult. Marshawn Lynch had seven carries for an impressive 61 yards and a touchdown, while DeAndre Washington ran the ball four times for nine yards. An 8.7 yard average for Lynch should have resulted in more carries, but the Raiders were airing the ball out to try to win.
The Raiders needed to stop Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs offense, but they weren’t able to do anything to stop rookie running back Kareem Hunt. The rookie rushed for 87 yards the last time the two teams met, but this time he was able to race for 115 yards and a touchdown, controlling the clock and helping his Chiefs break a four-game losing streak. Charcandrick West only added three carries as a backup, but he ran for 25 yards and a touchdown as well.
It was a disappointing effort by a Raiders defense that generally plays weak against the pass. While Alex Smith threw for 268 yards, he didn’t throw a touchdown, and the Raiders intercepted him once and sacked him four times in the game. It was Karl Joseph who got his first interception of the year while Bruce Irvin finished with two sacks. Navorro Bowman led the team with nine tackles, eight solo, and one sack. It just wasn’t enough as the Chiefs running game controlled the game.
Special Teams: C
The normally excellent Oakland Raiders special teams did absolutely nothing in this game. Oakland did not have one single kick or punt return in the game. Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio didn’t attempt a field goal in the game and hit his only extra point. There was a two-point conversion, but that is more credit to the offense. As for the Pro Bowl-caliber punter Marquette King, he even had an off game. King punted the ball seven times and only put one inside the 20 and one into the end zone. In all, King averaged a low 40 yards-per-punt.
The Oakland Raiders were losing after one by three points and went into halftime losing 16-0. However, the Raiders kept throwing the ball instead of trying to grind it out to match up with the Chiefs. With Kansas City running the ball and controlling the clock, Oakland was just shooting for the stars. As a result, Kansas City held the ball for 36:40 compared to only 23:20 for Oakland and the Raiders never had a chance to win. With a defense struggling as much as the Raiders this year, it seems strange seeing them throwing the ball so much and giving their defense little rest between drives.
With the loss, the Oakland Raiders (6-7) fall into second place in the AFC West, and the Kansas City Chiefs re-gain their tiebreaker over the Raiders. This means that Oakland no longer controls their own destiny and will need help if they want to make it back to the playoffs this year. Up next for Oakland is a game at home against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday night.