KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Raiders had a chance to move atop the AFC West on Sunday by beating the Chiefs here at Arrowhead Stadium.
Consider that opportunity blown.
The Raiders were downright awful in a 40-9 blowout. The Raiders turned it over three times. They were penalized heavily. They missed a field goal and had an extra point blocked.
The run game had its moments in the first half, but everything else was not good enough in a game where the Raiders routinely hurt themselves with undisciplined play.
So, as you can probably guess, there are a lot of bad grades to hand out in this week's Raiders report card.
Josh Jacobs crossed the 1,000-yard mark in the first half, where he ran for nearly 100 in the first half alone. The rout was on after that point, so Jacobs only got three carries in the second half. The score no longer suited running the ball at that point, even though a commitment to the run game has worked when the Chiefs have a lead. You can't run, however, down three scores. That took Jacobs out of the equation, which is too bad considering he seemed in line for a career day when the game started.
Quarterback Derek Carr had another bad day at Arrowhead. That will be the primary storyline after this loss, considering he threw two costly interceptions and couldn't establish a rhythm in the passing game. That said, let's be honest. The Raiders receivers were terrible. They couldn't create steady separation, with Carr often searching in vain to find open targets down the field. Darren Waller had a strong day but he was the only one. The Raiders can't survive on that. They need better from the entire passing game for the offense to get back on track. The air attack looks lost right now, after back-to-back games where scoring seems harder than it should be for a team that once scored 24-plus points in six straight games.
The Chiefs worked without Damien Williams and had to work hard for yards on the ground. They averaged 3.3 yards per carry, though they scored two touchdowns running the ball. Patrick Mahomes was impactful on three carries for 25 yards and a score, but the Chiefs were well contained but disciplined Raiders run fits. It's hard to fault the run defense for the overall outcome. They weren't half bad.
The Raiders regularly give up explosive plays in the passing game. They had 55 on they heading into Sunday, but allowed just one play of 20 yards or more. Mahomes had to work for his completions and averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt. Coverage was generally pretty tight, though the Raiders gave up too many third down conversions through the air that kept Chiefs drives alive. Maxx Crosby brought steady pressure, but the Raiders were penalized heavily in pass defense. Trayvon Mullen had a pick taken away due to pass interference found on replay, and Nevin Lawson's first-half defensive holding penalty was a killer. So was his inability to secure an easy interception that could've been a pick six or a big return at least.
Daniel Carlson is become unreliable. He badly missed a field goal attempt in this one, and has now missed five kicks in the last five games, and had his fourth-quarter extra point blocked. Trevor Davis fumbled a kickoff return and lost possession, an inexcusable mistake that brought Jalen Richard into the mix there. A.J. Cole's beautiful punt and Curtis Riley catch at the Kansas City 2-yard line was the kicking game's lone bright spot.
The Raiders had a golden opportunity to jump into first place in a division they haven't won since 2002 and blew it. They were terrible in a huge game, clearly not ready to compete in such a big moment. They were undisciplined and too mistake-prone to compete. That's a major blow to their playoff prospects. When the Raiders had to stand tall, they delivered a dud.