For a while Sunday, things were going the Raiders’ way.
Oakland got off to a 10-0 lead over the visiting Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter, and it appeared the Raiders might win their second straight over an AFC West rival after an opening-week win over the Denver Broncos.
Then, Patrick Mahomes got into a groove.
The Chiefs quarterback blitzed the Raiders defense in the second quarter when he threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns. By the half, the Raiders were in a big hole and on their way to a 28-10 loss.
The Raiders couldn’t put enough pressure on Mahomes, so he had time to pick apart the secondary.
Then again, it might not have mattered if Lester Hayes and Willie Brown were playing cornerback Sunday. Mahomes was almost perfect and his receivers time and again made terrific catches, even when covered well.
"Well, we had a breakdown in one coverage, I know that," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden told the media Sunday, when evaluating what went wrong in that second quarter. "But a couple of those were just incredible throws and catches also. You have to tip your hat to them. …
"When he (Mahomes) gets an opportunity to do that he can drop them in no matter where they are. I tip my hat to them and we have to do a better job next time."
In that second quarter, Mahomes was 12-of-17. He averaged 23.2 yards per completion.
As columnist Dieter Kurtenbach of the Bay Area News Group wrote, "Mahomes and the Chiefs were on a different level. At times, it looked like they were playing a different game."
He wrote he was witness to "the greatest quarter of quarterbacking I’ve ever seen."
But the Raiders only have to face Mahomes twice a year, and only once more in 2019. Against the rest of the league, the Raiders defense may fare much better. The Raiders appear improved in Year 2 under Gruden.
"They are what we thought they were," Kurtenbach wrote of the Raiders. "A capable offense and an always-in-question defense. That’s not a slight – that can get you pretty far in this era’s NFL."
Cornerback Daryl Worley hopes that getting run over by the Chiefs can be a teachable moment.
"We’re about treating every play as a learning experience," he said. "If you don’t get the win, we don’t look at it as a loss. It’s more of a lesson learned. So, we just got to get better and we’ll correct the things that are on the tape and move forward."
The 1-1 Raiders get their next opportunity this Sunday in Minnesota against the 1-1 Vikings. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m.