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The Morning After: Raiders vs Chiefs, Week 12

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

For the first 3 quarters of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday it seemed like the Raiders were going to win. It would have been probably the biggest victory for the Raiders in the last 13 years of suckitude. Instead, it was a painful reminder of how far the Silver and Black still have to go to reach playoff contender status.

There is a very real chance that the 4th quarter will go down as the worst quarter of football in Derek Carr's career. It was truly that bad, especially when you consider how important of a game this was. Two out of the three interceptions thrown by Carr were not fully on him, but they weren't fully not on him either. The first interception was all on Carr though, that looked like a classic bad Brett Favre interception from trying to do way too much.

On the 2nd interception from Carr he was throwing a timing route to Crabtree who fell down so that one is the most valid excuse for him. It is very difficult to know if Crabtree would have gotten there had he not fallen down, but one would have to assume that it probably would have been accurate considering Carr's accuracy on those type of throws.

The third and final interception is the one that stands out by far the most. That sequence of plays was absolutely terrible, and they were still only down 6 points at that time. No matter how bad the quarter had been up until then they still had a chance to win, but then two terrible play calls and a tipped pass essentially ended the Raiders relevancy for this season.

Yes, Amari Cooper got his finger tips on the ball before it being intercepted but that would have been a great catch by the rookie. Carr tried to fit it into a very tight area and it backfired, that happens. I am not so upset with Carr attempting that throw because he did have to make a play, but it just really sucks to lose on a Pick 6 returned by the former Raider Tyvonn Branch.

The thing about this game is that the Raiders missed key opportunities long before they fully imploded. They had several times in the first half where they started at midfield and did not advance the ball from there. That is unacceptable in a game of this magnitude and made me nervous even when they had a 6 point lead going into the 4th.

All of the missed opportunities in this game throughout the game show as clearly as a bright sunny day how much work the Raiders still need to do. They seriously could have dominated this game, it could have been a rout. Instead, they let a good Chiefs team hang around and then they got dominated instead in the 4th quarter.

The Oakland Raiders are still a work in progress, one that is full of young talent still learning how to win. That has been the mantra of this season, they look good but they haven't been able to close out games. When they look back at this season they will see all of the times that they could have closed out games in a big way but failed.

That is actually a good thing for the future, because they will be even more hungry to take the next step after stewing on this season all off-season. They have a lot of work that needs to be done but they have all the motivation in the world now to do it. They are a talented team already, they will be even better when they learn how to close games like the elite teams out there.

There were some positives to be sure though, the first 3 quarters the Raiders played well enough against a good team to win is not to be overlooked even if they failed to finish strongly. Khalil Mack was absolutely dominate with 1 solo sack and 2 half sacks in his game, he is finally getting to the QB like we all knew he would eventually do. Seth Roberts also had another game where he made a solid impact which is also great to see a young WR for the Raiders becoming a force.

That is actually part of the reason this game hurts as much as it does. They had so many opportunities, they played well enough to win for most of the game, but then a terrible 4th quarter doomed the rest of the season. The Chiefs are a good team that is likely to make the playoffs now, but losing this game would have been devastating to them too. That is what happens in divisional games with importance like this though, one team is elated while the other is completely devastated afterwards.

Next comes the Denver Broncos in another huge divisional rivalry game. This game could have been huge had the Raiders won on Sunday and placed themselves squarely into playoff contention but that is just about all gone at this point. Still, beating one of the best teams in the league that happens to also be a bitter rival would be a sweet way to get over what happened this past Sunday.