Greetings, Raider fans. Raiderdamus the Wise and Sage is here for you, after today's listless Raider game, to say "I told you so". The Great Beyond predicted a Raiders loss, and predictably the Raiders wilted under their high expectations against a well-coached team. The rabbit's foot they'd been carrying around for the first five games has gone missing. Luckily, the Raiders are still in first place and have four more divisional games left- two against the Broncos, who look just awful.
Let's all be glad we're not Packers or Steelers fans, as those teams got blown out by the Dolphins and Cowboys respectively. Every team has bad days. Look at the Falcons, who grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in Seattle. Oh look, that's where our rabbit's foot went!
So without further ado, here are the winners and losers for the day.
1) Alex Smith
Smith is, in general, not very good- although there are two caveats to that. When you consider the shitshow that was the Chiefs' QB carousel prior to trading for Smith, he is comparatively a Hall of Famer. Tyler Thigpen, anyone? Also, when he plays the Raiders he turns into Johnny Unitas. Does anyone own the Raiders like this guy?
Smith went 19/22 for 224 yards. No touchdowns, no interceptions. That's not great, but against a Raiders defense that has thus far not been able to stop anyone and relies primarily on timely turnovers, it's magnificent.
2) Chiefs running backs
The Raiders cannot stop the run in any way, shape or form. Spencer Ware, Jamaal Charles and Charcandrick West combined for 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The third touchdown was scored by
William the Refrigerator Perry Dontari Poe. Andy Reid knows exactly what he can and cannot do against the Raiders: He can run whenever and however he wants. He cannot pass deep.
3) Andy Reid
Give Reid two weeks to prepare, and Reid can beat anyone. Give him one week, and he's basically Norv Turner. That craft services guy Andy ate last week must have been nutritious, because Reid had a fantastic game plan and stuck with the running game. The Chiefs themselves are as average as it gets, but Reid makes them dangerous at totally random intervals.
4) Amari Cooper
What a game Cooper had. Ten receptions for 129 yards is a great day by any metric, even when you consider that Cooper didn't catch a touchdown pass. We've been throwing fits around here about Cooper's sideline toe-tapping skills and Cooper showed that he absolutely can do that, catching a number of passes with beautiful toe drags worthy of Cris Carter. Cooper is a premier receiver and will only get better.
1) Derek Carr
Just when the NFL and fantasy owners were beginning to trust Carr, he goes and has a game like this. 22/34 for 225 yards and a touchdown isn't terrible, but a costly interception and fumble really set the Raiders back, as did poor decisions and inaccurate throws on third down. Carr didn't play with much poise today and he cut several drives short by making bad reads when the Raiders really needed to extend drives.
2) Raiders offensive and defensive lines
Not only could the Raiders not get anything going on the ground, they also could not get past the Chiefs' patchwork offensive line. This team really misses having a regular right tackle and also having Mario Edwards on the interior. It's like night and day. Kansas City utterly dominated this game in the trenches and they could count on six yards a carry whenever they needed it. Pathetic effort up front on both ends.
3) Ken Norton Jr.
I know conditions were bad today and the Raiders have beaten some fine quarterbacks, but this sort of hapless bullshit has been going on for almost two seasons now. If Norton could fix the scheme and actually field a competent defense without Charles Woodson on the field, he would have done it by now. In the event Oakland misses the playoffs and doesn't have a top-20 defense, I expect Norton to be fired with prejudice.
4) Raider fans
Not only did word come down that the team would be moving in a few years pending league approval, but the home fans come out to support the team and get treated to this disaster of a game. There were bonehead moves and poor effort at every level. It was just disappointing to see a team that we know can play very well continually play so badly in front of the greatest fanbase in the entire world. Luckily, the Raiders go on the road for the next two weeks, where they are apparently unbeatable.