Man, that loss was painful. The opening drive for the Oakland Raiders was a thing of beauty, the rest of the game not so much. The Raiders only touchdown of the game came on their opening drive and then the rest of the way was all Kansas City as the Chiefs ran away with the 26-10 victory.
The weather was frightful, but the play of the Raiders defense was even worse. It is just impossible to comprehend how come Alex Smith is so unstoppable when he plays against Oakland. He even had been struggling this year so far, but sure enough when he plays the Raiders you get an entirely different beast. The guy only missed 3 passes all day, 3!
There have been a lot of angry calls about Ken Norton Jr.'s defense but this game really tops it off. There clearly is something seriously wrong with this defense and they do not appear close to figuring out what it is yet. It wasn't just Alex Smith decimating Norton's defense either this week, they also gave up 183 yards rushing to the Chiefs. It's bad enough letting Smith complete 19 of 22 passes, but to also not be able to stop the run means your team probably just got dominated.
It'd be one thing to watch Jamaal Charles run all over the Raiders defense, we are used to that anyway after all these years. However, it wasn't even Charles doing most of the damage this time, it was Spencer Ware who ran for 131 yards on just 24 carries. Those numbers were inflated by the one 45 yard run but still, the defense did not show up yesterday whatsoever.
What was really disappointing offensively though was for the Raiders to be so one dimensional. They even had DeAndre Washington running pretty well but they just didn't run nearly enough to take advantage of his 4.9 ypc. They had 34 pass attempts to only 17 rushes and 3 of those runs were from Derek Carr. The game was close enough for much of the way that the numbers shouldn't have been so drastically slanted to passing. The lack of balance definitely hurt the Raiders who consistently failed to put drives together all day.
Washington was being productive but the Raiders just kept throwing instead. Not having Latavius Murray has definitely hampered the rushing attack because he was the trusted veteran but Washington was running well when given the chance. It's frustrating that they didn't lean on Washington more in this game and it only becomes more irritating when seeing that Jalen Richard only had 4 carries in the entire game as well.
No turnovers caused for the Raiders while Derek Carr threw an interception and fumbled the ball away once is not going to cut it either. Both turnovers came at terrible times too. The interception when Oakland was up 7-0 swung all the momentum to KC and the fumble killed Oakland's last gasp effort to turn the game around. If Carr doesn't throw that interception and the Raiders score on that drive instead it could have changed the entire outcome of the game.
The fumble was even worse though. The Raiders were only down by 2 scores and they appeared to finally get a nice rhythm going when that fumble ended any chance Oakland had with just over 7 minutes to go in the game. If Carr is able to lead the team to score there they really did still have a chance to win. However, the moment Dee Ford knocked the ball loose on Carr's scramble the game was over.
A win in this game would have been huge, like franchise changing huge. To have gone to 5-1 and 2-0 in the division would have been such a humongous step forward, but the loss knocks them back down to a tie for the AFC West with Denver. It also puts KC right back into the discussion at 3-2 when a loss would have really left the Chiefs reeling. This Raiders team is clearly better than we have seen in many years, but they still were unable to win in a big divisional game which is very discouraging.
However, it is important to keep all of these games in perspective and as tough as it is to lose to the Chiefs, the Raiders still are in a very good position for this season overall. If someone had said the Raiders would be 4-2 after Week 6 going into the season there is no doubt that Raider Nation would have happily accepted that. They still are at the top of the AFC West and they will get another shot to take down KC in Week 14.
The scariest part of this loss actually wasn't even the game itself though. It was that it came directly after the Las Vegas Legislature O.K.'d the $750M public subsidy for a new stadium. That money makes the Raiders possible relocation seem all but certain now unless the NFL gets in the way. It's pretty damn worrisome to see this team play their worst game of the season directly after that news hit the wire.
It certainly could be coincidental that they played this flat after that news came out since it was a tough game against a historic rival in inclimate weather, but it does make me nervous nonetheless. If they play this bad again next week in Jacksonville against the Jaguars then that worry will go into overdrive.
The Jags are a better team this year and are coming off of a big comeback win for them against the Chicago Bears so it isn't the easiest game by any means. Still, the Raiders should now be expected to win this type of game after their great start to the year so if they play very badly again then there really could be a big problem brewing for the team.
A loss like this against the Chiefs puts a lot more pressure on playing well next week so hopefully we see the team respond positively to the added pressure. It will mean a lot for them to put this bad loss behind them quickly because you don't want the negatives from a loss like this to stick around. When you add in the possibility of the team being distracted by the Vegas news, another bad loss to Jacksonville next week would be downright devastating.