Most of you probably would prefer not to relive the stinker the Raiders put up in Kansas City Thursday night. But the show must go on. The credit and blame must be handed out if for no other reason than posterity and perhaps, for some of you, catharsis.
Just as previous opponents did to the Raiders, the Chiefs jumped out to a big lead. But unlike previous games, the Raiders couldn’t get out of their own way in order to make a comeback.
Despite forcing three turnovers deep inside Chiefs territory, the Raiders could get just 6 points out of it on two field goals. They had a good chance to tie it late, reaching as far as the Kansas City 14-yard-line, but shot themselves in the foot pretty much across the board and lost 21-13.
The same day he voted the FedEx ground player of the week for his play against the Bills in week 13, Murray improved upon that performance with a 103-yard, one touchdown performance in this game. He was the one Raiders offensive skill position player that was actually functioning at a high level.
He had runs of 5 yards, 5 yards, and 7 yards on each of the Raiders’ first three possessions, but the offense went away from him each time and stalled. On the final possession of the first half, the Raiders offense finally was able to get moving. On that drive, Murray had 5 carries for 26 yards including an 11-yard run on third and 1 and the one-yard touchdown to send bring the Raiders back from a blowout, to being down 21-10 at the half.
Throughout the third quarter, Murray continued to be the only part of the offense that was functioning, putting up nearly twice as many rushing yards (34) as Derek Carr has passing yards (18). And that continued into the fourth quarter, with Murray adding another 15 yards on the first series with the rest of the offense getting nothing.
After picking up a first down on third and two on the team’s final drive, they didn’t utilize him in short yardage with the game on the line for some reason. I guess that would have made too much sense. His touchdown in this game from one yard out was his 12th of the season which is tied for the second most behind only LeGarrette Blount’s 13.
The Chiefs came into this game with the best turnover ratio in the league. Part of that is ball security. Usually they lose when they turn the ball over. They turned it over three times in this game, and one of them was Khalil Mack with his now signature strip sack.
The Chiefs’ second half started with three plays and two turnovers. The second was Mack coming around the left edge to swat down Alex Smith’s arm for the strip sack.
Mack’s first play stopped the Chiefs’ first third down attempt of the game. He made the stuff on the run for two yards in third and three. The Chiefs then went for it on fourth and one and failed to pick it up for the turnover on downs. So, I suppose in that regard, he contributed to a couple turnovers. Unfortunately, the Raiders offense and special teams failed them in both instances and they were unable to get any points out of it.
When Mack made the strip sack, he was unable to corral it, so Autry made the recovery. Before that, in the first quarter, he got pressure up the middle on third down to force an incompletion to end the Chiefs’ second drive with a punt.
Early in the fourth quarter, he teamed up for a tackle for a loss to set up third down, which the Chiefs were unable to convert. Then he ended the next series with a tackle on a short catch for a three-and-out to give the Raiders the ball for one last chance with just over 7 minutes on the clock.
The other defensive turnover came courtesy of Carrie. It was the second play of the third quarter and Carrie got a bead on an Alex Smith pass over the middle and picked it clean, returning it 14 yards to the 18-yard-line. The Raiders couldn’t get in the end zone, but the field goal off the turnover made it a one-score game.
It would remain a one-score game heading into the fourth quarter and Carrie helped keep it that way with tight coverage to force and incompletion on third and four on the Chiefs’ first drive of the final quarter.
Earlier in the game, he made a strong tackle to stop a catch for one yard and set up a third and long which led to a punt and kept the Chiefs scoreless in the first quarter. That was the only catch he ‘gave up’ in the game. He had no penalties either. And to think he has been sitting behind DJ Hayden all season.
Without his steady left guard compadre Kelechi Osemele by his side, Hudson picked up the cause was a one-man wrecking crew in the middle. Against a pretty stout Chiefs defensive interior, Hudson was routinely driving his man up field.
His blocking was a big reason Murray was able to have the day he did. He was a key blocker on at least six runs totaling 37 yards (6.1 yards per carry). And as usual, he had no issues with his snaps in the shotgun or pistol despite the cold weather. It makes sense. After all, the Raiders were in Kansas City, where Hudson spent the first four years of his career. He should be pretty familiar with the turf and the climate.
Perry Riley Jr – On consecutive drives in the third quarter he had tight coverage on tight end Travis Kelce on third and one to force a punt and teamed up for a tackle for loss to set up a third down and another punt. Contributed to holding Chiefs to 2.4 yards per carry on the day.