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Todd Downing took Raiders offense away from proven successful game plan versus Chiefs

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The Raiders offensive coordinator did a masterful job of stopping his own offense in Kansas City.

NFL: Oakland Raiders-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a big loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was honorable, taking the blame for the loss. He said, “Don’t you blame one coach, one player. It is all my fault.”

Sure, Carr didn’t play well at all Sunday but he also wasn’t put in position to succeed. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing’s game plan was the opposite of what beats the Chiefs.

The Chiefs are susceptible to the run, the deep ball, and the tight end. The Raiders used two of the three to pull out a 31-30 win with running back Marshawn Lynch suspended the first time the two teams played. This time, the Raiders had Lynch coming in hot after his first 100-yard game with them so you’d think they’d use him.

Downing would say that he couldn’t get the running game going because the Raiders fell behind early. But if he got the running game going they might not have fallen behind so quickly. Perhaps two running plays could set up a 3rd-and-short and help the Raiders avoid all those three-and-outs early in the game.

The Raiders might not have been able to get the deep ball going with receiver Amari Cooper on his injured ankle. But they could have gotten it going with Cordarrelle Patterson and/or Johnny Holton. As far as Cooper goes, anything would have been better than sending him out there as a lead blocker on a bubble screen causing him to aggravate his ankle injury.

Tight end Jared Cook had a 100-yard game last time the Raiders played the Chiefs. But Downing didn’t even bother to see if the Chiefs learned how to stop him early on. By the time Downing found out they couldn’t, the game was already out of reach.

Either way, this experiment with Downing has gone horribly wrong and has to end soon. It appeared as if Downing was starting to learn the previous two games after an inconsistent first-10 games. But he is who he is, determined to make his brand work no matter how much it doesn’t fit with the personnel he has.