Fourth time’s the charm? Is that a thing? The Raiders are hoping it is for Derek Carr who will be making his fourth trip to Kansas City looking for his first win in Arrowhead.
Now would be a good time to get that first win. Last season’ trip to KC for Carr was of equal import, and that one turned out to be arguably the worst performance of his career, completing just 17 passes (41%) for 117 yards with no touchdowns and a 49.1 passer rating.
That loss was devastating for Carr and the Raiders. Heading into it, Carr was in the Raiders had a 10-2 record and Carr was an MVP candidate. Afterward, Carr disappeared from that discussion, and the Chiefs completed the sweep, which at the end of the season is what cost the Raiders the division and knocked them down to the five seed.
Arrowhead has been a house of horrors for Carr thus far in his career. For that reason, winning there is his top priority.
“Number one!” Carr said of where he ranks winning at Arrowhead. “Definitely number one right now, especially this week. It’s definitely up there. It’s something that we have not been able to do since I’ve been here. We have to get on that. We have a tough task ahead of us because, although their record is the same as ours, we’re both pretty good football teams. We have to go out there and play hard.”
In three career games at Arrowhead, Carr has completed 50% of his passes, averaged 177.7 yards passing per game, and a overall 62.76 passer rating. The Raiders offense has twice failed to score more than a touchdown and has averaged just 14.3 points per game.
Even when the Raiders lost in Kansas City last season, they were still on track for the playoffs. This season a loss could very well knock them out of the playoffs.
There’s also no excuse for the Raiders to lose this game. They have the momentum, having won four of their last six, and the Chiefs having lost six of their last seven.
Derek Carr has no excuse not to play well either. The Chiefs will be without Marcus Peters and Dee Ford; their best cornerback and pass rusher from last season respectively. Even without Amari Cooper, who had career numbers against the Chiefs in their first meeting this season.
His heroics in that first meeting in week 7 were commendable, but to do it at Arrowhead would truly be something special. The difference between a win and a loss can’t be understated. A would would be a milestone for Carr and a statement that thrusts this team back to playoff contender. A loss would be downright devastating.