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Raiders week 13 report card vs Chiefs: Running backs cough it up three times

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

If there is a silver lining to the way things have gone recently it’s that despite losing week after week the Raiders are playing hard and competing. Sure they came up short again in the fourth quarter as they have done many times this year, but the players are showing no signs of quitting.

Going into the game the Raiders were 15.5-point underdogs, many expected the Chiefs to completely dominant the game. Instead the Raiders gave the AFC conference leading, Chiefs everything they could handle in a 40-33 thriller.

Let’s take a look at the Raiders week 13 report card.

Aerial Attack: A-

During the game Derek Carr moved into second place on the Raiders all time passing yardage list, surpassing Rich Gannon.

The passing game looked very good today, Derek Carr played one of his better games of the year. Carr completed 29 of 38 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.

Jordy Nelson was Carr’s favorite target today catching 10 balls for 97 yards. Jared Cook continued to be the Raiders most reliable receiving option. Cook caught seven of eight targets for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Ground Game: C+

The three headed running attack of Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington had a very productive day on the ground racking up 171 yards on 28 carries.

The issue for them was ball security, each one of them had a fumble. Giving an explosive offense like the Chiefs is a recipe for disaster.

Offensive Line: B

The Chiefs have a solid front with Chris Jones, Justin Houston, and Dee Ford. And although the offensive line did allow three sacks the overall performance one a positive one.

The run blocking was very good, Raiders running backs had a 6.1 yards per carry average. This group gives up sacks there’s no doubt about, Carr was sacked for the 36th time today which equals the past two seasons combined.

The sacks were not game wreckers. Derek Carr was still able to have a very successful day throwing the football.

Defensive Line: D

Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes has exceptional escapability skills there’s no denying that but the Raiders pass rush rarely posed a threat to Mahomes. Another game without a sack.

The Chiefs used a committee of runners to make up for the absence of Kareem Hunt. Spencer Ware and Damien Williams combined for 85 yards on 19 carries. The Chiefs were led in rushing by Patrick Mahomes who was able to scramble for 52 yards.

The Raiders allowed the Chiefs to rush for 174 yards total.

Linebackers: B

The linebackers have been a major weakness for the defense this year but have played better recently. Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow led the defense in tackles with seven a piece.

The crew of linebackers is still far from being a respectable group but they have shown progress in tackling in space and in coverage.

Secondary: F

It was not a good performance from the secondary, especially the safeties. The Raiders secondary had no answer for tight end, Travis Kelce who had himself a big day (12-168-2TD). Daryl Worley and Marcus Gilchrst were both guilty of giving up touchdowns to Kelce and Reggie Nelson gave up a big play that was nearly a third Kelce touchdown.

Special Teams: B-

Johnny Townsend was boo’d by the home crowd after his first punt of the game went 22 yards. Townsend does not appear to be the long term answer at punter for the Raiders.

Daniel Carlson on the other hand continues to impress as the Raiders place kicker. Carlson connected on two field goals, one from 50 yards and all three of his extra point attempts. The signing of Carlson is one of the better moves the Raiders have made this season.

Dwayne Harris was a non factor in the return game, but had a very heads up play on a kick off that gave the Raiders the ball at the 40-yard-line.

Overall: B-