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In season-ending debacle in Kansas City, Raiders give up three sacks, get none to set new franchise worst sack differential

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Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

It’s quite amazing just how bad the Raiders were at getting to the quarterback this season. They came into their season finale against the Chiefs dead last by a large margin with 13.0 sacks on the season. And they left with an even wider margin.

They didn’t put up one sack on Pat Mahomes in Kansas City Sunday. The closest they had was Arden Key getting into the backfield on the third play of the game. But as has been an issue with Key all season long, he was unable to close the deal.

Instead of what would have been a sack, leading to a punt out of their own end zone, Mahomes spun out of Key’s grasp and completed a 12-yard pass for the first down. Three plays later, Tyreek Hill would break open and Mahomes would complete a pass to him for a 67-yard touchdown.

On the flipside, Derek Carr was sacked three times. The first of those sacks saw Justin Houston come around the left edge and knocked the ball out of Carr’s hand as he tried to throw. Carr double pumped it, allowing Houston enough time to get around left tackle Kolton Miller for the strip sack and recovery.

The Chiefs would take over at their own 40-yard-line and they would drive for their third touchdown to take a 21-0 lead.

The second sack was also a strip sack, but this time Doug Martin was there to recover it. That one saw Brandon Parker give up initial pressure on the right side to Justin Houston and then Miller allow Dee Ford to crash the pocket for the sack.

Two rookie tackles isn’t ideal for any team and the two have been pretty brutal for the Raiders this year, allowing 52 sacks this season. Despite Carr’s previous most sacks allowed being 31 (2015) and his sack total this season being more than his previous two seasons combined (36), Carr took some blame for the sacks.

“Physically it was hard. Just calling it what it is. It was tough, but that’s my job. Gotta do that sometimes,” said Carr of the number of sacks he took this year. “I look at it and say ‘man [52] is there half those that I could’ve erased? Could I have thrown it at somebody’s feet? Could I have check some off when it wasn’t the premiere look? . . Hopefully we’ll get back to work and figure out how to eliminate my portion of those because it’s not all on the offensive linemen.”

With no Raiders getting a hand on Mahomes again in the game, they would finish -3 in sack differential in the game, setting a new franchise record low -39 sack differential.

That is tied for the 8th worst sack differential in NFL history, and the second worst in the past 16 years, behind only the 1-win 2016 Browns. So, obviously a recipe for losing games.