It must be Kansas City because Derek Carr is having another one of the worst games of his career. Something about Arrowhead just brings out the worst in him. Maybe it’s the noise. Maybe it’s that Andy Reid has his number. Maybe everything just gets in his head.
Seven times in his career, Carr has had a passer rating below 61. Three of those times were in Kansas City, including this one. Eleven times in his career he had more interceptions than touchdowns. Two of them were in Kansas City, including this one (0-2). Three of his five trips to KC he has not reached 200 yards passing, including this one (174).
His first interception was his first interception in 11 games – a streak that lasted 332 pass. That streak ended in epic fashion as Jared Cook wasn’t expecting the ball and it was picked clean and returned 54 yards for the score.
The next drive would end with a sack in which Carr pumped as if he were going to throw it, but decided not to, which had him hold onto the ball a bit too long (at least for this line) and when he did try to throw, he was hit for the strip sack. The Chiefs would take over at their own 40 and drive for their third TD of the game to take a 21-0 lead.
The following drive, the Raiders reached the Chiefs’ 34 where Carr threw over the middle and right to linebacker Reggie Ragland who returned it 67 yards to the 4-yard-line. Lucky for him, the Raiders defense stood strong at the goal line to keep the Chiefs from scoring off the turnover.
With a 21-3 deficit to begin the third quarter, the Raiders started moving, again approaching scoring range. And then went backward. Carr was sacked again and fumbled again – this time luckily not lost -- to put them in third and 20. A 10-yard pass to Jordy Nelson wasn’t the answer and they settled for a punt.
Down 28-3 in the fourth quarter, once again Carr found himself in third and a long way on a once promising drive. And once again, a short dump pass was his answer, leading to another punt. When you’re down 25 points in the fourth quarter, a dump pass is never the answer. By the time the Raiders got the ball back they were down 35-3. Game over.
Kolton Miller, Brandon Parker
The Raiders would like to everyone to notice only the play where Kolton Miller chased down Reggie Ragland from behind to keep him from scoring the Chiefs’ second pick six of the game. And here I am mentioning it and giving him mad props for it. Because it was a great hustle play, showing rare athleticism for a big man. But if hustle was all that mattered in the NFL, Aaron Curry would have had a career.
The rest of Miller’s day was not so great. It was pretty awful actually. As was Parker’s day. And after the two held up so well against the Broncos last week too.
First Parker couldn’t keep his block to disrupt an end around by Seth Roberts that was stopped for a four-yard loss. The next possession started with Miller giving up a run stuff for two yards. Later in the drive, Parker was flagged for false start to turn a third and one into a third and six. The Raiders were able to pick it up, but two plays later, Miller gave up the strip sack on Carr.
While the interior linemen were blocking for Doug Martin in the team’s scoring drive, Miller gave up a run stop that brought up third and 8. They would settle for a field goal.
There was one long completion in the game for the Raiders. It went 26 yards to Jordy Nelson. But it came back because Parker was called for holding. The next play Parker gave up a pressure to Justin Houston that had Carr step up into a sack by Dee Ford courtesy of Miller.
The final act came on the next drive early in the fourth quarter with Miller getting Carr sandwich sacked by Houston and Xavier Williams. Woof.
Tahir Whitehead, Nicholas Morrow, Arden Key
These Busters are brought to you by missed opportunities. First up was Whitehead, who dropped a gift interception on the second play of the game. The next play, on third down, Key got into the backfield on a free rush and looked to have Pat Mahomes wrapped up. But we should know by now, Key has rarely has the QB wrapped up. Had he actually wrapped up Mahomes, the Chiefs would have punted out of their own end zone. Instead, Mahomes completed a 12-yard pass to pick up the first down and three plays later, found Tyreek Hill for a 67-yard touchdown bomb.
The Chiefs offense took the field to begin the second quarter, already up 14-0. The table could have turned on the first play when Whitehead again had both hands on a gimme interception and dropped it. The next play Key overran it to give up a 6-yard run. A few plays later, Morrow gave up a 19-yard catch to put the Chiefs in the red zone. They would score their third touchdown a few plays later.
Morrow was brutal on the Chiefs’ final scoring drive. He gave up runs of 11, 15, and 13 yards. Then he too got a free run at Mahomes and couldn’t bring him down, leading to a 25-yard catch that put them at the 15-yard-line. And finally, he didn’t get over in time to stop the end around and it went the final 15 yards for the touchdown and our final score.
Rashaan Melvin, Karl Joseph, Nick Nelson
These Busters are brought to you by burnt toast. And boy were they. Two of the Chiefs’ four offensive touchdowns were long bombs in which the Raiders’ defensive backs were crispy. The first saw Tyreek Hill line up on the inside where he was matched up with Nelson. Karl Joseph was the deep safety, but he shaded over to protect from Travis Kelce breaking open, leaving Nelson one-on-one deep. That’s a throw you make all day. Hill got behind Nelson and was gone 67 yards for the score to open with a 7-0 lead.
The next touchdown for the Chiefs came in short yardage and Joseph was there, but was mowed over by the running back for the touchdown from 4 yards out. The third touchdown, saw Damien Robinson get behind Melvin one-on-one. Again, Joseph had deep safety responsibilities, but he was left covering no one over the middle while Robinson was making the catch with Melvin diving to make a play only to have Robinson go 89 yards for the score. He had so much room, he slowed down and backed into the end zone and was flagged for taunting.
Melvin gave up the big catch on the final scoring drive for 25 yards. It set the Chiefs up at the 15 and they scored their fifth touchdown on the next play.
Derek Carr said last week that it takes a lot of things to go right to keep his interception streak alive. Including some luck. By the same token, it takes just one mistake to end it all. Cook thought the Raiders were running the ball. Carr intended to pass it. To him. While he was thinking his duties of being a blocker/decoy were done, the ball was in the air coming his way. Daniel Sorenson’s eyes got real big. He easily picked off the pass and was on his way for a 54-yard pick six before Cook even knew what happened. Not the way he wanted an otherwise career-year to end.