If you haven’t heard that Derek Carr is 0-5 at Arrowhead Stadium, you’ve been living under a rock. It’s something he is asked about each year and something he will continue to be asked about until he can change the narrative.
“Honestly, every time we play there, it’s funny you ask that,” Carr said of being winless at Arrowhead. “The last couple times it’s like, ‘Oh, we are playing the Chiefs? Oh dang, we haven’t won there yet.’ And they’ve been a really good football team for a long time. It’s a tough place to win. You can ask a lot of people that have been through there, it’s not easy. I think even the year the Patriots went to Super Bowl, they went there and got blown out there in Arrowhead. It’s not easy to play there. It’s loud. It’s rowdy. They put up a lot of points, they do a lot of things right on defense. It’s just tough to play there, tough place, but that’s why we play the games. You look forward to moments like this.”
Tough place to play is right. In five games at Kansas City, Carr is averaging 186 yards passing with three touchdown passes, five interceptions, and a 56 percent completion rate. For reference in his other 84 career games, Carr has averaged 243 yards passing per game, completing 65 percent of his passes.
Things won’t get any easier this year for Carr. The Chiefs are coming off a bye week, and throughout his career Andy Reid is 17-3 after bye weeks. Another factor working against Carr is the inclement weather approaching. It’s supposed to be in the 30s with a wintery mix to boot.
ESPN personality Trey Wingo put out a tweet on Tuesday with some not so flattering statistics about the lack of success Derek Carr has had in cold weather games.
So @coachdelrio knows what he speaks of. Said Derek Carr does't like cold weather games. In games where temp is under 40 at kickoff.. here are his numbers:— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 26, 2019
152 Pass YPG
51% Comp pct
9 Total QBR
Temps at Arrowhead will be in the 30's Sunday
You can make what you want with the data, but the fact of the matter is analytics are not in the Raiders favor this week.
In his Monday press conference, Jon Gruden was asked about preparing for the cold temperatures expected on Sunday.
“I’m not a genius, I’m not Thomas Edison, I don’t know how to do that” said Gruden. “We’re just trying to show pictures of people that are cold, that deal with cold. I don’t know we’re not going to over analyze it.”
One thing that’s different this year is unlike in the past, the Raiders offense is built around a big, physical offensive line and a strong run game. The formula for victory in Arrowhead, with the cold, wet conditions will be to control the tempo of the game by pounding the rock with Josh Jacobs.
The Chiefs run defense ranks 30th in the league (143 avg/game), so that is an area Gruden should look to attack to take some pressure off of Carr. Of course, when the Chiefs are on offense, not allowing them to score at will would also help.
I won’t go as far as calling this a “must win,” but with a loss, the path to the playoffs looks extremely murky. A win puts them into a tie for the AFC West division lead.