After being outscored 74-12 over the last two games, the Raiders have come crashing back to Earth. They’re now 6-6, and their record is indicative of who they are in 2019 — an average team.
With a 6-4 record, things seemed chipper around the organization. Playoffs were a legitimately obtainable goal and young players looking well ahead of schedule had much to do with it. But Oakland hasn’t looked quite so average over the past two games. Far from it, in fact. Between the Raiders opening drive field goal against the Jets and their garbage time points at Arrowhead, they were outscored 65-0.
The Raiders couldn’t function in any phase today, even on special teams. The team had a fumbled kick return, missed a field goal and then had a PAT returned for 2 points. Woah.
Last week, I suggested that the Raiders should burn the tape. Maybe that was a bad idea. They need to internalize these losses, let them truly marinate, and use them as fuel for the rest of the season and beyond.
Josh Jacobs, the bulldozer
Jacobs was the only thing working on offense all game for the Raiders, and the team should’ve leaned on him even more in key situations.
He started the game off with 7 carries for 55 yards, gashing a porous Chiefs defense up the middle, off-tackle, and every which way. He finished the first half with 14 carries for 95 yards, while the rest of Oakland’s runners finished with 3 yards on 4 carries.
Yet, in the second half, as things started to slip away, Jacobs received just 3 carries for 9 yards. He finished with 17 for 104 and is now up to 1,061 yards on 218 attempts this season. That’s already the 11th best yardage mark by any Raider running back in franchise history.
Youth on defense
At one point, the Raiders were holding Patrick Mahomes to 11 of 25 passing for 104 yards and were still down 24-0. Kansas City was averaging 3.9 yards per rush and 4.2 yards per pass, but the Raiders were still were getting dominated because of their turnovers and offensive ineptitude.
The defense actually looked capable despite being put in horrible situations time and time again. Trayvon Mullen had a key third down pass breakup to force a field goal, then had an interception in the endzone in press-man coverage. That interception was controversially overturned, but that doesn’t take away from Mullen’s effort on the play.
Maxx Crosby was quietly his consistently disruptive self today. He had a pair of big TFLs and had multiple quarterback hurries despite facing limited pass rushing situations. Maurice Hurst chipped in with a 12-yard sack and the young players on the defensive line continued to look like a budding foundation.
Total penalty domination
The Raiders ability to truly dominate the Chiefs on penalties was the sensation of the night.
Kansas City never stood a chance.
Oakland finished with 12 penalties for 99 yards on the day. The Chiefs? They were shut out with 0 penalties for 0 yards.
See? Total domination.
Tahir Whitehead was so set on winning the penalty battle that he tried to get two on a single play. With 13:08 to play in the third quarter, Whitehead burst through a stationary Kansas City offensive line for what would normally be an offsides penalty, but he didn’t stop there. Instead, Whitehead persevered, disregarding any and all whistles as he ran straight into Mahomes to obtain an unnecessary roughness penalty. It’s too bad they couldn’t count both penalties at once. That’s clearly what Whitehead was going for.
This was the worst game of the season for Derek Carr, even after a shoddy showing in Week 12. After throwing an early interception to Tyrann Mathieu, Carr looked timid and indecisive until garbage time. Juan Thornhill later returned Carr’s second interception to the house to make it 21-0.
I wouldn’t be surprised if half of all Raider fans in America turned off the TV as Thornhill crossed the goal line. If you did, you didn’t miss much.
Carr had bouts of tunnel vision with receivers jumping up and down, waiving their hands and pleading for the ball. He even pulled a Mike Glennon and dropped a snap. Prior to this game, Carr tried to brush off concerns from media members about his past performances at Arrowhead, but he was downright awful in this one.
To punish him, Jon Gruden left Carr in for the entire game rather than throwing Glennon into the mix like he did in Week 12. The 28-year-old responded by doing everything he could to salvage his box score, completing 8 of 9 passes over the game’s final five minutes for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Trevor “can’t hit the hole” Davis
With Dwayne Harris on injured reserve and Hunter Renfrow out with a broken rib and punctured lung, Davis was given more responsibility as the kick returner, punt returner and potential option on offense.
He quite literally “dropped the ball” in his expanded role, fumbling a first quarter kick return that gave the Chiefs prime field position. Later, Davis got the call on a jet sweep on a critical 4th and 1. Instead of hitting an open hole off the right edge, Davis tried to stretch the play out towards the sideline and was promptly stuffed for no gain.
Davis was brought in midseason for a sixth-round pick and expected to give the Raiders a boost to their return game and receiving corps. After today’s showing, he’s probably fallen out of favor with Gruden for good.
The entire receiving corps
Who knew Hunter Renfrow could make this big of a difference for the Raiders offense.
Up until the five minute mark in the fourth quarter, the entire receiving corps had combined to make 1 catch for 8 yards on 4 targets. No, that’s not a typo. After Carr’s flurry of garbage time passes, the unit finished with 4 catches for 34 yards on 8 targets.
Without “3rd and Renfrow” on the field, the Raiders were forced to either look to Darren Waller or the rotation of running backs almost exclusively in passing scenarios. Tyrell Williams, the man who is supposed to be the Raiders No. 1 receiver, had just 1 catch for 9 yards.
This complicates evaluations of Carr, as this already thin offensive arsenal has become downright abysmal.
- The Raiders finish 8-8 — a big step forward from last season
- Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden consider moving on from Derek Carr this offseason, hosting QBs for workouts in the pre-draft process and putting out feelers for veterans
- The bus leaves without Trevor Davis