Things got off to a great start for the Raiders, getting points on each of their opening possessions while forcing the Chiefs to punt. The Raiders early 10-0 lead was short lived, in the second quarter the Chiefs offense showed why they are consider to be one of the most explosive in the league putting up 28 unanswered points.
The Chiefs burned the Raiders defense for big play after big play all afternoon. The Chiefs scored on plays of 44, 42, 27, and 39 yards. And that was without their biggest weapon, Tyreek Hill.
The Raiders were plagued by injuries, costly penalties, and turnovers that helped contribute to the debacle that took place on Sunday.
Let’s take a look at the Raiders week one report card.
Aerial Attack: C-
A week after grading out with an A, the passing game took a major step backwards this week. Derek Carr looked confident and in control last week and against Chiefs he looked out of sync and flustered.
With the exception of the first and second series of the game the passing attack was ice cold. If you want to play with the Chiefs you have to be able to put points on the board.
What become very apparent throughout the game was how badly the Raiders need a wide receiver two to emerge. Tyrell Williams had himself another nice game catching five balls for 46 yards and a touchdown, as well as tight end Darren Waller who lead the team with six catches for 63 yards.
After Williams and Waller, Hunter Renfrow was next with four catches for 30 yards. Ryan Grant who is the starting wideout opposite Williams was a non-factor in the game.
Trailing 28-10 early in the third quarter the Raiders had an opportunity to cut the Chiefs lead to 28-17. With a first and goal from the Chiefs four yard line, facing a stacked box and what looked like a blitz, Carr changed the play at the line.
Seeing Tyrell Williams in single coverage, Carr opted to throw a fade to the corner of the end zone. However, there was a miscommunication between Carr and Williams and the pass was intercepted. On the Raiders next possession, Carr was again picked off. There may have been a missed defensive pass inference call on the play but nonetheless, any hope the Raiders had of a comeback was thwarted.
Ground Game: B+
Josh Jacobs followed up his first career game with another very productive outing. Jacobs rushed 12 times for 99 yards, that’s 8.3 yards per carry. Jacobs was dealing with an unknown injury for parts of the game and was seen heading to the locker room at certain points.
The run game was effective but playing from behind the entire second half they just didn’t get the opportunities. As a team the Raiders logged 19 rushing attempts for 129 yards. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have yet to establish themselves in the offense.
Offensive Line: B
Once again the offensive line held up fairly well against a decent Chiefs front with Chris Jones on the interior and Frank Clark on the outside.
Run blocking was very good, paving the way for 128 yards on the ground. Derek Carr was sacked for the first time when Chris Jones was able to get through the line with 1:41 left in the first half.
Trent Brown left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury he suffered while chasing down a Chiefs defender who intercepted Derek Carr’s pass. Brandon Parker replaced Brown and did allow a sack, although it was more of a coverage sack.
Defensive Line: C-
Despite two sacks from a combination of Benson Mayowa and PJ Hall, the defensive line didn’t do enough to create pressure on Mahomes. Too many times Mahomes was allowed to take a deep drop and bomb one down field.
Watching the defensive line today felt a lot like watching the 2018 Raiders. Against the run the line was stout, allowing only 31 yards on 22 carries.
Mayowa and Hall combined on a sack that lead to a fumble which the Raiders recovered. Mayowa now has three and a half sacks on the year.
Like most of the team the linebackers did some good things early. Vontaze Burfict was all over the place to start the game, Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow also made some plays in both the run and pass game.
Hard to pin the poor performance on the linebackers, this one had little to do with their production. They do take some of the blame for allowing the Chiefs to twice score on drives that started on their own five yard line.
Big plays was a major issue for the Raiders defense in 2018 and after Sunday’s game it still remains a problem. The secondary from top to bottom was terrible.
It didn’t matter if it was Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, Karl Joseph, Lamarcus Joyner, Keisean Nixon, or Curtis Riley they were all equally bad. There were plays where the coverage appeared to be there but Mahomes delivered a beautiful ball but then there were plays where receivers were running wide open. Things could have been much considering a 75 yard Mecole Hardman touchdown was negated by penalty.
Demarcus Robinson had a career high 172 yards on six catches.
Special Teams: B+
The kicking game was on point today, especially punter AJ Cole. Twice Cole pinned the Chiefs at the five yard line and boomed his longest punt of 60 yards.
Daniel Carlson made his only field goal and extra point attempt.
The kick cover teams were strong, allowing only 37 yards on two kick returns and 48 yards on six punts. Dwayne Harris did leave the game with an ankle injury he sustained while covering a punt.