The Raiders held the Chiefs scoreless in the first quarter. But the moment they went to the second quarter, everything changed. We’re talking the first play of the second quarter, it was bombs away, Mahomes finding his receiver for a 44-yard touchdown.
On the play, Lamarcus Joyner was spying the motion man, staying short and thinking he had help deep. He did not and DeMarcus Robinson got wide open for the score.
The next possession, the Chiefs again drove into Oakland territory, but were in third and 20. Usually a death sentence for your drive, but not only was it not a death sentence, it was another touchdown on a bomb. From a 44-yard touchdown on one drive to a 42-yard bomb on the next. Again, the receiver got behind Joyner, and again he got no help. This time safety Curtis Riley was there and should have offered help, but instead just let Mecole Hardman blow by him.
And just like that, it was 14-10 Chiefs. As you might expect, Joyner points to miscommunication as the primary factor to the Raiders issues.
“I think it was just a communication thing,” said Joyner. “I think the guys in this room, one, you look at the one-on-one matchups you want for the most part. We had two plays that we gave to them by miscommunication. Got a lot of new guys in the system, we just have to communicate and we’re going to get better. That’s why you have for us, 19 games for us.”
The new guys in the system are Curtis Riley, and, well, Joyner himself. The other corners and safety Karl Joseph were here last year and should be familiar.
It wasn’t all miscommunications that were the problem because the Chiefs weren’t nearly done and the other scores were just the Raiders DBs getting beaten.
The first was Travis Kelce getting behind Karl Joseph and Erik Harris wasn’t able to get over in time to help out. That wasn’t even a miscommunication, that was just an MVP to an All Pro.
The final touchdown was just an incredible catch by DeMarcus Robinson with Gareon Conley draped all over him.
The first two touchdowns were preventable. The last two were just the Chiefs making great plays. So, really both Joyner and Joseph are correct. Since the Raiders only scored ten points, even the two touchdowns were enough. But it got out of hand with the other two.
The miscommunications could be attributed to the loss of first round safety Johnathan Abram who looked great in the season opener last Monday even after he injured his shoulder — an injury that would need surgery and send him to injured reserve.
But if Abram’s absence or miscommunications were the problem, Karl Joseph isn’t buying it. He says it was just the Chiefs beat the Raiders straight up, and at least for the third and fourth TD, he may be right.
“No, it isn’t an excuse,” Joseph said. “I think they outplayed us today. I think we came out without him and looked good and they kept playing and it’s shows what kind of team they are. They went to the AFC Championship Game last year for a reason so they’re a good team. But then we played well early on, and it just kind of all got away from us. They made a couple of plays and we’ve got to be better prepared for that next time.”
By the same token, the Chiefs didn’t score at all in the second half. One potential reason is that they were not pushing the ball down the field as they were because the Raiders offense wasn’t threatening to close the lead. But Joyner saw a Raiders defense that made the corrections from the first half and turned the tables, at least from a defensive standpoint.
“We eliminated the mistakes,” said Joyner. “I didn’t see them back off at all. I felt like they were doing the same plays. I mean, if you look at the film, they really scored two big touchdowns off miscommunication. If you look at the film, there’s other than a few plays when they beat us while we were in man-coverage and we were on our stuff, so I wouldn’t take anything away from my defense. Because if they can put 50 on you, they will.”
He has a point. The Chiefs aren’t really known for taking their foot off the gas pedal. So, it would seem the Raiders came out of that second half having learned from their mistakes and making those corrections immediately.
For that reason, there could be a glimmer of a bright spot in this. It wasn’t going to go swimmingly with Abram lost in the season opener. But if the Raiders secondary can hold up like they did in the second half against the Chiefs, they may be able to do their part to help the Raiders stay competitive.
“We’ve got a lot to learn from,” Joyner added. “I mean, we’re 1-1. We have 14 more regular season games promised to us. We’re going to get better. I guarantee that.”
Now about that offense that was shut out for three quarters...