Instant Replay: Raiders offense hits wall in loss to Chiefs

Instant Replay: Raiders offense hits wall in loss to Chiefs


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Raiders had a lot working against them Thursday night. They had to travel two time zones on a short week to play the biggest game of the season in bitter cold.

The uphill climb proved too daunting for the Silver and Black, who snapped a six game win streak with a 21-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

This result puts the Chiefs atop the AFC West. Both teams are 10-3, but Kansas City owns an all-important tiebreaker with a season sweep over Oakland with three games to play.

The Raiders now need help to win the division. If that doesn’t happen, they’ll likely end up in the Wild Card pool, where they would likely spend the playoffs on the road should they qualify for the postseason.

The Raiders were down eight points for most of the second half, with the Oakland defense holding the Chiefs down and the Raiders offense scuffling along in the cold. The passing game was disjointed at times, a complete mess at others with everyone save the line sharing in blame.

The offense had an important shot to score, with a drive that started at the Raiders' 26-yard line with 8 minutes, 26 seconds remaining.

The team with six fourth-quarter comebacks couldn’t secure a second. The Raiders marched down to the Kansas City 19-yard line but couldn’t punch it in. Derek Carr and Seth Roberts couldn’t hook up on 4th-and-6 and the Raiders turned it over on downs.

The Raiders offense struggled through this game. Quarterback Derek Carr was off most of the night, without the pinpoint accuracy characteristic of his throws.

Receivers weren’t helping him out either, with several drops in key moments. That was especially true of Roberts and Michael Crabtree, who couldn’t corral golden opportunities.

The biggest belonged to Amari Cooper, who was wide open deep and couldn’t track down a floating pass that likely would’ve been a touchdown had he caught it.

That unit was just 5-for-18 on third down, a clip that doesn’t help win games.

The Raiders scored just six points off just three turnovers, which is the main reason why they lost this pivotal contest.

The defense tightened up in the second half especially, with a pair of third-quarter takeaways followed by solid third-down defense that gave the offense plenty of opportunities.

Latavius Murray was running strong, and finished with 103 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Carr really struggled, with his worst game of the year. That was evident in his stat line: 17-of-41 passing for 117 yards, no touchdowns and a 49.1 passer rating.

The first half did not go the Raiders’ way. They were down 21-10 after two quarters, a stretch only salvaged with a last-second touchdown from Latavius Murray before the half.

Before that, it was all Chiefs. The Raiders opened scoring with a field goal following a muffed punt recovered by James Cowser.

Then Kansas City rattled off 21 unanswered points, including a 36-yard touchdown catch by Tyreek Hill and 78-yard punt return by the same guy and a 3-yard TD run by Charcandrick West.

Things got better in the second half thanks to defensive takeaways. TJ Carrie intercepted a pass deep in Chiefs territory, and the Raiders left with a field goal. Khalil Mack had a strip sack on the next series that Denico Autry recovered, but the Raiders squandered a shot at points when Marquette King couldn’t corral a slightly errant snap in time for Sebastian Janikowski to put a boot on it.

Kelce mocks Marquette:Tyreek Hill returned a Marquette King put 78 yards for a touchdown, something the Chiefs surely enjoyed. Afterward, tight end Travis Kelce found King and did a bronco riding dance – King dances after good punts, and did that one versus Denver – King ended up chasing down Hill and taunting him. That action drew a flag.

Sitting it out: Left guard Kelechi Osemele was a late scratch due to illness. He was replaced by Jon Feliciano and Vadal Alexander on the inside. The Raiders were also missing two other starters in safety Karl Joseph and defensive tackle Stacy McGee. Defensive tackle Darius Latham missed a second straight game with ankle injury, the Raiders thin on the defensive interior.

What’s next: The Raiders will have a mini bye over the weekend, giving them an extended stretch before playing their second road game in as many weeks. The travel to San Diego for another AFC West showdown against the last-place Chargers.

Irvin becomes Key role model for Raiders rookie, ‘I see a lot of myself in Arden’


Irvin becomes Key role model for Raiders rookie, ‘I see a lot of myself in Arden’

Arden Key was a first-round talent coming out of LSU. That seemed clear cut. The dynamic edge rusher could flat get after the quarterback, but character concerns were expected to drive him down the NFL Draft board. Key got in some trouble growing up in the Atlanta area and had some issues in college that could scare teams away.

People were saying the same thing about Bruce Irvin in 2012. Ultimately, he didn’t take a tumble. The Seattle Seahawks took a chance with the No. 15 overall pick and kept Irvin from falling.

Key had a different experience, dropping to No. 89 where the Raiders picked him up.

It might’ve been the best thing for him. Key has a meaningful role on the team, and a mentor in waiting. That last part became clear quickly, when Irvin said nice things about him on NFL Network, welcomed him shortly after the draft and passed along his cell phone number during rookie minicamp.

Irvin wasn’t going to let this kid get lost in the NFL experience. The veteran edge rusher wanted to make Key’s road smoother than it was for him, to be a resource and mentor to this young talent.

“I just see a lot of myself in Arden,” Irvin said on The Raiders Insider Podcast. “When he was coming out, he had red flags. People were scared to take a chance on him, but he was a first-round guy. You can’t sit back and tell me that all the edge rushers drafted before him are better. I put Arden up there with the best of them.”

Key also held Irvin in high esteem. They both come from greater Atlanta, growing up in undesirable areas. Irvin was an example of someone who was down for the count but got up and made something great.

“It also helps that we’re from the same area,” Key said in an interview also featured on The Raiders Insider Podcast. “I’ve been hearing stories about him since I was younger. I was already looking up to him way be back then.”

Irvin has become a role model to many these days. He went back to school and got his college degree from West Virginia this summer. He has become active with several East Bay charitable endeavors and has raised money for the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. He was also named the Raiders’ Walter Payton Man of the Year last season.

Irvin considers it his calling to stand as an example that you can reach great heights after dealing with great adversity.

While their experiences are different, Irvin and Key have been through their fair share. Key was suspended in high school and briefly in college, reportedly stepping away from the Tigers program for a rehab stint. Irvin got himself in trouble growing up, and dealt with a four-game suspension his second year in Seattle.

Irvin came out on the other side of rough spells, which is why the rookie’s trying to follow in No. 51’s footsteps.

“He’s been great with on-field stuff, and off-field stuff, too,” Key said. “There’s a lot of stuff that he did that I did when I was younger. If he tells me something, it’s meaningful because he has been where I’ve been, and right now he’s at the place I’m trying to go.”

Irvin wants to help get him there. That will benefit the Raiders, their pass rush and the player himself. Key has drawn rave reviews for his practice prowess – though he hasn’t played a professional game yet – and commitment to his craft.

“I just try to stay on him because we need him. You and I both know we’ve been lacking in the sack totals. Arden and those younger (defensive linemen), we need them. It’s his responsibility to work here on the field, but also to represent himself outside this building as a pro, as a Raider.

“He has a lot of people depending on him, and I tell him that. You can’t be out here partying and acting crazy when you have 60 guys depending on you. We need him. He’s doing a great job, and I have no doubt he’s going to keep his nose clean. He’s going to be a great player in this league.”

Jon Gruden disappointed by Khalil Mack's absence, Raiders not distracted

Jon Gruden disappointed by Khalil Mack's absence, Raiders not distracted

The Raiders spent three calendar weeks training in wine country. Khalil Mack wasn’t there a single second.

The Raiders edge rusher is withholding services waiting for a massive, long-term contract extension. He doesn’t have one. Not yet, anyway.

That’ why he wasn’t in Napa when veterans reported July 26 and wasn’t there Thursday when camp formally closed.

Mack’s hold out has captured nationally on sports talk on several mediums – they just love the drama – but Gruden insists Mack’s absence been a distraction. But…

“It has obviously, for me, been disappointing,” Gruden said Wednesday. “You want to have your best player here. This guy is really a great guy, too. I’m disappointed we don’t have him here.

“We’re going to try to get him here as soon as we can. In the time being, you got to move on. You’ve got to get up and go to work. That’s one thing I’m very proud of what we’ve done here.”

The Raiders hope Mack reports soon, and nothing has changed regarding their desire to sign him to a long-term contract extension they know won’t be cheap. A pact, however, is not close. 

But, no, the Raiders don’t currently have plans to trade Mack.

Mack’s an elite edge rusher, excellent against the run, remains in impeccable and never, ever gets in trouble. He’s the type of player teams want to pay, especially those ready to enter a new market.

The Raiders understand that and want Mack with the team posthaste.

"Mack's the best player coming off the edge in football. That's our opinion,” Gruden said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio. "We're determined to find a way to get him in here, get him a contract, and get on with life.

“This is a negotiation. Joel Segal is Khalil’s agent. They’ve got their plan. General manager Reggie McKenzie and the people negotiating on our end have a plan. I’m coaching the team. At this time, he’s not here, and we have to focus on what we can control, and that’s just working.”

Mack is currently under contract, set to make $13,846 million on a fifth-year team option of his rookie contract applicable only to first-round picks.