OAKLAND – The Raiders’ hot start cooled off quickly and eliminated hopes of upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum.
The Silver and Black split back-to-back home games and head into a long road stretch at 1-1, following a disappointing performance that proved they don’t match up with the NFL’s elite.
“I tip my hat to the Chiefs,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “They made some great plays, a barrage of plays, in about a five-minute period that really turned this game around. It was a difficult game on a short week for us. I’m proud of our team. We did not quit. We turned the ball over a couple of times in the second half. We had some pre-snap penalties on both sides that are inexcusable.”
Here’s the Raiders report card following a Week 2 loss to an old AFC West rival.
Josh Jacobs is an excellent player. That much is clear through two games, with the first-round draft pick showing great burst, vision and toughness despite being a defensive focal point. The Chiefs worked hard to slow him down and he still churned out 99 yards on just 12 carries, buoyed by a 51-yard jaunt in the second half.
The run blocking proved solid on the right side, anyway, and should be used consistently to help move the chains and keep the Raiders on schedule. Jacobs cramped up during the second quarter, and might’ve generated some offense during a key moment in this game. The attack fell flat then while the Chiefs surged ahead.
Quarterback Derek Carr couldn’t sustain his hot start, and sputtered some with Jacobs out and Tyrell Williams missing some time with a hip issue. While the Raiders longed to move on completely from Antonio Brown, his loss can still be felt in the air attack. The Raiders don’t have a capable No. 2 receiver at this point, with Ryan Grant struggling in a starting role.
Tight end Darren Waller had six catches for 63 yards but should’ve been targeted even more. Hunter Renfrow made some rookie mistakes, and the backs aren’t involved much in the passing game.
Carr’s interception in the end zone, on first-and-goal no less, was a case of the quarterback trying to do too much. The second was a bad pass interference call that was less Carr’s fault. The quarterback must be better, however, over the course of four quarters.
After the first quarter, Carr was 17-for-26 for 127 yards and two picks. That’s not good enough.
It’s hard to find fault with this effort, which looks far better than last season. The Raiders allowed just 32 yards on 22 carries, a 1.5-yard average. Johnathan Hankins is anchoring that effort, with help from Josh Mauro and Maurice Hurst.
The Chiefs ran a lot and didn’t get much from it. That’s a good thing that bodes well for the defense if it can eliminate big plays that plagued them in this contest.
This was a disaster in the second quarter. The secondary wasn’t on the same page often enough. The pass rush couldn’t affect Mahomes, and gave him time to make magic happen down the field.
The Raiders couldn’t stop anything during a game deciding stretch, and still have major problems covering tight ends.
Part of that is Kansas City being an offensive juggernaut, but the Raiders must do better at cornerback and safety after giving up so much so quickly against the Chiefs.
The return game will suffer if Dwayne Harris (ankle) is out for any length of time. A.J. Cole put two punts inside the 20 and had a 60 yarder. Daniel Carlson hit his only field goal attempt. Allowing a 20-yard punt return is never good, but it’s hard to blame special teams for this outcome.
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Kansas City brought the hammer down in the second quarter, all the time required to put this game out of reach and expose some shortcomings the Raiders must shore up before facing Minnesota next week. Gruden came up with a solid game plan, but Chiefs counterpart Andy Reid made better adjustments and found ways to create favorable matchups exploited for big gains.
The Raiders don’t have the talent required to make up for big mistakes. They must play sound over four quarters, and didn’t do that Sunday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum.