Raiders

Raiders takeaways: What we learned in 28-10 Week 2 loss to Chiefs

Raiders takeaways: What we learned in 28-10 Week 2 loss to Chiefs

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OAKLAND – The Raiders opened this season with a two-game homestand. They won’t return to Oakland Coliseum until Nov. 3, with five straight contests played outside the East Bay.

The Raiders have four traditional road games and a home game given to London against Chicago, a difficult stretch that could define their entire season.

Oakland enters the five-game stretch at .500 after expected results. They beat Denver to open the campaign and got beat 28-10 by the vastly superior Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders were overmatched in this one, as you’d expect. They beat a bad Broncos team, as you’d expect. That leaves the real Raiders somewhere in between those extremes, with a long road stretch to establish firmer standing within the league and the conference.

Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s loss:

Chiefs provide harsh reality check

The Raiders were riding high after a big Monday night victory over the Denver Broncos. They understood the Broncos are rebuilding and weren’t a super tough test, but they controlled that contest and gained confidence from its results.

Kansas City brought the Silver and Black to earth on Sunday with a thrashing that showed how much work’s left ahead in terms of execution and talent acquisition.

The Raiders got faster this offseason, but still can’t keep up with Kansas City. The Chiefs skill players could form world-class track team, and those guys roasted the Raiders secondary throughout a game-changing second quarter.

The Raiders got more offensive firepower, but couldn’t keep up with Kansas City’s scoring bursts. Tyrell Williams was just okay and Darren Waller wasn’t targeted enough.

The pass rush was still nowhere to be found, and there isn’t enough receiving prowess outside the pass catchers previously mentioned.

Most competition is easier than the Chiefs, and the Raiders could hang tough with them, but it won’t help contend with the Kansas City, the unquestioned class of the AFC West.

Hot start squandered

The Raiders jumped out to a two-score lead early in the first quarter, and looked poised to upset the juggernaut Chiefs. They had a solid offensive game plan, churned out chunk yards and were flying to the ball on defense.

One blown coverage turned the tide. Demarcus Robinson was wide open on a 44-yard touchdown drive that started a Kansas City surge that lasted through halftime.

The Raiders offense struggled moving the chains and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes kept striking deep while scoring 28 unanswered points. He had 313 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Yeah. You read that right. The first freaking half.

The Raiders secondary had no answers for Robinson or tight end and noted Raider killer Travis Kelce, as Kansas City scored at will while establishing a three-score lead.

Josh Jacob is the real deal

It was difficult, but we found a bright light in Sunday’s disappointment. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs looked smooth and savvy as advertised, proving worthy of the featured role given to him during his rookie year.

The first-round draft pick was especially good on a 51-yard scamper that started inside and broke out down the right sideline. He showed great vision and burst, with a physical finishing move that gained some extra yards.

[RELATED: Carr passes Stabler as Raiders' top passer]

There’s a major dropoff between him and the other Raiders backs, and Jacobs probably should’ve seen more than the 12 touches he got in this contest. He gained 99 yards in this game, and has the talent required to pace an offense and control a game with steady runs.

Sunday’s game poked holes in other aspects of the Raiders offense, but Jacobs stood tall in an otherwise disappointed effort.

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

The Raiders were on the verge of the playoffs this past season, but their passing game took yet another step back. Besides the emergence of rookie Trayvon Mullen, the Silver and Black have plenty of question marks at cornerback as they move to Las Vegas. 

There could be help available, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that the Detroit Lions have talked to multiple teams regarding a trade for their Pro Bowl cornerback, Darius Slay. 

Between need, their slew of draft picks and available cap space, the Raiders could be a perfect fit for a trade with the Lions. Let's start with how Slay would fit in the defense. 

Mullen is expected to man one side of the defensive backfield at cornerback, while the other side is a bit of a mystery. Daryl Worley is a free agent this offseason, but Nevin Lawson, Nick Nelson, Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson all are options. None are Slay, though. Not even close. 

Slay, 29, made his third straight Pro Bowl this last season. He also was a First Team All-Pro in 2017 when he led the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed. Since 2014, Slay has recorded at least two interceptions and 13 passes defensed every season. 

Per advanced analytics site Pro Football Focus, Slay has been the fifth-best cornerback in the game since 2014. 

The Raiders also have the draft picks to get a deal done. They own two first-round picks -- Nos. 12 and 19 -- this April, as well as three in the third round, one in the fourth and one in the seventh. They have plenty of leverage to make a move. 

Las Vegas also lands right in the middle of current available salary-cap space going into next season. According to Spotrac, the Raiders have slightly over $51.5 million in salary-cap space. Slay, who has a $13.4 million cap hit in 2020, wants a new contract as he's set to hit free agency after this upcoming season. 

[RELATED: Ex-Raider Nnamdi Asomugha talks about his life on Broadway]

He likely would cost more than a few extra pennies, but it's clear Slay still can be a solid corner in a division where everyone is chasing QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Raiders could target a cornerback early in the draft. That's not out of the question at all. If the Lions are taking calls on Slay like Schefter reported, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock would be wise to listen. 

How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

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How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

Nnamdi Asomugha finds himself under a new set of bright lights. The former Raiders star cornerback, who ended his 11-year NFL career with the 49ers, now finds himself on Broadway

"I started the decade at the Pro Bowl, and I ended the decade on Broadway," Asomugha said in a recent interview with CBS' Dana Jacobson, which aired Friday. "I was like, 'This was really surreal.' This is not a dream that I ever had. And now, this is so clearly what I should be doing." 

Asomugha, now 38 years old, first dabbled in the entertainment business while still playing in the NFL. Towards the end of his career, he started working as a part-time NFL analyst when Jacobson worked at ESPN. He also did a commercial for Dick's Sporting Goods in 2009, and the director gave him words of encouragement regarding his acting skills. 

The three-time Pro Bowler said he started thinking about his post-playing career long before he was done playing football. He saw early on just how quickly your career can end. 

"You better start thinking about that long before you finish your career," Asomugha said. "I mean, I started noticing really my first year in the NFL that you can go down with an injury, your career can be over. You can get cut within moments. And then what are you gonna do?" 

The Cal product soon turned his focus to acting and producing. He said he "was a rookie again" and took acting classes.

Asomugha now has a long list of credits when looking at his IMDB page. The former football star was the executive producer for Netflix's "Beasts of No Nation" in 2015, and he starred in Amazon's "Crown Heights" in 2017.

But it was the Broadway stage where Asomugha found his true calling. He felt the same kind of rush he did on the football field when he made his Broadway debut in the award-winning "A Soldier's Play" earlier in February.

"They announce you, everyone's cheering," Asomugha recalled. "I kind of ran on to the stage and began our work. And I remember at that moment just being like, 'This is where I'm supposed to be.' ... That's football, isn't it? It's live. You don't get a second take, you better get it right.

"I developed that muscle so much, I'm at my best when I'm in the fire."

[RELATED: Why Raiders signing Brady could make sense for both sides]

Asomugha finished his football career after playing three games for the 49ers in 2013. He then retired as a Raider in December of that same year. And though he has found his new calling, he admits he misses the game that first brought him so much joy.

"That was a great time," Asomugha said. "Football is definitely my first love. Now finding this world in entertainment through acting and producing -- I didn't think I would love something as much as I did, but I'm so grateful now that I do."