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.
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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.