By Sam McPherson
Halfway through the third quarter on Sunday in Kansas City, the Oakland Raiders still had a chance to win their third game of the season. But a rough five-minute stretch on defense left the Silver & Black suddenly down by 25 points heading into the fourth quarter.
And so the road woes continue for the Raiders, who haven’t won a road game in more than a year now. The last two road games, Oakland has been outscored 83-13 total, and if the team wants to be taken seriously in 2015, they will have to learn how to show up for 60 minutes away from the Coliseum where they’ve won two in a row now.
With this 31-13 loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders drop to 2-12 on the season.
Derek Carr followed up his best game of the season with a significantly lesser effort in this one against Kansas City. He threw a whopping 56 passes for just 222 yards on a mere 27 completions. It just wasn’t a good day for him.
Coming into the game, Carr’s yards-per-attempt mark was a terrible 5.7, and it just went down significantly. That’s one thing the Raiders need to work on for 2015: throwing downfield successfully more often and more consistently.
The Raiders rookie QB did fumble once, but he did not throw any interceptions. GRADE: D
The Silver & Black totaled just 280 yards of offense, and the team abandoned the run once they fell behind so far so fast. That’s one explanation for Carr’s mediocre completion percentage and YPA mark.
Latavius Murray ran for 59 yards on just 12 carries, and the two veteran running backs—Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew—totaled 19 yards on four carries. Given a better defensive effort, the Raiders could have continued running the ball well.
Overall, Oakland was just 5-for-18 on third downs, and the Raiders also failed on their only fourth-down conversion attempt. GRADE: C
Overall, the Silver & Black defense wasn’t that bad. They held the Chiefs to just 3-for-13 on third downs, but the Raiders got pushed around in the third quarter—and it cost the team a chance to win.
After holding the Chiefs offense to just two field goals in the first half, Oakland gave up a nine-play, 70-yard drive in the third that ended in a touchdown for Kansas City. That took the score to 17-6, and then Carr’s fumble put the defense right back on the field. Two played later, it was 24-6.
One more short possession for the offense, and then the Raiders gave up a 70-yard TD to effectively end the game. GRADE: C
The Raiders gave up an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, and they never got the lead in this game as a result. But they also gave up two kickoff returns totaling 66 yards—not a very good coverage day, for sure.
Marquette King punted a whopping 11 times on the day, and Sebastian Janikowski was perfect on all his kick attempts. GRADE: D
Road Woes Will Continue Into 2015
The Silver & Black head home next weekend to face the Buffalo Bills, but their final game of the 2014 season is on the road against the Denver Broncos in Week 17. Don’t expect the Raiders to win that game.
That means the team will finish 0-8 on the road this year and carry that losing streak away from the Coliseum to next season. To be successful in the NFL, you really need to win all your games at home—and at least half on the road.
Yes, this is not news, but Oakland has a long way to go before it can be considered a successful NFL team.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering all things Oakland A’s. His work can be found on a Examiner.com.