2nd Place – AFC West
Last Game: lost to Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) 21-13 in Kansas City
Next Game: at San Diego Chargers (5-8) Sun, Dec 18, 4:25 pm EST
The Raiders blew a golden opportunity to seize control of the AFC West and possibly home-field advantage in the playoffs with their loss in Kanas City last Thursday.
It’s more apt to say they blew multiple golden opportunities, actually.
After being dominated in the first half, the Raiders came out and forced Alex Smith into a bad throw. Interception – turnover in Chiefs territory.
They got a Seabass field goal.
They got another huge play from Khalil Mack to turn the tide of the game and seize momentum on the very next series. Mack strip-sacked Alex Smith and the Raiders recovered in the red zone.
A holding penalty would make it first and goal from the 16 yard line. Three plays later, Marquette King continued possibly the worst game of his career with a fumbled snap on the field-goal attempt.
The Raiders got NOTHING from Mack’s potentially game-changing play.
Earlier in the game, they had recovered a muffed punt in Chiefs territory. They got a field goal out of that one too.
Three turnovers from a team that rarely if ever makes mistakes. Six points to show for it.
Not good enough.
If King maybe had the worst game of his career, Carr definitely did. Forget the numbers (please!) because they were terrible. I mean, less than three yards per pass attempt? Is that even possible with the FORWARD pass?
Apparently, because Carr rode a 2.6 YPA average to a sub-50 quarterback rating despite throwing no interceptions. His pinky finger was clearly bothering him in the bitter Kanas City cold, as he just flat missed numerous throws and sailed a few.
Crabtree’s finger has apparently been a problem for weeks, but was just revealed in this game. After catching a pass in the fourth quarter Crabtree immediately went to the sidelines with what we now know was a dislocated finger.
Though he returned, he hasn’t been that effective over the past five weeks and if his finger has been an issue that long, it makes sense. He’s dropped way more passes than usual — he currently leads the NFL with 12.
However, your MVP candidate QB has his worst career game — both by the eye-test and on paper. Your punter has his worst game of the year in all facets. Your special teams unit gives up a huge touchdown.
Yet you’re still in the game with a chance to tie right until the very end.
That’s growth from this team. That’s encouraging. What’s not is that they had multiple chances to win this very important game, and didn’t seize any of them. Some credit to the Chiefs, who definitely seem to have the Raiders’ number. But this young team squandered opportunity after opportunity.
They can’t do that in any of their remaining games. Being tied with the Chiefs, they need to win out to put pressure on Kansas City to hold the division lead. They’ve positioned themselves very nicely for a wild-card — win and their in — but they want the division.
That’s certainly possible, with a road tilt against the depleted and disinterested Chargers this weekend, a home game against the desperate but flawed Colts, and a season-ending road tilt in Denver against a Broncos team that doesn’t scare anyone but themselves these days.