weather icon Partly Cloudy

Grading the Raiders in a 40-33 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

Updated December 2, 2018 - 11:30 pm

How the Raiders performed in a 40-33 loss against the Chiefs:


As much good as this side did — quarterback Derek Carr finished 29-of-38 for 285 yards and three touchdowns while surpassing Rich Gannon for second-most career passing yards in franchise history — the team also saw running backs Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington all lose fumbles. Kansas City turned the miscues into 13 points. Take away the turnovers and there is a great chance the Raiders win as a 14-point underdog. Tight end Jared Cook continued to make his case for a Pro Bowl selection with seven catches for 100 yards and a score, while wide receiver Jordy Nelson looked sharp in what has been an up-and-down injury plagued season, catching 10 passes for 97 yards.


It’s a bad combination, lacking talent and not being opportunistic. The Raiders might well lead the NFL in dropping would-be interceptions, and both Gareon Conley and Tahir Whitehead let errant throws from Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes slip through their hands. Mahomes was 23-of-38 for 295 yards and four scores, while Travis Kelce went off — 13 targets, 12 catches, 168 yards, two TDs, the most yards ever by a tight end against the Raiders. Despite having released Pro Bowl running back Kareem Hunt this week, Kansas City still managed 174 yards on 30 carries. The Raiders were able to pressure Mahomes late — he wasn’t sharp at all on deep throws — but still didn’t record a sack against the elusive star.


The Raiders have found their placekicker for the present and possibly the future, given rookie Daniel Carlson is now 9-of-10 on field goals, including a 50-yarder on Sunday. Also, Dwayne Harris might have made one of the smartest plays all season for the Raiders, stepping out of bounds at the 1-yard line before touching the ball on a kickoff return, which gave his team possession at the 40-yard line. Johnny Townsend averaged just 30.5 yards on two punts, shanking the first attempt 22 yards when trying to aim away from speedy Chiefs returner Tyreek Hill.


Given the Chiefs had an off week to prepare and the Raiders are, well, the Raiders, Jon Gruden’s side gave about as good an effort as could be expected. The fumbles on offense killed any chance at winning, but the team still did what you should against one of the NFL’s more giving defenses — move the ball and score enough to make a game of it against Kansas City’s offense. The fact nobody on the Raiders showed a hint of rolling over is a credit to guys continuing to play hard for Gruden and his staff.

Ed Graney Review-Journal

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.