OK, so they had to win the game like 34 times those final seconds, but for a side that so greatly underachieved during a four-game losing streak, producing 31 points and 505 yards was exactly what the Raiders needed. There was an Amari Cooper sighting on the team’s first snap. Then, there were a lot more. The wide receiver, who had 18 receptions for 146 yards and a score in the first six games, finished with eight for a career-high 210 and TDs of 38 and 45. Derek Carr — 29-of-52 passing for 417 yards and three scores — missed on countless throws, but made the important one when winning was on the line.
It doesn’t get the dreaded ‘F’ because when it absolutely had to make a play and get the offense the ball back with just over two minutes left, Khalil Mack and Denico Autry sacked Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. But the defense leaked all evening, allowing scoring passes of 10, 64 and 63 yards, one which came via a three-play, 99-yard drive by the Chiefs. Newly signed linebacker NaVorro Bowman was given the full plate of responsibilities by the Raiders and responded with a team-best 11 tackles, one for loss, and a quarterback hurry.
Special teams: C-minus
Oh, Giorgio. After making good on the first nine field-goal attempts of his NFL career as a replacement for Sebastian Janikowski’s bad back, Giorgio Tavecchio missed from 53 (tipped) and 45. He did hit from 26 and nailed the final extra point to secure victory. Marquette King did his part on three punts for a 48.7 average (including having one downed at the 1-yard line) and even had a very un-punter like aggressive tackle on a Chiefs return.
Todd Downing might not admit to hearing all the noise about his performance through six games, but the first-year offensive coordinator had to know things were getting a bit loud. But from a little razzle-dazzle on an opening-drive touchdown and then throughout the win, Downing called a terrific game. But on a night the offense returned to a form most expected all season, the defense struggled mightily. Also, head coach Jack Del Rio credited love for the win. So, you know, WHAT!?