Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Oakland Raiders traveled to Arrowhead Stadium and got spanked by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Some would say the game was over when the clock hit triple-zeroes, some would say it was over at half-time, when Kansas City was up 21-0. Others would say it was over the second that Derek Carr airmailed his first interception of the day to the honey badger, Tyrann Mathieu, and the Chiefs took over. Regardless, the Raiders fall to 6-6 on the season, meaning they’ll need to run the table to make a run at the post-season. Somehow, I attempt to find the positives from this week’s loss, with yet another Silver (and black) lining.
The Silver (And Black) Lining: Week Thirteen
Of all the Raiders you could pin this loss on, Josh Jacobs is not one of them. The rookie rusher became the first rookie tailback in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Just like in past losses, he was running hard, even when the game was far, far out of reach. He spent the entire afternoon fighting for 100 yards rushing, eventually winning and finishing on the positive side of triple digits.
Say what you will about the future of this franchise, Josh Jacobs is a bonafide star, and should be a crucial part of the offense for years to come.
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Oakland’s young tight ends played well too. The trio of Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, and Derek Carrier combined for most of Derek Carr’s yardage, consistently made big plays, and caught the team’s only garbage time touchdown. Just like with Jacobs, the team’s tight end group is something they won’t have to worry about for the foreseeable future. The Raiders probably need to get younger on the offensive line, and they need legitimate targets out wide to pair with slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, but the future of Oakland’s offense looks bright… for the most part.
Running Out of Gas
Raider Nation has seen enough. It’s easy enough to make excuses for Derek Carr, his career hasn’t been a lucky one. He’s had dreadful run games, inconsistent receivers, bad offensive lines, and a plethora of historically bad defenses, and that’s without mentioning the slew of offensive coordinators that have come and gone. But it’s becoming clear that in order for Derek Carr to be successful, he needs everything else on the offense to be perfect. He’s consistently lost the big games, and he’s lost them in dramatic fashion. I have been one of Carr’s staunchest supporters, but even I have grown weary of inexcusable interceptions against Kansas City.
13 of his 62 career interceptions have been against the Chiefs. That’s more than he’s thrown against the other two division rivals combined. For perspective, Tom Brady has only thrown 15 interceptions against the New York Jets in his entire career, and in case you’re not keeping track at home, number 12 is slightly older than number four. Carr isn’t going to be the guy who can put the entire team on his back and carry them to victory, and if he’s just going to be a game manager, there are better, cheaper, younger options. This doesn’t sound like a silver (and black) lining, but I always choose to see change as a positive, and the Raiders are obviously in desperate need of change.
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