Raiders News: Antonio Pierce, Chiefs in Week 12

Knee-Jerk Reactions: Chiefs Hold On Every Play, Antonio Pierce And His Conservative Raiders Approach

Man, that sucked. It’s never enjoyable to consistently lose to the same division rival. Let’s face it, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes own the Silver and Black. It’s so much worse when things start out as well as they did for the Las Vegas Raiders. With that loss, Antonio Pierce and Co. drop to 5-7 heading into the bye week as their playoff hopes slip away.

Let’s get into this week’s knee-jerk reactions.

Another strong start ends in disappointment for the Raiders

That was truly gut-wrenching. The Raiders came out of the gate looking dominant. It was unbelievable. On the opening drive, Las Vegas marched right down the field for a touchdown. Then, they forced a rare three-and-out for the Chiefs.

To carry the momentum even further, they went on another long drive. The Raiders were unable to turn it into points (more on that later), but it didn’t matter as Kansas City punted four plays later. A long touchdown run by Josh Jacobs followed that. All of a sudden, the Raiders were up 14-0.

It felt too good to be true, and it was. The Chiefs stormed right back and tied the game before halftime. They even got another touchdown in the third quarter to make it 21 unanswered points. The Raiders pulled within four; you could tell where things were headed.

Dropping that game 31-17 after the start that the Raiders had is soul-crushing. Luckily, the bye week provides some time to recover from such a morale-draining loss.

However, one has to wonder if the coaching staff, if they had been more aggressive in their decision-making, could have prevented that loss.

Hey, Antonio Pierce, conservatism kills…

As great as the Raiders’ start was, it could have been even better. On their second offensive drive, the Raiders were faced with a fourth-and-one deep in Chiefs territory. Rather than go for the jugular early, Antonio Pierce opted to kick a short field goal. Seemingly as a punishment by the football gods, Daniel Carlson missed the kick. The thing is, that doesn’t even matter.

Even if Carlson had made it, kicking was still the wrong decision. You can’t score enough points against the Chiefs. The last time that the Raiders beat Kansas City, they needed 40 points to do so. Regardless, it’s just poor judgment, especially in today’s analytics era. When you have fourth down and a yard or less to go that deep in opposing territory, it should be an automatic decision to go for it. One has to wonder if ownership’s reaction to the decision to go for it last week had any impact.

Unfortunately, that was not the only time a lack of aggression hurt the Raiders. Just before halftime, Pierce let the clock bleed while the Chiefs were tying up the game. Had he been more prudent with his last timeout, the Raiders could have had a shot at a field goal before halftime. Instead, Las Vegas did not have much time to do anything, and they really didn’t try to either.

Being content with small leads is a great way to lose to the Chiefs. Pierce learned that lesson the hard way. The Chiefs are never out of the game. A big reason why is their ability to stretch the rules.

The Chiefs literally hold egregiously on every play…

Complaining about penalties may seem bitter, but come on. Yes, everyone holds all the time, but the Chiefs take it to an absurd level. Every single play, whether it is on offense or defense, you can see a Kansas City player with his arms wrapped around an opposing player.

It isn’t an illusion either. On the broadcast for this game, they mentioned that the Chiefs lead the league in holding penalties. Nonetheless, they do not get called nearly enough. This is clearly a strategy by Andy Reid’s squad to just play the percentages. If you only get called twice a game but get away with holding on every other play, it is totally worth it.

In a game like Sunday’s, it was really obvious. The Raiders have two game-wreckers, Maxx Crosby and Davante Adams. Bending the rules is the only way to stop them. You would think the officials would crack down on this type of thing, but this has been going on for a long time now. The Chiefs know what they are doing, and they know that they can get away with it.

*Top Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports

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