It had been the narrative all week – in their past five games, all wins, the Kansas City Chiefs won the turnover battle, and that stat held serve once again Sunday afternoon at O.co Coliseum.
The Oakland Raiders fell 34-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs, turning the ball over three times in the process, while forcing just two themselves, en route to a deflating loss at home.
"I think today was just a classic situation of us beating ourselves and us not holding each other accountable for some of the mistakes that we made," cornerback TJ Carrie said. "Every game is going to come down to the fourth quarter, so everyone on that field has to play better; offensively, defensively, special teams."
And when you take a look at the final stat sheet, it's hard to deny Carrie's postgame assessment, as the Chiefs weren't amazing Sunday.
Kansas City couldn't spark their run game – the Raiders held them to just 89 yards on the ground, and Alex Smith was a pedestrian 16 of 22 for just 162 yards.
However, he made the most of his opportunities, finding the end zone twice, including a one-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin that gave the Chiefs the lead with 7:57 left in the game.
The real difference maker Sunday, as has been the case throughout Kansas City's now six-game winning streak, was their ability to capitalize off turnovers.
The Raiders forced two turnovers, both courtesy of Charles Woodson, but managed just seven points off them, where the Chiefs forced three Derek Carr interceptions, all in the final 12:16, and took advantage to the tune of 20 points.
Twenty points that ended up being the difference in the Week 13 contest.
"We turned the ball over, can't do that, especially against a good football team," Carr said. "That's my fault and we'll get it fixed."
Heading into Week 13, the Raiders needed to beat the rival Chiefs to remain in the playoff hunt, and after jumping out to an early lead, the ever-candid Woodson didn't sugarcoat what happened on the field Sunday.
"I've played a lot of football in my life, won a lot of games, lost a lot of games, but today was probably one of the hardest losses that I've been a part of in my career," Woodson said. "That was a tough loss."
He continued, "We were treating this as if it were our playoffs. It's always tough to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the game when everything is so promising early, and than all of a sudden it looks lopsided when you look up at the end. It's a hard one. It's a tough one to swallow."
Carr was a far cry from his usual self against the Chiefs, throwing the three aforementioned interceptions and ending the day with a passer rating of just 68.3, but Woodson isn't concerned about the team's young signal caller.
"He's young, and every experience that he goes through he's going to learn from it," Woodson said. "He's going to grow as a player. The ceiling is very high for Derek and this is just one blip on the radar for him. He'll be fine going forward."
After Sunday's loss, the Raiders own an overall record of 5-7 and now face an uphill battle to get themselves back into playoff contention with just four games to play.
Their next test comes in a week as they fly to Denver to take on the division-leading Denver Broncos, and while at this juncture the postseason may now seem like a long shot, Carrie insists that the team's mindset will remain the same.
"Nothing is going to deter us from not being about to go out there and have a mindset that we need to win every game," Carrie said. "We'll work on that every Sunday and let everything else play out where it plays."