Sometimes you just have to give credit where credit is due.
The Oakland Raiders got beat by the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 28-10, but it was Patrick Mahomes that did the most damage.
Despite limiting a high-powered Chiefs offense, and the Raiders keeping them scoreless through the first quarter, Mahomes dissected the Raiders defense in the second quarter. In the aforementioned second quarter, the reigning NFL MVP recorded 278 yards through the air — the most in a quarter since Drew Brees in 2008 — and four touchdowns. If you eliminate the second quarter, the Raiders played formidably, but for 15 minutes Paul Guenther’s unit had no answer for Mahomes. On several of his passes, the receivers simply made impressive contested catches; however, there were breakdowns defensively that led to open scores.
“Well, we had a breakdown in one coverage, I know that,” Head Coach Jon Gruden said postgame. “But a couple of those were just incredible throws and catches also. You have to tip your hat to them. We didn’t get enough pressure. We let [Patrick] Mahomes move around back there and cock his arm, and when he gets an opportunity to do that he can drop them in no matter where they are. I tip my hat to them and we have to do a better job next time.”
“That’s what he’s known for in this league,” cornerback Daryl Worley added in the locker room, “those plaster situations. We’ve got to win those. He had time back there in the pocket. He was making plays, making throws down the field. We’ve just go to be better in those types of situations. We knew that those were key and pivotal points.”
Whether it was Mecole Hardman slipping through zone coverage to beat Raiders defensive backs Curtis Riley and Lamarcus Joyner for a touchdown, or Derek Carr’s miscommunication with Tyrell Williams near the goal line, the rhythm all around felt off today. Last week against the Denver Broncos, all three phases of the game were clicking, but against the Chiefs it felt like everything was out of sync.
Demarcus Robinson and Travis Kelce each eclipsed 100 yards receiving, with Robinson finishing 30 yards shy of the 200-yard mark. The Raiders gave the Chiefs offense various looks defensively, but the Chiefs were able to find a successful method of attack and stuck with it.
One can attribute the breakdowns to simple miscommunications, considering we’re only two weeks into the regular season and there’s sure to be teaching moments with so many new faces on the roster, so there’s no need to hit the panic button.
“We’re about treating every play as a learning experience,” Worley told the media. “If you don’t get the win, we don’t look at it as a loss. It’s more of a lesson learned. So, we just got to get better, and we’ll correct the things that are on the tape and move foward."
On the bright side, while the Raiders might’ve been beat deep on a few plays, they were able to defend the run successfully. Last week, the defense was able to minimize the Broncos ground game, and they were able to nullify Kansas City’s potent rush this week. The Chiefs finished with a total of 34 rushing yards which was a far cry from their 113 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
There are plenty of things the Raiders will take time to clean up over the next week, and hopefully they can get back in the win column as they go on the road for the first time this year. In Week 3, the Silver and Black will face another team that can stretch the field offensively, the Minnesota Vikings. The Raiders won’t return to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum until November 3.