The Oakland Raiders had the Kansas City Chiefs right where they wanted them.
As the final frame began at O.co Coliseum, the Raiders held a 20-14 lead and had possession of the football, but three fourth quarter-turnovers derailed their hopes of a big win at home, and a result the game ended 34-20 in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Silver and Black now hold an overall record of 5-7 and face an admittedly steep climb to the postseason, but as Head Coach Jack Del Rio likes to say, it's a week-to-week league.
The team's next test comes Sunday as they travel to Denver to take on the division-leading Broncos, but before the Raiders shift their focus to Brock Osweiler and Co., let's see what we learned from their Week 13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
In The NFL, The Margin For Error Is Slim To None.
A case could be made that quarterback Derek Carr had the roughest quarter of his young career Sunday afternoon at O.co Coliseum.
In the span of just 12:16 of game time, Carr threw three interceptions, which led to 20 points for the Kansas City Chiefs and proved to be the difference in Sunday's matchup.
"We turned the ball over, can't do that, especially against a good football team," Carr said postgame. "That's my fault and we'll get it fixed."
Looking at the final stat sheet, it's easy to circle the three late interceptions as the reason the Raiders fell at home – and you wouldn't be wrong, but in the spirit of fairness you always have to look at what Carr did to put the Raiders in a position to win.
The second-year signal caller threw for283 yards Sunday and two touchdowns, including an absolute dart to Michael Crabtree in double coverage that went for a 25-yard touchdown.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that Carr is still just in his second year, and he's going to go through the highs and lows that any other young quarterback will and Sunday was a perfect example.
In the span of several hours, he threw some dazzling, elite-level passes, but also some critical interceptions that he'd assuredly love to have back. That being said, future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, knows it's all part of the process for the Raiders young quarterback.
"Every experience that he goes through he's going to learn from it," Woodson said. "He's going to be able to grow as a player. The ceiling is very high for Derek. This is just one blip on the radar and he'll be fine going forward."
Khalil Mack: Defensive Beast
Defensive end, linebacker, it doesn't matter what you call him, as of late, Khalil Mack has been an absolute monster on the Raiders defense.
In the past four games, Mack has tallied 5 of his team-leading 9 sacks, and has been a force along the defensive line.
Sunday's game against the Chiefs held serve to that trend as Mack secured two sacks, in addition to his eight total tackles, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
He was active in the run game once again and the Chiefs seemingly had no answer for how to stop him.
The Raiders Beat Themselves Sunday
The Chiefs weren't spectacular Sunday in Oakland – a quick look at the final stat sheet shows evidence of that.
The Silver and Black managed to hold the Chiefs to just 89 yards on the ground and Alex Smith was unspectacular, throwing for just 162 yards, but in the end, combined with three late Raiders turnovers, it was enough to give Kansas City their sixth-consecutive win.
"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."
While Sunday's game was far from a perfect effort, the Raiders led at halftime as well at the end of the quarter, but the aforementioned turnovers proved to be just too much to overcome.
Charles Woodson Just Keeps Impressing
**Charles Woodson seems unaffected by Father Time.
It's a narrative that's been told time and time again this season, but Charles Woodson keeps making plays that lead to its re-telling.
The future Hall of Famer is 39 years old and playing in his 18th season, but it seems like week after week he keeps making big plays for the Raiders defense.
Sunday's game was no exception as Woodson finished with 5 total tackles, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries against the Chiefs.
"Once the defender gets the hands around him and gets him wrapped up, your job as a defensive player, as a second guy in, is to go after the ball," Woodson said postgame when explaining his strip of tight end Travis Kelce. "I think it was [Raiders S] Nate [Allen] who had him secured. My whole career I've been about getting after the football, so when I saw it in the arm that was closest to me, I have to get it."
It's incredible when you stop to think that Woodson, who turns 40 next year, is still playing at such an elite level at his age, but that's exactly what he's doing.
There's No Quit In This Team
Did the Raiders playoff chances take a hit Sunday? Yes.
Sitting at 5-6 and with a chance to make a statement against a quality Kansas City Chiefs team, Sunday's loss at home certainly stings, but there's no give up in this year's Raiders.
"This is one of the best locker rooms I've ever been in in my life as far as us having such a close bond, there's no finger pointing, there's no placing blame," tight end Lee Smith said postgame. "We're definitely not going to pout our heads past tonight. We're going to obviously sit around and be frustrated with the outcome today, but tomorrow morning we're going to get right back to work."
He continued, "We're backed into a corner a little bit but this is when the true men on this team, which is everyone, are going to show that we sure as hell aren't going to quit, and we're going to keep fighting."
And as they say, it ain't over 'till it's over.
On to Denver.