If Derek Carr's fingers don't heal, the Raiders aren't going to win a single playoff game. Actually, with the Chargers, Colts and Broncos on the horizon, they may not win another contest this season.
Carr was that bad in this game. He had major issues connecting with his targets. He constantly was way off the mark on his throws, even failing to hit players just three yards in front of him. Some might blame the weather, but Carr was seen wincing on a number of his passes, particularly on one in which he had Amari Cooper wide open downfield for a touchdown. Carr completely missed him, and the same thing happened earlier in the game when Carr whiffed on a pass to a wide-open Jalen Richard, who was standing in the end zone by himself.
It was pretty clear that the Raiders didn't have a chance when their defense produced two turnovers in the third quarter, setting up the offense near the red zone on two occasions. Oakland managed just three points on the two possessions. Seth Roberts was guilty of dropping a touchdown on the first drive, and there was a holding penalty involved, but Carr was almost picked off on another throw. Marquette King fumbled a hold on one of Sebastian Janikowski's attempts, but in the end, it didn't really matter.
Carr finished with absolutely dreadful numbers. He was 17-of-41 for only 117 yards. He was victimized by numerous drops, but he looked like a shell of his former self because of his injury, and once again, if things don't get better in that regard, the Raiders could lose their next four games. They're known for their dynamic offense, so it's going to be difficult for them to have any success averaging just 3.3 yards per play like they did in this divisional affair.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, have moved into first place of the AFC West in the wake of this victory, thanks to their season-sweep tie-breaker over the Raiders. However, they can't be feeling too good right now because of Derrick Johnson's injury. Johnson went down on no contact toward the end of the second quarter and had to be helped off the field. It was ruled that he he ruptured his problematic Achilles and will be out for the year and possibly a portion of 2017. It's a huge blow, as Johnson is the heart and soul of Kansas City's defense.
Alex Smith was terrific in the first half, as he looked like the quarterback in the running for the MVP. Smith was 11-of-16 for 202 yards and a touchdown in the opening half alone. He converted on an early third-and-10, as Chris Conley beat David Amerson. He then hit Travis Kelce for a gain of 28 yards from deep in his own territory, and followed that up with a nifty play in which he danced around the pocket and connected to Conley for a 31-yarder, as Conley beat Amerson again.
Smith came back down to Earth after halftime, as he was just 6-of-10 for 62 yards, a telegraphed interception and a lost fumble (Khalil Mack strip-sack) following intermission. A regression to the mean was bound to happen for Smith, though in fairness, Andy Reid didn't seem interested in passing whatsoever, opting to just feed Spencer Ware instead. Overall, Smith finished 17-of-26 for 264 yards, one touchdown, the pick and the lost fumble.
The Raiders came into this game struggling against tight ends, so it's no wonder that Kelce went off. Kelce caught five passes for 101 yards, including a one-handed grab thrown behind him for a gain of 34. Meanwhile, Tyreek Hill (6-66) scored twice; once on offense when he beat Amerson (notice a theme here?), and once via a punt return. Jeremy Maclin (1-16) was barely heard from upon his return. He was targeted on Smith's interception.
Ware had a disappointing evening. He was limited to just 56 yards on 20 carries, and he was vultured in the second quarter by Charcandrick West, who found the end zone on one of his only two attempts.
Moving back to the Raiders, there might be another hand injury that they have to worry about. That's what Michael Crabtree hurt during one of his drops in the fourth quarter. Crabtree caught four passes for 21 yards, and the only positive thing he did was draw a pass-interference flag. Sadly, Crabtree trailed the Raider leader in receiving yardage by only eight yards, as Cooper snatched five of his 10 targets for just 29 yards. Cooper should've had more, but as mentioned, Carr couldn't hit an open Cooper for a long touchdown.
Seth Roberts needs to be brought up again. He dropped three passes, including one in the end zone. Though he converted a fourth-and-4, Roberts is one of the worst receivers in the NFL.
As for the running game, Cris Collinsworth kept harping about how much more effective Oakland's rushing attack would've been had Kelechi Osemele not been a late scratch. Osemele is one of the top guards in the NFL, and his unexpected absence certainly had a big impact. Even with him gone, Latavius Murray was able to pick up some substantial gains, registering 103 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Redskins XX, Eagles XX
Broncos XX, Titans XX
Vikings XX, Jaguars XX
Cardinals XX, Dolphins XX
Panthers XX, Chargers XX
Bengals XX, Browns XX
Lions XX, Bears XX
Colts XX, Texans XX
Steelers XX, Bills XX
49ers XX, Jets XX
Falcons XX, Rams XX
Seahawks XX, Packers XX
Buccaneers XX, Saints XX
Cowboys XX, Giants XX
Patriots XX, Ravens XX
For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.
If my Colts draft anyone besides Dalvin Cook 1st Round I might personally fly down to Indianapolis and tear Ryan Grigson's balls off outside that this may be the best mock i've seen yet and I completely agree with the Garopolo trade