In a game like the Raiders had against the Chiefs Sunday night, there wasn’t really a play you could point to as a turning point. It was more of an overall collapse that just seemed to just spiral out of control late. There was, however, one play you could point to that really took the air out of the building and removed any shot the Raiders may have had to get back in it.
After falling down 17-7 in the first half, the third quarter started just as the Raiders would’ve hoped. Derek Carr connected with Zay Jones for 22 yards and then Bryan Edwards on a 37-yard touchdown pass to bring it to a 17-14 game.
The Chiefs answered right back with a touchdown drive of their own to pull back to a ten-point lead, but if the Raiders could answer again, we’d simply have the makings of a shootout.
On the third play of the next possession, newly signed Desean Jackson got open deep and Carr aired it out to him. The pass was a little underthrown, but Jackson still caught it. But instead of going straight for the end zone, Jackson tried making a move on closing defender Rashad Fenton and had the ball knocked out.
The whole thing was so confusing to watch. All you could do was speculate what Jackson was thinking. That he was trying to do something special and instead he blew it.
While you don’t expect Jackson to be up to speed with the Raiders offense in the short few days he’s been with the team, you do expect that when he has a ball in his hands, he knows what to do with it.
“I just encouraged him. Just keep going. That’s all we can do,” Derek Carr said of what he told Jackson after the play. “There’s so much time left in the game. He’s just trying to make a play. I don’t fault him. But he’ll watch it, he’ll learn from it however, EB will talk to him and he’ll grow from it. But he’s a good player. Lot of speed out there. He helped set their safeties back a little farther when he’s on the field, it was good to see.”
No question the Raiders will need a lot more of the deep threat abilities Jackson can bring over the rest of the season. For tonight, however, on this play, his one shot to be the difference-maker backfired and the game went downhill fast from there.
What should have been at very least first and goal and possibly a touchdown was Chiefs ball. So, instead of potentially pulling back to within three, it was a turnover which the Chiefs took for a field goal, making for a ten-point swing and a 27-14 Chiefs lead in the final seconds of the third quarter.
The Raiders’ response this time was for Carr to attempt to throw deep while falling backward with a defender in his face and have it easily picked off.
That turnover led to a touchdown drive by the Chiefs and the game was essentially over with nearly a full quarter left to still to play. The Chiefs even converted on a fake punt along the way.
Before all was said and done the Chiefs had scored 41 points while the Raiders were still stuck at the 14 points they had early in the third quarter.
Plenty of the blame for this loss can go on the Raiders defense for giving up 406 yards and five touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes. But if the Raiders offense had shown up as it had for a couple games there a couple weeks ago, it would have helped tremendously. Not only to try to keep pace with the Chiefs offense, but to give them fewer chances.
The statistic that stands out is converting just one of nine third downs in the game. That third down was their first opportunity of the game. They went 0-9 on third down the rest of the way.
It’s clear this offense has been out of sorts since losing Henry Ruggs III. He had become a pivotal part of the game plan to stretch the field and free up other receivers to make plays as well. They signed Jackson to fill that role. So, there’s room for optimism as he gets up to speed that the Raiders offense will get up to speed with him. Not to mention just heading for the end zone when it’s in front of him instead of trying to get cute.