Oakland Raiders: A Look at the Critical Mistakes that Doomed Them Against the Kansas City Chiefs

Penalties, Pryor's Performance, Sink Oakland in Arrowhead

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | It was an ugly loss for the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon in Arrowhead Stadium, but it didn't have to be.

As a matter of fact, the Raiders controlled the first half against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately for Oakland, the second half still needed to be played.

From then on, the Chiefs ran the table, and Terrelle Pryor couldn't save the day for Oakland even when he wasn't on the ground. For all of the things the Raiders did right on Sunday, including holding the Chiefs to just 216 yards of total offense, there were several problems that sealed their fate.

Let's take a look at those mistakes.


After playing very disciplined football for the first five weeks of the season, the Raiders played like the Raiders of old after they consistently shot themselves in the foot with penalties.

Eleven to be exact.

But give credit to the Kansas City faithful. After all, they set the decibel record on Sunday with their noise and caused the Raiders' offensive line to jump early on what seemed like every other snap.

Regardless of the environment, that can't happen if the Raiders want to win. The main reason general manager Reggie McKenzie fired Hue Jackson was because he couldn't get his players to stay disciplined. Head coach Dennis Allen didn't exactly fulfill that requirement on Sunday either.

Throughout their existence, the Oakland Raiders and penalties have gone together like peanut butter and jelly. However, McKenzie wants to do away with that reputation.

Offensive Line Woes

It's no secret the Raiders' line is banged up. Jared Veldheer, Menelik Watson, Stefen Wisniewski were all inactive. Then Andre Gurode and Tony Pashos got injured during the game.

It's going to be a rough day when Matt McCants and Lamar Mady are the ones who have to fill in against Kansas City's incredible defense while playing inside the NFL's loudest stadium. But that's what happened.

Terrelle Pryor was sacked an unfathomable 10 times, and it could've gotten uglier had he not had his ability to scramble. The offensive line is without a doubt this team's Achillee's heel.

With so many injuries to an integral part of the team, a bye is exactly what the Raiders need right now.

Third-Down Conversions

Oakland only converted 26 percent of its third-down opportunities. There was even one instance where the Raiders were forced to a 3rd-and-48 deep in Kansas City territory.

The Raiders currently rank 27th in the NFL in third-down conversions at just 34.9 percent, according to espn.com, a stat that must improve if they want to string together wins this year.

Oh, and no more 3rd-and-48's either.

Terrelle Pryor's Immature Play

After being the savior of the Raiders' young season, Terrelle Pryor took a hard fall back to reality on Sunday afternoon.

Although Pryor looked solid early on, he unraveled at the seams as the game progressed, and it wasn't pretty. He threw three interceptions which led to 17 Kansas City points, including a 'pick-six' to Husain Abdullah to seal the game for Kansas City with 1:35 left in the game.

Pryor led the team in rushing with 60 yards, but there were times when he tried to do too much and didn't stick to the fundamentals of the game.

He has an uncanny ability to avoid pressure (for the most part), but he needs to learn that it's ok to just throw the ball away sometimes. Then again, it must've been impossible to think straight for even one second with all those red jerseys in his face.

"It's part of the learning experience," Allen said about Pryor's performance, via espn.com.

This was a good thing for Pryor. He isn't always going to be 'lights-out' and blow teams away with his legs while still burning them with the deep ball like he did against San Diego. He'll take his share of lumps like every other quarterback that have come and gone in the NFL.

But Sunday's performance is one I'm sure he'd like to forget.

Steven Slivka is a freelance writer for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

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