The Raiders’ offense held its own with an excellent performance from the passing offense that led to three touchdowns in the air. Raiders finished with a high 6.4 yards per play and moved the ball at will, only punting twice during the game. There were also 6-9 on third down. The offense is officially one of the best in the league.
On the other hand, the defense had its usual performance with a horrid game-winning touchdown to Travis Kelce. Chiefs set a franchise record with 36 first downs and played ball control throughout the contest. The defense had no answer for them all night, and if it wasn’t for a couple of big plays on third down could have been worse. Overall, the Raiders allowed 6.3 yards per play, which is unacceptable.
Who are the winners and losers this week? Let’s take a look.
Winner: QB Derek Carr
Throughout the season so far, it seems like Derek Carr has been on a mission. He has been determined to smash his critics who have bashed him for the season. Week after week, we see the Raiders quarterback get better, and this week no different.
Carr carried the Raiders the whole game and kept them on schedule while the defense struggled. He threw for three touchdowns with a 74% completion percentage and 8.9 YPA. He made plays out of the structure, big-time throws, and stayed aggressive.
Carr is now getting overhyped a little bit, but it was deserved after a performance like that. Can he continue it down the stretch? That is the real question as the Raiders are a favorite for the six the seed. They will need Carr at his best going forward.
Winner: CB Trayvon Mullen
Mullen is the most consistent corner on the football team but has had his share of up and downs this season. Last week, for example, against the Denver Broncos, they went after him specifically, and he struggled. This week he was a changed player and had one of his best games of the season.
Mullen got his first interception of the season right before halftime, being in the right position on a bad throw. That play kept the Chiefs from scoring late in the first half. His best play was earlier in the game, where he was beaten by Tyreek Hill but then did a great job of recovering and making a play on the football.
Mullen needs to be more consistent himself to get to the next level of play he wants to achieve. Games like these are a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the young corner gives us back to back performances next week.
Winner: DE Clelin Ferrell
Defensive ends are supposed to be edge rushers in the minds of fans today primarily. While this true and producing pressure is more important than stopping the run, it still helps. The Raiders were missing their edge setter in Clelin Ferrell badly.
Raiders got beat on outside runs for most of the game, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Leveon Bell making runs outside. Kelce was consistently able to make crack blocks on edge defenders, and the Chiefs ate on tosses and pin-pull sweeps.
Ferrell for sure would have helped on these plays alone and shows his value on this team. No, he probably will never be a sack dynamo, but Ferrell is needed in this system and scheme.