Chiefs secondary suspect again in Raiders loss

After watching Oakland Raiders Derek Carr march his team up and down the field Thursday night for more than 500 yards of offense and pulling out a victory with no time remaining on the clock, Kansas City safety Eric Murray experienced a swirl of emotions.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Terrance Mitchell wraps up Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper after a catch during Oakland’s 31-30 win on Oct. 19, 2017. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

“Just a lot of surprise, a lot of anger the way the game ended,” Murray told reporters after the game. “It was just bad, leaving a bad taste in my mouth.”

The Chiefs secondary let the team down Thursday night in a stunning 31-30 loss to the Raiders. After the Raiders reach the Kansas City 1-yard line with 8 seconds remaining, it took four more plays before Oakland finally punch in the winning score.

“I’ve never seen that,” defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches said. “Real live video game, four different endings.”

Yet as much focus rests on the final stretch of plays along the goal line, the entire fourth quarter painted a bleak picture of Kansas City’s ability to stop, or even slow down, Oakland’s passing game. The Raiders abandoned the run, throwing the ball on 21 of 23 offensive plays in the fourth quarter.

Carr completed only 10 of 21 attempts in the fourth quarter, but every complete counted. He shredded the Chiefs secondary for 148 yards in the final quarter, including 95 yards on the game-winning drive.

“They did a good job with it,” head coach Andy Reid said of Oakland’s passing attack. “That’s what happened, they did a good job. We’ve got to do better. We’ll go back and we’ll evaluate it, look it and see if we can do a better job there.”

The Raiders piled up 505 yards of offense, the second-most allowed by the Chiefs under Reid and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton since their arrival in Kansas City in 2013. The previous worst came against Denver in 2013, when Peyton Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns as the Broncos gained 535 yards in a 35-28 win over the Chiefs.

The Chiefs never seemed to find a rhythm against Carr. It took just four plays for the Raiders to score on their opening drive. Nunez-Roches said the Chiefs focused early on taking the run game away from the Raiders.

“Of course we wanted to try to stop the run,” Nunez-Roches told reporters. “We did that, we established that. Then it was moving to the pass. Certain things that we tried to do, dial up and we didn’t get it done.”

Focus on the crazy ending overlooks that the Chiefs pass defense mustered just two stops all night long. The Raiders collected 23 first downs through the air and converted 6-of-13 third-down opportunities.

It wasn’t entirely clear after the game that the Chiefs realized the first 60 minutes of the game determined the outcome, not two untimed downs with the clock set at zero.

“I thought we played hard,” Reid said. “We had a few penalties down the stretch there that got us. It’s a shame that it came down to that.”

And it’s not entirely clear the Chiefs have a plan to fix the pass defense woes.

“We have the players in here to fix this,” linebacker Dee Ford told reporters. “It’s not supposed to feel good to lose. But we have the players in here to fix it and lets move forward. It came down to one play and we can’t lose our focus.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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