KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was near perfect in last week’s win over the 49ers, in large part because he had plenty of time to throw.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday, when he was under near-constant duress during Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Carr was sacked four times and hit on at least 11 occasions. Film breakdown will certainly show he was pressured even more than that.
The Kansas City pass rush was relentless, invading the backfield from the interior and the edge via Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. There was no place to go and little time to throw, creating major problems for a sputtering Raiders offense.
Carr was 27-for-56 passing for 222 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. More telling, however, is a 64.7 passer rating and a dismal 4.0 yards per pass attempt. He also lost a fumbled snap.
“We’ll determine the hows and whys of what went wrong on film, but the responsibility (for what happened) in that game lies on us,” right guard Austin Howard said. “As an offensive line, we didn’t perform the way we should have today.”
It’s a different site and certainly a tweaked game plan, but the Chiefs featured the same personnel the offensive line held at bay during a Week 12 victory in Oakland. Carr was sacked once and hit twice then.
At Arrowhead Stadium, the outcome was altogether different. While Howard and the offensive line took blame for the offensive struggles, interim head coach Tony Sparano spread it around. Everybody on offense took a share.
“It’s a combination of (several) things,” Sparano said. “We had a couple situations out there where receivers couldn’t separate, and we lost some things that way. There were a couple situations where Derek didn’t necessarily throw it great, and I think he was under a lot of pressure.”
Quarterback pressure was pretty consistent, but life got a little easier with separation in the score line. The Chiefs didn’t have to worry about the run after a few third-quarter scores made the Raiders one-dimensional.
“There was pressure with the edge rushers and it caused some problems,” Sparano said. “Any time you get into a game where you are behind two scores against talent like they have, that’s a situation where you are feeding their ego a little bit.”
That hasn’t happened much. The offensive line has been solid in pass protection most of the season, but got burned by overwhelming pressure and inconsistent play in all areas. It certainly hindered Carr’s ability to generate offense and kept the Raiders stuck in neutral.
“As an offensive line, we have to find a way to open up holes better and give Carr time back there,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “Doing it sometimes doesn’t get you anywhere. … We have to do it more consistently.
“Today, the full offensive line, we didn’t do a good job in one-on-one matchups. We have done that in the past. Today, it came back to hurt us a little bit.”