Raiders late rally not enough to undo disastrous start in loss to Chiefs

Facing a Kansas City Chiefs team that had dropped six of seven, the Oakland Raiders no-showed for three-and-a-half quarters on Sunday afternoon, falling 26-15 at Arrowhead Stadium.

The dud dropped the Raiders (6-7) out of the first-place tie atop the AFC West and leaves Derek Carr winless in the Chiefs’ home stadium.

“It’s disappointing. We really wanted this one,” head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters. “It’s not about want to. It’s not about preparation or effort or energy. It’s about execution. We didn’t execute well enough today. They did and we’ve got to give them the credit.”

Carr slung a touchdown and two interceptions, completing 24 of 41 passs for 211 yards — the vast majority of his production coming after the Raiders had been buried 26-0. Like Del Rio, the quarterback singled out the team’s lack of execution.

“It sucked. It wasn’t good enough,” Carr said. “And you can put it all on me. Don’t you blame one coach, one player. It’s all my fault.”

Marshawn Lynch finally got the Raiders on the board with 8:51 left on the clock, breaking free for a 22-yard rush into the end zone. Lynch, who went for 61 yards on seven carries, now has five touchdowns in as many games.

The Raiders found late life when Erik Harris recovered the ensuing onside kick. The special-team success led to a 29-yard strike from Carr to Jared Cook. Michael Crabtree proceed to secure the two-point conversion, leaving the score at 26-15 with 7:09 to go.

That’s as close as the guests would get as the final drive ended in disaster. Carr found Johnny Holton inside the 5-yard line, but the ball popped off the second-year receiver and into the hands of Chiefs safety Steven Terrell.

“I thought we hung together and gave ourselves a chance in the second half by sticking together and fighting and we came close to getting back into it but came up a little short,” Del Rio said.

The third quarter closed in fitting fashion as Justin Houston drilled Carr into the turf, sacking the Raider quarterback for a six-yard loss.

During the third, Carr led the Raiders to a trio of punts and one drive that was undone by a Holton fumble.

“He’s the trigger man of our offense, so our offense didn’t get done what we needed to get done today,” Del Rio said when asked to assess Carr’s day.

The Raiders trudged into the locker room staring at a 16-0 halftime deficit after managing just 68 yards of total offense.

Lynch accounted for 27 of those yards on a single run on the second series of the game. Carr never got on track during the opening half, delivering an interception and hitting on just five of his 12 attempts for 31 yards. The club’s opening five drives concluded with four punts and a pick.

“It’s a tough one today,” Del Rio said. “We obviously came in with high hopes. Everything that we wanted to accomplish in our season was in front of us and it was a big day and a big moment and we did not play well.”

The hole would have been even bigger if not for Kansas City’s failure to find the end zone. The Chiefs scored on each of their first four drives, with three of them resulting in Harrison Butker field goals.

Carr couldn’t explain how the Raiders had started so flat in such a significant game.

“I wish I had the answer because it would have been something that we could have nipped after the first couple of drives,” Carr said. “But I’ll look at myself like I always do and see what I can do better and then see if I can help my teammates along the way.”

Down goes Coop

Amari Cooper, who missed last week’s win over the New York Giants with a concussion and a left ankle injury, exited Sunday’s meeting without a catch.

In the second quarter, Cooper got his injured ankle rolled up on as he helped block on a bunch formation. The team announced that he was questionable to return, but Cooper never made it back, instead watching on from the bench.

A new high

Bruce Irvin provided a rare bright spot, sacking Alex Smith three times in the opening half. Irvin now has six sacks in the past three games, giving the six-year veteran 8.5 on the season — a new career high.

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By Al Saracevic