The Oakland Raiders had a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs, but you’d never guess that based on the final score. It had been a back-and-forth game up to that point, with the Raiders looking like they were ready to steal a win from a Chiefs team that had won five games in a row.
Then everything came crumbling down.
Derek Carr was under constant pressure and responded with the worst quarter of his career. Carr threw three interceptions, the final of which was returned for a touchdown that essentially put the game away.
The Chiefs outscored the Raiders 20-0 in the fourth quarter. It literally could not have gone any worse for the Raiders … I mean, the guy who sealed the game with the pick-six was former Raiders safety Tyvon Branch. The team cut Branch after missing two straight seasons due to injuries. After joining the Chiefs in the offseason, one has to wonder if Branch was waiting for that moment.
While they weren’t as ugly as the fourth quarter, the first three quarters weren’t exactly pretty. Yet things were still going fairly well for the Raiders. The defense was playing well thanks to getting consistent pressure on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, sacking him four times. They also forced two turnovers against a team that usually does an outstanding job protecting the ball. And when the Raiders really needed a stop late in the fourth quarter, the defense got it done. It was a very good showing for a group that has been a liability more often than not.
The offense wasn’t going off like it has at times in the past, but it was playing well against a very good defense. Before the fourth quarter, the Raiders managed to score three touchdowns and had a huge advantage in time of possession. The run game was going better than it has in a while and Carr was playing well. Unfortunately, they completely choked in the fourth quarter.
As bad as the fourth quarter was today, this is nothing new for the Raiders:
#Raiders point differential by quarter – 1st: -10 2nd: +23 3rd: +23 4th: -52
— Raider Stats (@SilvrBlcknStats) December 1, 2015
This was easily the worst fourth quarter of the year and put an emphasis on the fact that this team is still a work in progress. They hung with the Chiefs for most of the day, but were not ready to put a good team away late. It’s been a problem all season long and it does not appear that the Raiders are close to figuring out a solution.