The Raiders were 1:43 away from an improbable sweep of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Then Patrick Mahomes and the mighty Chiefs’ offense took over.
With the Raiders clinging to a 31-28 lead, Mahomes led Kansas City on a seven-play 75-yard drive that ended with him throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with 28 seconds left. A last-ditch interception thrown by Derek Carr sealed Kansas City’s 35-31 victory.
The loss dropped the Raiders to 6-4 and probably ended their hopes of preventing Kansas City (9-1) from clinching its sixth AFC West division title.
Here’s what the Raiders were saying following the gut-wrenching defeat:
Raiders coach Jon Gruden:
(On winning play):
“We didn’t have a rush. We had a stunt and they wadded the stunt up and Mahomes bought some time and he got us on a second reaction play, he and Kelce. It was a combination of him buying time and our stunt not getting home.”
(On correcting mistakes):
“It helps if we practice. You know, guys show up on the day of the game. It’s hard to enforce these things but it goes back on me. We gotta get these men out on the field and correct these problems. I couldn’t be more proud of our football team and I wouldn’t trade any of our players for anybody. The effort they’ve given us is tremendous. We gotta eliminate the penalties and that starts with me.”
(On Derek Carr):
“It’s as good as you can play. I mean he had four or five balls that were magnificent throws that we could have caught that we didn’t make the play on. He played tremendous tonight. Played almost flawless.”
(On closing gap between themselves and elite teams):
“I don’t know, it’s hard to swallow right now. I don’t have anything to say about that. I don’t know where we rank but we’re giving great effort. We gotta get some people back out on the field playing. Hopefully we can. We got six or seven more weeks guaranteed to us that we can hopefully take advantage of.”
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr:
“It was a good game. I’m sure everyone at home enjoyed watching it. Two good football teams and division rivals going at it. We scored late on a two-minute drive to take the lead and then you’re really excited, obviously. Then they go down the field and they score then just the range of emotion. You try your best to stay even keel. You try your best not to get frustrated. But then you gotta go out there and try and get a chunk play, try to throw (Nelson Agholor) a jump ball and … just a “last situation” kind of thing. It sucks that it came down to something like that.”
“I’ve felt like we’ve been in a good rhythm all year, especially today. I felt we were in a really good rhythm. The stats may not show it, but when we ran the ball there was some efficient runs. We were hitting some big plays again in the pass game. But, man, it just wasn’t enough. This is the best offense I’ve ever been a part of. This group is awesome. I know I say it every week but we can win in different ways. We can smash ’em with the run game or we can do a shootout. We can do it that way. We’re proving that over time. The exciting part is everyone’s young. We’ve got a lot of young guys. I’m the old guy, I guess. We’re getting healthier. We’re on our way. Today it just wasn’t enough. It’s so unfortunate.”
(On getting over loss):
“We’ve got Atlanta, right? If you can’t get excited for Matt Ryan, Julie Jones, Calvin Ridley, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, this ain’t the game for you. There’s film to be watched. It sounds repetitive but if you just do your job — do you job on game day, do your job during the week, things take care of themselves on game day.”
(On dropped passes):
“I’ve missed a lot of passes in my life and I try to react in the same way I’d like them to react to me. If it’s challenge them, then challenge them. If it’s pick ’em up, pick ’em up. You try to read their demeanor. That’s why you have relationships with the guys and you understand what makes them click, what they like the hear in certain situations. When drops happen, if it’s a guy that’s not trying to do everything right during the week, I’m gonna get a little frustrated and probably use my dad voice. All of our guys try to do everything right all week. They try to catch extra balls. They’re always asking me to work with them. So when it happens during a game, I can’t get on ’em. I can’t get too mad at ’em. I’m not gonna sit there and rip a guy that does everything right. That doesn’t make sense. Things happen, man. I’ve missed plenty of balls in some crucial situations.”