The playoff hopes for the Oakland Raiders took a devastating blow after they were flat-out dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13.
The Raiders had a chance to potentially take control of the AFC West going into Kansas City. Unfortunately, it became evident early on that they were not up to the task in any facet of the game and were ultimately blown out, 40-9.
Performances like these so late in the 2019 NFL season are hardly an encouraging sign for a potential resurgence in Oakland. Even head coach Jon Gruden appears to be acknowledging that this team is still far from a finished product.
Gruden admits there is still a gap between them and the Chiefs, and highlighted their penalties and mental mistakes as a reason why, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports:
“Our inability to stay away from penalties and put ourselves in horrible positions,” he said. “I think we had four defensive false starts. We had turnovers in the kicking game. We had a pick-six. We just never found our rhythm at all. That is disappointing, but I know where we are. I know where they are as a football team. We have work to do, and we’re going to continue to try and catch the Chiefs.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Gruden’s comments considering how both teams have responded to setbacks throughout the course of the 2019 campaign. While the Raiders failed to bounce back from their abysmal loss to the New York Jets in Wek 12, The Chiefs have seemingly managed to kick things up a notch heading into the final stretch of the season with back-to-back wins.
Oakland did not have much to hang their hat on given their struggles in all phases of the game in Kansas City. It would have been a closer game if not for penalties, but the Raiders were flagged 12 times for 99 yards while the Chiefs committed zero.
Any hype that the Raiders had once generated during the season has now been whisked away by a two-game skid that saw them outscored 74-12 by the Jets and Chiefs. At this point, Gruden will need to show that there are still signs of promise amidst their current rebuild as they look to get back on track at home against the Tennessee Titans in Week 14.
Although Oakland has not been officially eliminated from playoff contention, there is already plenty of speculation regarding whether or not even more substantial changes will need to be made this offseason in order to emerge as a bonafide playoff contender.