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Chiefs offense deserves blame for Raiders loss with miserable third down percentage

One reason the Chiefs lost: they were really bad on third down.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote earlier that the defense cost the Kansas City Chiefs in Thursday's loss to the Oakland Raiders. And that's correct. The Chiefs defense could not hold a lead in the fourth quarter. They allowed the Raiders to convert 50 percent of their third downs.

But let's not let the offense off the hook here. They contributed to this loss, too.

Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense deserves some credit for coming back with two second half touchdowns. They did the same thing in Buffalo and scored one against Seattle, too. That's a good trend.

Unfortunately it's tough to shake off the stench of 2-for-14 on third downs. That's a 2009-esque third down percentage for the Chiefs and it's part of the reason the Chiefs lost the game. It's Alex Smith's fault. It's the offensive line's fault. It's the running backs and receivers fault. This was a collective effort.

The Chiefs first two drives were uninspiring three-and-outs. They did not pass midfield until midway through the second quarter. The only reason they scored at all in the first half is thanks to a Raiders punt return fumble that set the Chiefs up. And speaking of that, it's fair to point out that the Chiefs settled for a field goal there and did not get a touchdown.

The play calling was uninspired. Either it simply didn't work or the Chiefs lacked the creativity in the play calling department that we saw against Seattle. It felt like a preseason game at times where you don't want to show your real offense. It was just different than what we're used to.

The Chiefs recipe on offense this year has been controlling the clock with a high third down percentage. They didn't do that Thursday in Oakland. It's tough to win a game going 2-for-14 on third down.

20 points should be good enough to beat the Raiders, which is why I lay most of this blame on the Chiefs defense. But the offense isn't without fault.

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