However, even if you include those five drops as catches, Carr still wasn't himself. The Raiders quarterback was erratic for most of the night, throwing in front of receivers, behind receivers and over their head. At one point, NBC showed a graphic that proved Carr wasn't using his pinkie at all to grip the ball. As you can see below, Smith was using his, but Carr wasn't.
As entertaining as last night's Chiefs game was, there was another great show going on... As familiar as Mitch Holthus voice is over the radio, there's a side to him you've probably never seen before.
The Chiefs beat the Raiders for the second time this season and, by virtue of that, now lead the division even though the two teams sport matching records of 10-3. The Raiders began the night with a chance to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs by winning their final four games of the regular season. Instead, they now find themselves lined up to play an opening-round postseason game on the road as a wild-card team.
"At this point, I don’t care," Smith said about the consistent debate over whether his game is good enough. "I like winning and I like being in locker rooms after wins. I love the process of us all week coming up with a plan and coming out on a Sunday and finding a way to beat the other team."
On the other hand, the running game was solid even without the Raiders’ top run blocker out there. Latavius Murray had his second 100-yard rushing effort of the year with 22 carries for 103 yards and also scored his 12th rushing touchdown of the season, tying him with Marcus Allen for third most in a single season. Overall, the Raiders averaged 4.4 yards per carry and ultimately probably should’ve put the ball on the ground more considering how inept the passing game was.
The AFC West is loaded, and the Raiders are one of the reasons. They're exciting, solid on the road and have a quarterback who's emerging as one of the game's best. But they're not in the same class as the Chiefs. Not yet. That was in evidence the moment the Chiefs swept the season series despite that turnover differential, and despite scoring all 21 points in the second quarter.
"Nothing personal between us," Del Rio wrote. "Andy is a good man and good coach. They earned a hard fought victory last night. On to next... go Raiders"
Instead, Smith played as aggressively as he ever has in his four seasons with the Chiefs. He completed eight passes of at least 15 yards, and three at least twice that far, including a 36-yard touchdown to receiver Tyreek Hill. "No question I think it is important, especially as the season goes on here," Smith said after going on the attack. "You have to be able to stretch defenses in multiple ways and vertically is certainly one of them."
It’s a challenge Johnson has accepted. "I will help the young guys go get us this ring," he said.
The excuse note was posted Wednesday morning on arrowheadpride.com by Joel Thurman, who runs the Chiefs-oriented blog. It generated fun comments on the site, on Twitter and on Facebook.
Even with an interception and a lost fumble, Smith thoroughly outplayed his MVP-candidate counterpart.
Crabtree leads the league in drops, Roberts loses concentration and times and, when that happens, the Raiders offense hits the skids. Those mistake can’t happen against good teams.