The Oakland Raiders returned home hoping to rinse their mouths of a nasty taste left after Derek Carr threw three interceptions in the Raiders 34-20 loss to the Chiefs their last game at O.Co Coliseum.
Unfortunately for head coach Jack Del Rio’s Raiders, carr and the offense struggled to find their rhythm in the first quarter.
On their second drive of the game, Carr looked for his rookie tight end Clive Walford over the middle but was picked by Micah Hyde, who returned the ball into the Raiders red zone. Former Cal standout quarterback Aaron Rodgers then led his team into the end zone, capping it off with a five-yard touchdown drive by fullback John Kuhn to give the Packers the early lead.
This got even worse for the Raiders on their next possession as Carr overthrew rookie wide receiver Seth Roberts, with the ball falling into the hands of Damarious Randall, who returned the ball 40 yards for the pick-six to put the Packers up 14-0 early on the Raiders.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave did a nice job responding on the next drive, dialing up a drive to get the Raiders offense going and into the Packers red zone. Unfortunately, Carr was unable to find Michael Crabtree on a fade route in the end zone and would have to setlte for a Sebastian Janikowski field goal from 23 yards out to make the score 14-3.
It would be the same case for the Raiders offense on the next drive, as they’d settle for another field goal from the red zone, bringing it to just a one-score game at 14-6.
With Rodgers and the Packers offense finding their rhythm, the Raiders defense came up big again just before the end of the first half. Running back James Starks found some running room down the left side when veteran safety Charles Woodson came up with a big hit, and then defensive lineman Benson Mayowa came up to complete to play with the stripped fumble, and the recovery to give Carr the ball back with 1:22 left in the half.
With just one timeout, the second-year quarterback got the Raiders into the end zone for the first time. Carr completed the 79-yard drive with a beautiful ball to rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper for the 19-yard touchdown, making the score 14-13 heading into halftime. It was Cooper’s first touchdown in five games.
After deferring the opening kickoff, Carr and the offense missed a prime opportunity to take the lead by going three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half. Instead, the Raiders defense would give up a field goal to allow the Packers to extend their lead to 17-13.
Carr responded with a drive of his own by starting with a 41-yard completion to his rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper deep down the right sideline. The catch put Cooper over 1,000 yards for the season, marking the first Raiders wide receiver to eclipse the mark since Randy Moss had 1,005 receptions in 2005. He then found his young receiver again to end the drive, hitting him from 26 yards out for his second touchdown of the game and giving the Raiders the 20-17 lead.
But it took Rodgers just 62 seconds to respond after a good kickoff return gave them the ball at the 48-yard line. Rodgers quickly capitalized by finding former Raiders wide receiver James Jones for a 30-yard touchdown after blown coverage by Raiders cornerback David Amerson.
With the Raiders offense struggling to find any consistency, the Packers offense kept rolling. But the Raiders defense came up with a big stop after cornerback DJ Hayden got called for pass interference in the end zone to give the Packers the ball at the one-yard line. The Raiders still had a chance down ust 27-20 after a field goal.
But Carr and the offense failed to move the chains and had to punt after Carr was sacked for a 14-yard loss. That, combined punt, gave the Packers offense the ball at the Raiders 36-yard line looking to make it a two-score lead.
Following a 25-yard run by Starks, kicker Mason Crosby knocked the field goal through to make it 30-20.
The Raiders received a little bit of hope late in the game when Amerson intercepted Rodgers at the one-yard line with 2:36 remaining in the game. But the Raiders couldn’t keep the chains moving, turning the ball over on downs again allowing the Packers to run the clock down and handing the Raiders their eighth loss of the season.
The loss to the Raiders officially eliminated the Raiders from the playoffs. They’ll take on the San Diego Chargers at home in a Christmas Eve matchup on Thursday Night Football.