Raiders Squander 14-Point Lead, Lose Second Straight Under Interim Coach Antonio Pierce

Nov 26, 2023, 9:03 PM


Head coach Andy Reid and interim head coach Antonio Pierce of the Las Vegas Raiders meet after a game at Allegiant Stadium on November 26, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas cornerback Amik Robertson had one game circled on the calendar.

Turns out, this wasn’t the Raiders‘ day. Las Vegas squandered a 14-point lead and head into their bye week after a disappointing 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We had a lot of losses this year man, and for me, that’s just the one I wanted the most,” Robertson said. “Unfortunately we came up short.”

Short, as in Las Vegas (5-7) was outscored 31-3 after taking an early 14-0 lead. The Chiefs (8-3) scored 21 straight points to seize control.

“You knew at some point, world champs, Patrick (Mahomes) and those guys are going to start making plays, and they did,” Las Vegas interim coach Antonio Pierce said.

The loss dropped the Raiders to 2-2 under Pierce since taking over for fired Josh McDaniels.

Las Vegas won its first two games, against the sub-.500 Giants and Jets, but has now lost consecutive games against first-place teams, including Miami last week.

So, even with a re-energized locker room under a new coaching staff, it remains to be seen if the Raiders are ready to compete against the league’s elite teams. Even further, is Pierce ready to coach against them?

“Of course,” Robertson said. “We’re competitive, he’s a competitive coach, he was a competitive player playing. We know how this league is, man. You start off hot, everybody loves you. Now we lost two in a row and everybody has their own negative opinion.

“We have to stay with each other and continue building, continue to trust in the guy next to us, and continue to compete and continue playing.”

Las Vegas built its two-touchdown lead by totaling 221 yards on 25 plays across three drives, one of them ending when Daniel Carlson missed a 30-yard field goal.

From there, the Raiders tallied 137 yards on 35 plays over seven drives, stalling on five of them and a sixth coming to an end at halftime. Carlson’s 34-yard field goal late in the third quarter cut Kansas City’s lead to four, but the Raiders were no match for the hard-charging Chiefs.

“There were opportunities there … there were guys open and we got to make them, no different than we did in the run game in the first quarter,” Pierce added.

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell took advantage of his opportunities early, connecting on 13 of his first 15 attempts. He was 10 of 18 the rest of the way, finishing 23 of 33 for 248 yards and one touchdown for a 101.6 rating. It was the second game in six appearances this season that he didn’t throw an interception.

Josh Jacobs finished with his 17th career 100-yard rushing performance, rushing for 110 yards on 20 carries, including a 63-yard TD scamper.

But stalling on offense is nothing new for the Raiders, who have scored 58, 66 and 56 points in the first, second and fourth quarters, respectively, but have scored a listless 22 points in the third quarter this season.

“It’s just converting on third downs,” O’Connell said. “We have to do a good job of keeping our defense off the field and sustaining drives and getting ahead of the sticks and staying ahead of the sticks. It’s a combination of a lot of different things. You have to be able to run the ball, pass the ball, and execute.”

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Raiders Squander 14-Point Lead, Lose Second Straight Under Interim Coach Antonio Pierce