Arrowhead Stadium has been a ‘House of Horrors’ for Derek Carr and the Raiders.
Six times Carr has taken the Raiders into Kansas City to face the Chiefs and he has come out on the short end every time, with most of the games not even being close.
Carr is one of just eight quarterbacks since the merger to make at least five road starts at a single stadium in the regular season or playoffs and lost every one of them.
“Derek’s going to hear it until we do it,” coach Jon Gruden said. “But, he’s the biggest reason I think we have a chance to do it. We have to play better around him. We can’t turn the ball over. If you look at the turnover ratio in the four games since I’ve been back coaching against Kansas City, it is almost embarrassing. I’m sorry I brought it up. I hope I didn’t make you guys sick. We have to take care of the ball. We have to take the ball away. That’s not illegal.”
Carr has been a big part of that problem over the years. The Raiders (2-2) have committed 12 turnovers and gotten only three takeaways from the Chiefs in four meetings since Gruden returned in 2018.
Carr is responsible for seven of those giveaways the past two years with six interceptions and one lost fumble. Five of them came in the two games at Arrowhead, where Carr has nine turnovers in six career games.
That has turned what once was one of the fiercest rivalries in the game into a lopsided affair with the Chiefs going 12-2 in the series since Andy Reid arrived as coach in 2013 with seven straight wins at home.
“If we’re being honest, to make it a rivalry we have to win some games here,” Carr said. “That would make it a lot nicer. They’ve had our number for a little bit and it kind of makes us mad. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to fight. … (Gruden) makes sure that the young guys know what they’re getting into and things like that. They don’t like us, we don’t like them. There’s not a lot of hand shaking between the two. Never has been, never will be probably even though they’re friends on each side.”
For all the good things Carr has accomplished in his career with the most touchdown passes and yards passing in Raiders history, good performances in Kansas City have been lacking.
He completed less than 50% of his passes in a 31-13 loss in his first trip in 2014. The Raiders made it a little closer the following year in a 23-17 defeat that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
Carr then went just 17 for 41 on a cold December night in 2016 with first place on the line in another Raiders loss. He threw two more interceptions the next year and then the Raiders have been outscored 75-12 the past two years.
In the last four meetings, Carr has thrown as many TDs to Chiefs players as he has to teammates, with his two Pick-6s equaling his two touchdown passes.
Carr’s 63.2 rating in the six starts at Arrowhead rank 118th out of 121 quarterbacks who have made at least five starts in a specific stadium since 2014.
He does have a few things in his favor this year as he won’t have to deal with the deafening noise that usually hampers visiting quarterbacks with less than 17,000 fans allowed because of COVID-19 protocols. This will also be the first time in his career that Carr comes to Kansas City before December so he won’t have to deal with the cold that usually makes life difficult on him.
“It will never be easy,” Carr said. “We haven’t won there in some time as an organization. We need to get a win there. … The awesome thing about sports and about football is that you get another chance at it. So, here we go, we get another chance to go there. But it’s never an easy place to play, especially against that coaching staff and that team.”
NOTES: RT Trent Brown returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since leaving the opener with a calf injury after three snaps. … WR Henry Ruggs III (knee, hamstring) also returned after missing the past two games, while fellow rookie WR Bryan Edwards (foot, ankle) remains out. … DT Maliek Collins (shoulder, illness) also missed practice.