Raiders' playoff hopes take a hit with loss to Lions


Oakland's playoff hopes are in hot water after the Raiders (4-6) lost Sunday's meeting with the Detroit Lions (3-7), 18-13. Here's what you need to know:

1. Matthew Stafford came out humming, guiding the Lions on a 13-play march that chewed seven-plus minutes off the clock before a rash of red-zone drops (we're looking at you, Eric Ebron) led to a Detroit field goal. The Lions outgained Oakland 218 yards to 91 in the first half, but with just nine points to show for it. On the plus side, Stafford and Calvin Johnson hooked up for 88 yards off five grabs. Stafford (22-of-35 passing for 282 yards) remains a frustrating signal-caller, but this was among his better games of the year. On Detroit's 80-yard scoring march that put the Lions up for good, he was at his best, accounting for 75 total yards -- including 23 on the ground with a touchdown.

Every game, all season

2. Derek Carr and the Raiders' offense came out flat, running just five plays in the first quarter and finishing the first half with four straight punts and just 57 yards passing. Carr threw a bad pick that was called back by a Lions penalty, but also galloped for a key first down on Oakland's first scoring march. The young quarterback wasn't helped by rookie Amari Cooper, who caught just one pass for four yards and dropped a handful of throws. Also not helpful: Left tackle Donald Penn being flagged for holding in Oakland's end zone, triggering a safety that put Detroit up 18-13 with 7:31 to go.

3. After just six carries over the past two weeks, rookie back Ameer Abdullah led the Lions with a mundane 44 yards off 12 totes. He also nearly made a beautiful diving grab for the ball in the end zone, but Stafford's first-quarter pass fell just beyond his reach.

4. Oakland's defense has been suspect this season, but its pass rush came to life with another four sacks on Sunday after piling up four takedowns against the Vikings last week. At 4-6, they'll need to keep pounding the passer against the Titans, Chiefs, Broncos and Packers to stay alive in the AFC playoff race.