ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Strange things always seem to happen to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr when he plays in Arrowhead Stadium. Or have you forgotten about the Spidercam wire maybe/supposedly/definitely knocking down a sure deep touchdown pass to Amari Cooper in 2016?
What about having to play in frigid Kansas City, Missouri, in either December or January every time he’s had to make the trip? Or his usually efficient self looking something less than, well, efficient in the Chiefs' ancient home?
Bottom line, Arrowhead is Carr’s personal house of horrors, and that's not a good look with the Raiders limping in off of Sunday's humiliating 34-3 loss at the New York Jets. Especially with what was at stake in the Meadowlands -- beat the Jets and the Raiders would have gone to Kansas City tied with the Chiefs for first place in the AFC West at 7-4. Instead, Oakland is one of four AFC teams with a 6-5 record, the No. 7 seed and out of the playoffs if the season ended today.
"We better show up or they're going to beat us by 50," Carr said of visiting the Chiefs on Sunday in the wake of the Jets debacle. "They're a really good football team, one of the best in the NFL. Hopefully, our guys, myself included, when we show up in Arrowhead ... we're ready to go. I believe we will be."
Expect a little soul-searching by Carr this week, with the focus on the $125 million franchise quarterback's careerlong struggles in Kansas City.
Consider: Carr is 0-5 in Kansas City, losing by an average score of 27-12, and his yards passing per game there decreases by almost 100 (285 yards in all other away stadiums, 186 yards at Arrowhead), his completion percentage falls from 63% to 55% and his Total QBR plummets almost 30 points (44-15).
And while he has thrown three touchdown passes and been intercepted five times at Arrowhead for a 0.60 TD-INT ratio compared to 58 TDs and 24 interceptions in other road games for a 2.42 TD-INT ratio, he has also been sacked 17 times there.
The closest Carr has come to beating the Chiefs on the road? The 23-17 loss in the 2015 finale. In 2018, the Raiders suffered a 35-3 defeat at Arrowhead to close the season.
This season's Raiders are on the upswing but still a work in progress even with Carr, a starter since his rookie season of 2014.
"We're not the '85 Bears," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. "We're a developing football team. We're developing our roster, we're making strides ... we're going to give our preparation every ounce of diligence that we can. We know what we're up against in Arrowhead. They're coming off a bye week, so it's not going to be easy."
Ah yes, the bye week.
In another intriguing twist to Oakland in general, Carr in particular, this is the fifth time since 2011 the Chiefs will come out of their bye to face the Raiders. The Chiefs have won three of four and, oh yeah, Kansas City coach Andy Reid is 17-3 coming off a bye, 4-2 with the Chiefs.
"[I'm] in my sixth year," Carr said, unprompted. "I'm 28 with three kids. I want to win now. They're going to be growing up soon and wanting me to come home. I'd rather win while they're still in school and young."
Exorcising his Arrowhead demons would be a start. As would winning when the thermometer drops.
Cold-weather games have not been kind to Carr. And according to Weather.com, the high temperature is expected to be 38 degrees in Kansas City on Sunday.
Carr is 0-4 in games where the temperature is 40 degrees or below, per ESPN Stats & Information research, including 0-2 in such games at Arrowhead, completing 51% of his passes for 152 yards per game with three TDs passes and four INTs for a Total QBR of 9.
He is 1-8 in games where the temperature is 45 degrees or below. In those colder games, he completes 55% of his passes with a 5.2 yards per attempt average and a 0.8 TD-INT ratio (7-9) while passing for 181 yards per game and registering a Total QBR of 18.
Compare those numbers to games where the temperature is over 45 degrees -- a 37-41 record, 248 passing yards per game, 64.0 completion percentage, 7.0 yards per attempt, a 2.7 TD-INT ratio (128-48) and a Total QBR of 54 -- and there is more than one hurdle for Carr and the Raiders to get past in Kansas City.
Gruden laughed when asked how he could simulate wet and cold conditions in California.
"I'm not a genius, I'm not Thomas Edison, I don't know how to do that," he said. "We're just trying to show pictures of people that are cold that deal with cold."
"I don't know,” he said. "We're not going to overanalyze it."
If nothing else, Carr sees an opportunity after being thumped by the Jets in inclement weather with a wind chill of 36 degrees.
"I hope so," Carr said. "We got our butts kicked and there is no other way around that. They got after us from start to finish and hopefully it's an eye-opener. Hopefully, we take it and learn from it ... we got our face kicked in a little bit. You try to look forward and hopefully it wakes everybody up."
Especially from the nightmare at Arrowhead Stadium.