In the end, it didn't matter if the quarterback was Kyle Boller or Carson Palmer.
The Raiders' secrecy in naming a starter was no mystery to the Kansas City Chiefs, who intercepted six passes and returned two of them for touchdowns Sunday in a 28-0 AFC West win before 57,361 fans at O.co Coliseum.
By the end of the game, each quarterback had thrown three interceptions. Both suffered the indignity of leaving an ill-advised cross-field gift pass to delighted defensive backs for touchdowns.
"This football team is not going to blink," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. "We've got to play better. We've got to play better offensively. I take full responsibility, because this is a team that I lead, and we didn't play like the Raiders can play."
Given that running back Darren McFadden left the game in the first quarter with a foot injury of unknown severity and middle linebacker Rolando McClain didn't finish the game because of a lower leg injury, the Raiders' roller coaster of emotions has hit its low point going into a bye week.
The Raiders (4-3) saw an eight-game AFC West win streak snapped and were shut out for the first time in 31 games in an offensive performance hearkening back to the post-2002 dark period they had seemingly started to escape last season.
Kansas City, the defending division champion, earned its third straight victory but first over a team with a winning record to improve to 3-3.
Boller, who Jackson said was his choice as the starter all along given Palmer's layoff and inexperience in the Raiders system, finished 7 of 14 for 61 yards with three interceptions.
"I feel like I let my teammates down," said Boller, who started in place of the injured Jason Campbell. "There's not much to say. The play speaks for itself."
Palmer, 8 for 21 for 116 yards with three interceptions, threw a sideline pass intended for Denarius Moore that Brandon Flowers intercepted and ran 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 28-0 lead on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Palmer's 17.3 passer rating was not only lower than Boller's 22.3 but also the lowest of his career for any NFL game in which Palmer has thrown 20 or more passes.
The tone was set on Boller's first pass of the day, a third-and-6 throw toward the left sideline intended for Jacoby Ford that Kendrick Lewis saw coming, intercepting it on the run and racing 59 yards for a touchdown.
"We knew they had a quarterback controversy," Lewis said. "We studied film and studied their routes and knew they would have a limited playbook. When we had the opportunity to make big plays and capitalize, that's what we did."
Boller, in his first week getting the lion's share of practice reps -- Jackson put it at 80 percent -- never got into any kind of rhythm before being pulled on Oakland's second series of the third quarter.
Palmer, with three days of practice and an extended pregame workout, hadn't played since Week 17 last season and admitted he's spent most of the past six weeks on the couch.
Jackson called his decision not to disclose a starter as "gamesmanship," but it was a nonfactor.
The Raiders' only chance rested in winning the turnover battle (they were minus-4), playing smart football (they had 14 penalties for 120 yards) and dominating with the run.
Though Oakland finished with 155 yards on 27 carries, with Michael Bush gaining 99 on 17 attempts, they didn't move the chains with regularity.
Bush got stuffed at the 1-yard line on a fourth-and-goal play that ruined a chance to cut the deficit to 14-7 early in the second quarter. It came on a play with Bush taking a shotgun snap from center and getting hit by linebacker Derrick Johnson. The Raiders had seemingly tipped their hand when Bush lined up there only to have to call a timeout with the play clock running down. They talked it over during the timeout, then ran the play anyway.
"I love that you guys see all the different things that you think stopped us from scoring," Jackson said. "Look, they stopped us. And they won. And they won 28-0."