The offseason optimism surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders seems to have faded after the additions of Davante Adams, Chandler Jones and Josh McDaniels in the past.
That’s what an unprecedented fall can do.
The Raiders lost their first two games of the season, blowing a 20-point lead at halftime and a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter in a 29-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Now, instead of building on last year’s playoff push, the Raiders are just looking to advance in 2022 under a new regime.
”You don’t get a pass because, “Hey we’re going to have to graduate right from last year’s process to this year’s process,” McDaniels said Monday. ”You have to go back through it and learn it again. It starts with me. I don’t get any points for what I’ve done in the past. Neither does anyone else. We will have to go through these growing pains together.”
There is plenty so far.
The Raiders fell into a big hole early in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers and couldn’t climb out of it.
They then got off to a fast start against the Cardinals, racing out to a 20-0 lead at the half and seemingly in full control entering the fourth quarter up 23-7.
But the offense stagnated, the defense rallied late against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals managed to tie the game on the final play of regulation and win it when Byron Murphy returned a fumble by Hunter Renfrow 59 yards for the game winning score in overtime.
It was the first time in Raiders history that they lost a game they led by at least 20 points.
“We’re crazy right now, but we’re still a good football team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. ”Making sure we don’t keep that mindset, “Oh no, it’s over.” I’ve been doing this for a while, man. I know we have good people who work hard and care, so I know we can pull ourselves out of it, but we’re going to have to do it the right way.”
Offense in the first half. The Raiders had four field goals in the first half and they all turned into scores, with Carr throwing short TD passes to Davante Adams and Darren Waller and Daniel Carlson kicking two field goals. The Raiders averaged 6.8 yards per play and Carr was 18 for 24 for 210 yards before halftime.
WHAT TO DO HELP
Second half offense. Almost nothing went right after halftime for the Raiders on offense. Las Vegas averaged 2.9 yards per play after halftime, scoring three points on five possessions. Carr went 7 for 15 for 42 yards and a 53.5 rating as the Raiders couldn’t burn the clock to keep the tired defense off the field.
Carlson made three more field goals to make him 41 for 41 all-time at Allegiant Stadium. It’s the most shutouts by a kicker in one stadium since the NFL/AFL merger, topped by 18 for Al Del Greco at Vanderbilt Stadium and Dan Carpenter at MetLife Stadium.
Carlson has now made 28 total field goals dating back to Week 8 of last season, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Carr’s connection with Adams. The former college quarterback wasn’t as sharp in Week 2 as he was in the finale when Adams had 10 catches for 141 yards and a TD. Adams caught a 1-yard TD on the opening drive and an 11-yard pass late in the second quarter but stalled in the second half. His two catches were his fewest in a game since Oct. 22, 2017, when Brett Hundley played QB for Green Bay against New Orleans.
Renfrow was evaluated for a concussion after he fumbled on the final play. McDaniels had no update on his status. … DT Bilal Nichols also left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
117. The Raiders were 117-0 in the regular season and playoffs when leading by at least 16 points after the third quarter before blowing it against the Cardinals.
THESE FIRST STEPS
The Raiders head to Tennessee on Sunday looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2018.
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