The offseason optimism surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders following the additions of Davante Adams, Chandler Jones and Josh McDaniels seems a thing of the past.
This can make an unprecedented collapse.
The Raiders lost their first two games of the season, blowing a 20-point halftime lead and a 16-point fourth-quarter lead in a 29-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Now, instead of building on last year’s playoff spot, the Raiders are simply trying to start 2022 under a new regime.
“You never get a pass like, ‘Hey, we’re just going to go from last year’s process to this year’s process,'” McDaniels said Monday. ”You have to go back and learn it again. It starts with me. I don’t get points for what I’ve done in the past. Neither does anyone else. We’ll have to go through these growing pains together.”
A lot has been done so far.
The Raiders fell into a big hole early in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers and couldn’t get out of it.
They then got off to a fast start against the Cardinals, building a 20-0 halftime lead and seemingly in complete control heading into the fourth quarter up 23-7.
But the offense stalled, the defense wilted slowly against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals were able to tie the game on the final play of regulation and win it when Byron Murphy returned a Hunter Renfrow punt 59 yards for the winning score in overtime.
This was the first time in Raiders history that they lost a game they had led by at least 20 points.
“We feel bad right now, but we’re still a good football team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. ”Making sure we keep that mindset of not, ‘Oh, no, it’s over.’ I’ve been doing this for a while, man. I know we have good guys who work hard and care, so I know we can get away with it, but it’s going to make us do it the right way.”
First half foul. The Raiders had four drives in the first half and turned them all into scores, with Carr throwing short TD passes to Davante Adams and Darren Waller and Daniel Carlson scoring twice. The Raiders averaged 6.8 yards per play and Carr was 18-for-24 for 210 yards before halftime.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Second half foul. 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. That’s the most shutouts by a player in a single stadium since the NFL/AFL merger, surpassing 18 by Al Del Greco at Vanderbilt Stadium and Dan Carpenter at MetLife Stadium.
Carlson has now hit 28 consecutive field goals overall dating back to Week 8 of last season, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Carr to Adams connection. The former college teammates weren’t as sharp in Week 2 as they were in the opener 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 was benched 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 being injured in the last game. McDaniels had no update on his condition. … DT Bilal Nichols also left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
117. The Raiders had gone 117-0 in the regular season and playoffs when leading by at least 16 points after the third quarter before blowing the score against the Cardinals.
The Raiders travel to Tennessee on Sunday looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2018.
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