The off-season optimism surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders following the additions of Davante Adams, Chandler Jones and Josh McDaniels seems in the distant past.
That’s what an unprecedented collapse can do.
The Raiders have lost their first two games of the season, leading 20 points 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 spot, the Raiders are just trying to get going in 2022 under a new regime.
“You never get a pass like, ‘Hey, we’ll just switch last year’s trial to this year’s trial,” McDaniels said Monday. “You have to go through it again 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 will have to get through these growing pains together.”
There have been enough so far.
The Raiders fell into a big early hole in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers and were unable to climb out.
They then got off to a quick start against the Cardinals, racing to a 20-0 lead at halftime and seemingly in complete control heading into the fourth quarter with a 23-7 lead.
But the offense faltered, the defense faltered late against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals managed to tie the game up to the final regulation game and win when Byron Murphy drove a fumble from Hunter Renfrow back 59 yards for the winning score in overtime.
This was the first time in Raiders history that they lost a match they had led by at least 20 points.
“We feel worthless now, but we’re still a good football team,” said quarterback Derek Carr. ”Make sure we don’t have that mentality, ‘Oh no, it’s over.’ I’ve been doing this for a while, man. I know we have good guys who work hard and are caring, so I know we can get out of it, but we’ll have to 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 kicking two field goals. The Raiders averaged 6.8 yards per game 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 the offensive. Las Vegas averaged 2.9 yards per game after halftime and scored 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 scored three more field goals to make him 41 for 41 all-time at Allegiant Stadium. That’s the most without a miss for a single-stadium kicker since the NFL/AFL merger, top 18 for Al Del Greco at Vanderbilt Stadium and Dan Carpenter at MetLife Stadium.
Carlson has now made 28 consecutive field goals overall dating back to Week 8 of last season, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Carr to Adam’s compound. 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 eliminated in the second half. His two catches were the fewest in a game since October 22, 2017, when Brett Hundley played QB for Green Bay against New Orleans.
Renfrow was assessed for a concussion after being injured in the final stretch. 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 in the playoffs when they had a lead of at least 16 points after the third quarter before blowing it against the Cardinals.
The Raiders travel to Tennessee on Sunday to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2018.
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