The Las Vegas Raiders had to lose a game eventually but Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers could’ve been avoided. The team just started off way too slow. Before the second quarter ended, the Raiders were down 21-0. They fought back and the score was 21-14 with Las Vegas in possession of the ball in the fourth quarter. However, the deficit proved to be too large, and the Raiders lost 28-14.
First-half issues have been a major problem for the silver and black. The team has failed to score on their opening drive in ten straight games. They’ve also been outscored by 23 points in first quarters this season, which is the worst in the NFL. The Raiders have been able to still win in the first three weeks but those issues came back to bite them against the Chargers. Quarterback Derek Carr acknowledges that the team needs to play better early in games.
“It’s better now than later,” Carr said after the game. “If anything, I think this hopefully wakes us up a little bit. I think we needed to start a lot faster.
“You never want to lose, but it’s hard to win in this league. We’ll see them again.”
The season is far from over and the Raiders are still tied for the top spot in the AFC West at 3-1. As Carr said, this is a wake-up call for the team that they can’t keep having slow starts.
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Darren Waller & Hunter Renfrow Address 1st Half Woes
The Raiders have plenty of weapons so there’s no reason the offense should be struggling so much at times. After a really strong first game of the season, tight end Darren Waller hasn’t gotten more than 65 yards in any of the last three games. He knows the Raiders need to play better early in games.
“It has to change,” Waller said. “It’s got to be addressed because you kind of put the defense in some rough spots as well. … It can’t continue to be a trend for us.”
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow was frustrated with the first half but saw the silver lining with how the team played in the second half.
“It’s upsetting because of how we played in the first half but it’s encouraging because we know we can fix all the things,” Renfrow said. “And we know whenever we play well we can move the ball up and down the field.”
The fact that the Raiders almost came back from being down 21-0 is a promising sign. Head coach Jon Gruden is getting better at second-half adjustments. That said, the team shouldn’t need to make so many adjustments every week.
Not time for Raiders to panic yet
Obviously, after a tough loss during a primetime game, many fans are going to panic. However, the Raiders should be fine. The Chargers have a really good team and just beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Las Vegas did play them tough in the end and could’ve won had just a couple of more plays gone their way.
The offensive line is a major concern but Carr is still playing at a high level and there’s no question that the defense is improved. The Raiders need to bounce back against the Chicago Bears on a short week. If they can’t beat a lackluster Bears team, then it could be time to hit the panic button.