After a strong 5-2 start to the regular season, the Las Vegas Raiders are in a slump. They’ve lost two ugly games in a row against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs. Instead of being at the top of the AFC West, the team is the eighth seed in the AFC and wouldn’t make the playoff if the season ended today.
The last two seasons saw the Raiders start off strong only to fall apart down the stretch and miss the playoffs. The team is desperately trying to keep that from happening again. This is Kenyan Drake’s first season with the team and he’s not ready to give up yet. He put the team on notice as the Raiders try to get back into the win column against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
“If you can’t get up for any game, regardless of the situation, you need to find another profession,” Drake said of the skid Wednesday.
The Raiders season is trending downward and a loss against another 5-4 team in the Bengals could send them spiraling down.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Drake Talks Bengals Matchup
The Bengals’ season has actually looked similar to that of the Raiders. They both had statement wins over the Baltimore Ravens and ugly losses to bad New York teams. They are also both on two-game losing streaks. Drake knows his team is in for a tough matchup on Sunday.
“Obviously it is a little different when you have a kind of familiar opponent, a divisional opponent but playing against a team like the Bengals this week, they got a young quarterback,” Drake said. “Obviously, they’re in the same position that we’re in, fighting to continue to stay in playoff contention. So we got to continue to go out there and just play our best game, because we know we’re going to get their best and we got to make sure we continue to defend home turf.”
The Bengals are still a young team so the Raiders should have the advantage. However, they’ve looked really bad over the last two games. It’s hard to know what team will show up at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.
Drake Says Raiders Are Beating Themself
The Raiders should’ve beat the Giants in Week 9 but quarterback Derek Carr turned the ball over three times, including an interception that went for a touchdown. The final score against the Chiefs was ugly but the Raiders could’ve made the game a lot closer had it not been for multiple penalties and turnovers at bad times. Drake believes the Raiders beating themself over the last couple of weeks.
“It’s hard to beat teams where you’re beating yourself and that’s what I’m focused on this week, is continue to go out there and doing the things that we know we can do, but also, don’t kind of shoot ourselves in the foot when we kind of have that momentum because at the end of the day, they get paid to stop us on the other side of the ball,” Drake said.
Limiting the ugly mistakes would go a long way in getting the Raiders back on track. However, there’s little indication that they can turn things around based on how the last two seasons have gone. The game against the Bengals could determine the trajectory of the season.