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The Morning After: Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Turnovers can make or break a football team, and yesterday they broke the Raiders. The fumble by Darren McFadden that rocketed out of his arms like it was possessed broke the Raiders to be more specific.

It seemed like this was finally going to be the Raiders first win of the year. The defense was playing really well and the offense was driving down the field. They were already well within field goal range to tie the game when the fumble happened but they had the momentum and it felt like they were not going to be stopped.

Then the fumble happened and everything imploded after that. It really was amazing how the game turned on a dime like that, it went from a close match to one that the Raiders never really had a chance in after all. One turnover and all the momentum was gone in that little flash.

It wasn't just the Raiders turning the ball over there that showed the effect of how important turnovers are, it was also a couple of missed opportunities by the Raiders defense too. There was one play where Carlos Rogers read the pass perfectly, jumped it, but just missed catching what would have been a sure pick 6 touchdown.

Then later in the game, after McFadden's fumble, another ball was right in a Raiders defender's hands and again the play was not made. This one from Sio Moore who had a great game looking like his old self. Still, when the play needed to be made he dropped it. The Raiders always drop the ball when the play needs to be made it seems, when will it end?

The brightest spot from this game is that even in loss, Derek Carr continues to look like the answer for many years to come at the Quarterback position. He has already thrown more touchdowns than any other Raiders rookie QB to come before him, though the record breaker came in garbage time as the clock was expiring in this game.

He didn't even have a great game in this one, he could have certainly played better. However, he still doesn't make the rookie mistakes you expect and is willing to throw the ball away. He did have a very bad fumble himself that eliminated any remote chance the Raiders had left in this game and he finally got roughed up a bit where he had been kept clean most of the year. However, he showed the short memory that an NFL QB needs and looked no worse for wear after his big mistake.

It's not going to matter this year, but the experience that Carr is getting now in games like this will pay dividends down the road. This was a winnable game, they had their chances but they did not capitalize on them. That makes it a learning experience for Derek Carr, one based around making sure to do that little bit more to get the wins in games like this one.

The three and outs are killing this team's morale though, they need to start getting more first downs if they expect to get a win this year. It is either a solid drive for the Raiders, or its three and out. There is rarely an in between for them, and that is a big problem that needs to be sorted out.

The defense can not be asked to be on the field as much as they were, they need the offense to pull their weight. We have been excited to see what Derek Carr has been able to do so far, but he needs to be more consistent. They need to consistently keep the offense on the field and give their defense a chance to rest here and there.

How about Khalil Mack though?!  It is absolutely absurd that this man does not have a sack yet, he is doing everything he possibly can to get one though. He already might be the best run defending player in the whole National Football League though, it is astounding at how well he sheds his man and hits the runner.

It is crazy to think of Mack being a steal at number 5 overall but that is exactly what he was. With the talent that he has, the energy he brings, and just the pure intelligence it is shocking that he fell into the Raiders laps at number 5. He probably should be a Texan right now, he was worth the number 1 overall pick.

Last thing to mention about this game was that horrific fake field goal attempt by Matt Schaub. The snap was not good but after he got the ball he just threw the ball up for grabs. Sure, it would have been as good as a real punt if he threw it to someone that could be tackled right away! That was a horrible play call with even worse execution.

In the end, they are now a shockingly horrible 0-7. With the stretch of games remaining it is getting to be pretty scary on whether the Raiders will actually end up going 0-16. It is hard to believe that they will because sooner or later they should be able to put it all together and come out with an unexpected win, but the heat is now on with this brutal schedule the rest of the way.

Oh well, it is what it is. Next game will be against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle so it will probably get much worse before it gets better. If this ends up being the game that the Raiders put it all together and come out with the win it would be about as shocking of a game as could be imagined.

That would be a lot of fun, but so would winning a million dollars. They both feel equally as likely right now.