We are just over a week removed from the Raiders getting their first win of the season. It happened on a Thursday night over the rival Chiefs and Raiders head coach said immediately following the game that the team was glad to have a long week with a three-day weekend to enjoy it. That is not the feeling now.
The Raiders followed up that win with their worst loss in 53 years, falling 52-0 to the St Louis Rams. They have a normal sized week this time and they can't put it behind them fast enough. Like, they absolutely MUST put it behind them "Quickly" as Tony Sparano said Monday.
"We watched the tape, made the corrections, moved on and getting on to San Francisco," said Sparano. "You move on quickly. You move on just like you do every other game. We've been in this position before and our guys have bounced back, they've handled it well and we'll continue to do so."
Following the game on Sunday, Sparano said he wanted his players to remember that feeling just as he said he wanted them to remember the feeling when they got their first win. But this is a feeling the players would just as soon forget.
"Obviously, it's very embarrassing to be a part of something like that," said Justin Tuck. "But I think that drives you to kind of just have a short memory and throw it out the window."
But maybe forgetting this loss is not the best thing for this team. Both times the Raiders have had any positivity following a game this season, they have responded the following week with an embarrassing loss. It's like they suddenly think ‘we got this' and get lackadaisical. Something a one win team can't afford to do. Ever.
Perhaps now's the time to hold onto that feeling. If it hurts enough, they may just be more likely to remember how it happened and see to it that is never happens again.
Players like to turn it into anger in the hopes that anger translates to the field. The problem with that is that anger can quickly turn to defeatism. They came out angry against the Broncos a few weeks ago and held a lead late in the first half. But the first big play the Broncos had completely deflated them and the Broncos rattled off five straight touchdowns.
What led up to the win over the Chiefs was focus. They were focused when they faced the Chargers just five days before and had a hard-fought, close defeat. There was no talk that resembled ‘moral victory' such as their last second loss to the Patriots in New England. And it showed when they faced the Chiefs, who were also on a short week after a hard-fought game against the Seahawks.
The win showed they were capable. The blowout loss can now remind them what happens when they let up even the slightest. This team has no wiggle room in that regard. No need to dwell. But keeping that in the back of their mind could be a good thing.