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It’s not so much that the Raiders lost the last two games but HOW they lost them that’s a problem

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

We’re not talking moral victories here. The idea that you can lose a game and still win. But we are talking about demoralizing losses. The Raiders are coming off two such games and it has Raiders fans feeling pretty piss poor about the prospects of this team this season.

Let’s be real, here. No one really expected the Raiders to beat the Chiefs and the Vikings. There was certainly a lot of hope out there from Raider Nation, but these are two really good teams the Raiders were facing. They are well-oiled machines. The Raiders are rebuilding and these things take time.

What you did expect was for them to put up a fight. What you did expect was to see an improved team from the product they put on the field last season. That’s not what we got. If anything, they may look worse, which was hard to fathom coming in being that we’re talking about a 4-12 club with an historically bad defense and a clunky offense.

The season opener against the Broncos was closer to the type of football most expected and/or hoped to see from the 2019 Raiders. They looked efficient and polished on offense and good enough on defense to beat visiting Broncos 24-16.

The Broncos are now sitting at 0-3 on the season, which is also pretty much what most expected (unless you were to check over at Mile High Report which (haha) I swear to God (haha) had every single (haha) staff writer picking the Broncos to beat the Raiders. Those guys, man. I tell ya. Mile High indeed.

Anyway, the Raiders seemed to carry that momentum over to the first quarter of the Chiefs game, starting out the contest with a 10-0 lead. That’s where it all ended. Quite abruptly in fact. Five quarters into the season and the wheels fell off, spun off a cliff, and burst into flames.

The last seven quarters has been an outright travesty. The Raiders scored a touchdown against the Chiefs with 4:40 remaining in the first quarter to go up 10-0. The Chiefs scored the next 28 points to win 28-10.

At the final two-minute warning of the game in Minnesota, the Vikings were up 34-7 over the Raiders.

That means in the equivalent of 7 quarters of football, the Raiders were outscored 62-7!

They would add a garbage touchdown in the final seconds in Minnesota to make the final score 34-14.

Prior to that garbage time touchdown drive, there were 17 drives by the Raiders offense in those 7 quarters. They looked like this:

Punt
Punt
Punt
Punt
End of half
INT
INT
Punt
Punt
Punt
Punt
INT
TD
Punt
Punt
Downs
Missed FG

One of these things is not like the others. The touchdown. And that touchdown was scored on a trick play off a good old fashioned flea flicker that fooled outside linebacker Eric Wilson just enough to get him to flinch and leave JJ Nelson wide open for the score.

Also after Derek Carr went untouched in the opener, he has since been sacked seven times. He looks antsy and his mechanics have gone out the window. His interception against the Vikings was all him. He had no pressure, the ball wasn’t tipped, his receiver didn’t run into a defender. Nothing. He simply overthrew Foster Moreau and was picked off. He had three such overthrows in the game. All the poise he showed in the opener has disappeared.

As for the defense giving up 62 points, it started with the Chiefs putting up four touchdowns in one quarter last week. The Chiefs were looking literally unstoppable. And when you know you can take what you want, you can afford to sit back and see if the other team’s offense can respond. They couldn’t, so those 28 points were more than enough.

Kirk Cousins is no Patrick Mahomes, but he still managed to lead his team down the field for a game opening touchdown drive and touchdown pass to cap it. The Vikings drive chart looked like this:

TD
Punt
TD
TD
Punt
End of half
TD
Field goal
Field goal
End game

Two punts to five scores is truly pathetic. The pass rush that put up 5.0 sacks in the first two games didn’t sack Kirk Cousins once.

Oh, and by the way, the Raiders have yet to make an interception this season. They have forced one turnover this season (forced fumble), tied for the second worst in the NFL. The only team with fewer turnovers? The team the Raiders beat in the opener — the Broncos.

We’re just three games into the season. Thus far the Raiders have beaten the team they were expected to beat and lost to the two teams they were expected to lose to, so it may not be time to hit the panic button just yet.

The manner in which the Raiders have lost no doubt stings and the team being as banged up as it is so early on doesn’t help either. But there’s a lot of football still to be played. Maybe they’ll find something and start to show up. If they’d shown any sign of it the past seven quarters there’d be more reason to believe they can turn it on. As it stands, that’s a tough sell. The 2-1 Colts await in Indianapolis next.