Did that really happen?
For a franchise that has taken one body blow after another, this has to go down as one of the worst regular-season losses ever as the Las Vegas Raiders saw a 20-0 halftime lead turn into a 29-23 overtime home loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Let’s look at some key aspects of the stunning defeat:
Overtime magic gone:
The last time the Raiders were in Allegiant Stadium for a game that counted was an epic Week 18 game against the Los Angeles Chargers in prime time and the home team won 35-32 in overtime to send them to the playoffs and to send the Chargers home for the offseason. This wasn’t like that or any of the Raiders’ overtime experiences in 2021. The Raiders were a 4-0 in overtime last year which was wild and unsustainable. This year, the football gods weren’t as kind to Las Vegas as the Cardinals won on a touchdown return on a Hunter Renfrow fumble in overtime. Last year, the Raiders got all the overtime bounces. In their first OT game this year, Renfrow fumbled on two of three plays and quarterback Derek Car almost threw an interception on the play in-between. No overtime magic this time for the Raiders.
Terrible start to Josh McDaniels era:
What a horrible first memory in Allegiant Stadium this will be for McDaniels. It was a historic collapse by his team in his first home game as the Raiders’ coach. The Raiders led 20-0 after halftime and become the fifth team in NFL history to blow a 20-0 halftime lead. It’s the largest blown lead in team history and the first time the Raiders lost when leading by 16 points in the fourth quarter. This is on McDaniels and is staff. They couldn’t do anything on either side of the ball in the second half and in overtime. Now, McDaniels’ record as a head coach drops to 11-19. The Raiders are the only winless team in the AFC West. It’s still early, but this one stings,
Where was Davante Adams?
Last week, it was the Davante Adams show as the Raiders’ new star wide receiver had 10 catches for 141 yards. He had three big first-down catches on the first drive of the season. It was the second highest amount of catches by a player in a Raiders’ debut. Against the Cardinals, though, Adams had just two catches for 12 yards (with a touchdown). It was clear the Raiders wanted to distribute the ball around more and fellow starter Mack Hollins was the early main target and he finished with five catches. Renfrow led the Raiders with seven catches after having three catches last week. Carr hit seven different receivers. But the entire offense stalled in the second half and was brutal in overtime.
#Raiders in 4th quarter after going up 23-7:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 19, 2022
2 for 5 passing for 8 yards
3 carries for 6 yards
1 1st down
3:54 of possession
McDaniels will change his game plan week-to-week, but Adams needs more than two catches no matter the plan. This offense is certainly a work in progress.
Davante Adams had two catches today in the Raiders' OT loss.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 19, 2022
The last time he had less than three catches in a game he played in was Week 7 of the 2017 season with Brett Hundley as his QB.
Defense gets gassed:
The Cardinals looked awful offensively in the first half. But Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray slowly took over in the second half and made some brilliant plays including a stupid two-point conversion, a fourth-down touchdown run in the final minute and another two pointer. He took advantage of a completely gassed Las Vegas defense, which couldn’t pressure him consistently in the second half. By the way, the Raiders have just one sack this season. Arizona’s offense was on the field for 51 plays in the second half and the Raiders’ defense felt it.
Kyler Murray with wild 2-point play.pic.twitter.com/Nk151OrXo8— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 18, 2022
The Raiders were clean in the preseason and in Week 1 with just three penalties against the Chargers. Yet, penalties became an issue Sunday. Las Vegas had 10 penalties for 68 yards. The Cardinals were penalized 12 times for 120 yards so that blows out any conspiracy theories this week. There is a lot to clean up for McDaniels and his staff this week as they prepare to play at Tennessee on Sunday and penalties are one of them.