The week leading up to their home-opening matchup, the Las Vegas Raiders stressed learning from game film and applying the lesson learned into fruitful results — namely wins.
Considering the Silver & Black faltered badly in the 23-18 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers inside Allegiant Stadium on Sunday night, one has to wonder if the team will ever put it all together. In a performance where emotions can certainly boil over, Raiders start wide receiver Davante Adams eloquently summed up the disconcerting outcome.
“We’ve got to be real with ourselves,” Adams said in the post game locker room media scrum. “We get these opportunities to watch tape together and do these constructive things, we’ve got to get something out of it. That’s not just talking, but it’s about putting it to action and figuring out what’s wrong and doing something about it so that way when we go out there the next time it looks different.”
Adams hit the nail on the head, emphatically so. Listen to his answer in full yourself — especially at the tail end where he noted the Raiders aren’t doing the things the right way to establish a winning culture early on the season:
'We've got to stop beating ourselves': Turnovers and penalties hinder Raiders in home opener— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 25, 2023
After the Raiders’ shellacking in Week 2 at the Buffalo Bills, the team was confident they would learn valuable lessons and improve the following week. From head coach Josh McDaniels and his coaching staff, to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the entire group noted they watched the film, got corrections, and were poised to showcase they can play as a team and get things back on track. Sunday night’s debacle was evidence that that the team is in danger of getting completely derailed if it can’t learn from mistakes.
This is what Adams had to say about his comments on Wednesday:
"It was not a shot or directed at anybody in the front office, that was about us as a football team."— Logan Reever (@loganreever) September 27, 2023
-Davante Adams on his comments after Sunday night's loss
He says his message as a leader resonated "for the people that it needed to" #RaiderNation #Raiders pic.twitter.com/IQGhNlDv2Y
Adams, who excelled in the Raiders’ loss hauling in 13 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, wasn’t the lone elite player to call out the team’s inability to overcome the toughest adversary on the young season — themselves.
“Davante is 100 percent right and he has a right to be frustrated because that dude shows up every day and he gets better,” Crosby told reporters after the game. “Me and him are tight as ever because that’s how we are since day one. That’s why he’s elite and he has a right to feel that way, and I feel the exact same way. We’ve got to stop beating ourselves. It’s something we’ve got to look at and find out how we can avoid doing that.”
Las Vegas has another opportunity to prove they can learn from mistakes and get past the obstacles that resulted in a 1-2 start to the season. But the team will do it against a Los Angeles Chargers squad that is 1-2 and champing at the bit to get another win after tasting victory against the Minnesota Vikings — a game that the Bolts almost lost. It’s an AFC West matchup between the the two teams in a downtrodden division that sees the Kansas City Chiefs on top at 2-1. The Raiders and Chargers are in the middle at 1-2 while the Denver Broncos are last at 0-3.
Falling behind further in the division isn’t ideal but fortunately for the Raiders, there’s a lot of football left to be played and they are one of 11 teams heading into Week 4 action at 1-2. Crosby noted in the post game scrum that there’s two paths for the team moving forward: Complain about it or figure it out. The edge rusher added the game against the Chargers is a must win. Give it a listen:
Las Vegas will head down to Los Angeles for the Week 4 date and they can expect a bit of role reversal at SoFi Stadium. While Steelers fans traveled well and loaded up Allegiant, Raiders fans traditionally travel well in Southern California so the Silver & Black will get a pro-Raider crowd in L.A.
Problem is, for as vocal as Raider Nation gets, the cheers can quickly turn into jeers. And, to put it as matter of act as Adams and Crosby did, all the boisterous talk about watching film and putting those lessons learned is almost moot at this point. Why?
Las Vegas has to show all the talk is done. And they can actually do what the team values most: Just Win, Baby.