For the fourth time in 2022, the Raiders lost a game in which they held a double-digit lead, falling to the Rams 17-16 on Thursday night.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in 45 seasons that a team had a game-winning touchdown drive start with under two minutes and go 98 yards.
Making matters worse, Las Vegas lost to a Los Angeles team that acquired the quarterback it played throughout the game two days before kickoff.
It was another inexplicable Raiders loss in a season that has had plenty of them.
“I don’t look at it as a step back. We didn’t finish the game — that’s the reality, you know?” head coach Josh McDaniels said in his postgame press conference. “I thought we were ready to play. I thought we competed. We got off to a decent start and then we didn’t capitalize.
“The bottom line is, until we figure out how to stop losing games with mistakes that we do ourselves, then it makes it very difficult to win. So, you can’t really win until you stop from losing. And that’s penalties, turnovers, things like that that contribute to that. We’ve talked a lot about that. We obviously need to do a better job of coaching it and trying to get us to play better.”
The Raiders had double-digit leads over the Cardinals, Titans, and Jaguars before losing all three games earlier this season. Why is it happening?
“Look, it’s 60 minutes, you know? Everybody will point to the last play, or the last four plays, or the last drive, what have you,” McDaniels said. “But there’s plays in every quarter that could’ve helped us extend the lead. There’s things that we could’ve done in all three phases that would’ve put us further ahead in games. And, look, there’s a lot of things that go into a result in a National Football League [game]. You know? I’m thinking of six, or eight, or 10 of them right now that could’ve changed some outcomes of drives either way.
“So, these are hard lessons to learn. They are. Like I said, you always play to win. We’re aggressive and try to do those kinds of things. But we’re 1-yard shy of a first down on the third-and-1. And they make a stop there and if we get it, the game’s over. So, there’s a lot of things we could point to right now that would’ve helped us close the game.”
McDaniels later said the losses aren’t on an individual unit, be it offense, defense, or special teams, essentially saying the issues are all-encompassing.
“We’ve got to be able to extend a lead if we have one and keep competing, not let our foot off the gas, no relaxing, and try to play the same way we were playing when the game starts,” McDaniels said. “So, just obviously, I haven’t done a good enough job of being able to get us to do that.”