What three straight losses means for the Raiders season
After losing to the Baltimore Ravens, the Oakland Raiders fall to 2-3 on the year and failed to put an end to a losing streak that has now hit three games.
There is still a whole lot of time left in the season for the Raiders to turn things around. But after failing to capitalize on a great opportunity to get right against the Ravens, one has to wonder whether holding out hope for a playoff berth is a foolish idea. Because while there is time to turn things around, there aren’t many signs that the team will be capable of turning things around.
Because here’s the thing, it’s not like the Raiders played well in those three games but just didn’t have enough to pull out a win. On the contrary, the Raiders looked like a team that was lost and confused. It’s not like the only problem is the porous secondary, there are issues on both sides of the ball, including with the offense that was supposed to be elite.
At the moment, this is a team that looks like it has buckled under the immensely high expectations and has no idea how to fix things. This Raiders team is coming off of a 12 win season with high expectations but you’d never know that given how they’ve played over the last three weeks. Rather than look like a good team on the verge of greatness, they look like the 7-9 team two years ago who was still learning how to win games and change the culture in Oakland.
Derek Carr is expected to return this weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers but it’s not like the problem was Carr’s absence. EJ Manuel actually played fairly well this past weekend and certainly wasn’t the reason the Raiders loss. That honor goes to the defense, who laid an egg right after the offense opted to stop laying eggs.
In addition, it’s not like Carr was playing lights out before he got hurt. In fact, Carr’s poor play was one of the many reasons the Raiders struggled so badly against Washington and Denver.
So while losing three games in a row is never good, it’s far worse when those losses represent more than just losses. This is a Raiders team who not only lost three games in a row but did so in a fashion that gives reason to be concerned. Losing three games while playing well happens, it’s a part of being in a competitive league. But when you lose three games while looking completely lost, that’s a really big problem.
It’s still too early to say the season is over for the Raiders but we’re far enough into the season to say that if things don’t change drastically and change soon, that it won’t be long before there’s nothing left of this season to salvage.