JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)The Las Vegas Raiders are becoming a safe bet to blow a huge, early lead.
The Raiders lost for the third time this season after being up at least 17 points, a troubling trend that has them alone at the bottom of the AFC West.
Derek Carr and Davante Adams struggled to connect after halftime, and the Raiders (2-6) were shut out in the second half in a 27-20 loss at Jacksonville (3-6) on Sunday. It was Las Vegas’ third loss in four games and followed a shutout at New Orleans and a week of regrouping in Bradenton, Florida.
”Guys fought, but we got to learn how to play a full four-quarter game,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said. ”We have played stretches in each game mostly where we play good football, but that’s not enough to win in this league.”
The Raiders vowed to play better than last week’s 24-0 debacle at the Saints. And for the first 30 minutes, they mostly dominated Jacksonville.
Carr and Adams were key contributors. Carr completed 16 of 21 passes for 223 yards, with two touchdowns to Adams. Adams caught nine passes for 146 yards while lining up all over the field and repeatedly beating single coverage.
But Jacksonville’s Tyson Campbell got some help in the second half and locked down Adams, who had one catch for no gain after the break.
”We certainly had chances in the second half to complete balls to him and anybody else,” McDaniels said. ”It wasn’t like we didn’t have opportunities there. They didn’t like double him to the point where we couldn’t throw the ball to him.”
The Raiders’ final five drives ended in three punts, a turnover on downs and a fumble. The lull helped Jacksonville record its second-biggest comeback in franchise history.
Las Vegas should be accustomed to being on the other side of those rallies by now. McDaniels’ team led 20-0 at home to Arizona in Week 2 before losing 29-23 in overtime and was up 17-0 at Kansas City in Week 5 before falling 30-29 thanks partly to a failed 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
”There is a lot I want to say, but if I’m honest, I don’t need to say it here,” Carr said. ”There are things that will be said. There will be things that need to be addressed and all these things. But I think as whole, the urgency part of it, after 30 minutes of football, we have to learn that the game is not over.
”I feel like I’ve been in this situation a lot where new coaches or this or that and you have to teach the new guys like this is how we do it and this is the mentality. That gets tiring, but at the same time, it’s my job. There is some of that. I’ll say that right now for those things. But there are things in-house that we’ll talk about man to man and all that kind of stuff that could be addressed.”
Added McDaniels: ”It’s not good enough, you know what I mean? I know that. So we got to coach better in those situations. We got to avoid feeling like the situation is OK. I don’t sense that our team relaxes when we have that situation, but obviously that might be the wrong thing.”
McDaniels was quick to point to all the good football the Raiders have played while building double-digit leads. But he added they have to do more and be more consistent from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.
”Sometimes lessons are learned the hard way and obviously we’ve had to swallow some difficult ones this year,” he said. ”But I have a lot of confidence and faith in the way that these guys will respond. They always do.”
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