Football is back! Unfortunately, with that, so are the overreactions that are dominating every Las Vegas Raiders blog.
The Raiders kicked off their season on Sunday in one of their former homes, Los Angeles. A marquee matchup featuring two of the top teams in both their division and the AFC as a whole, of course, carries a ton of hype and expectations. The hype did not disappoint at all. Unfortunately, the Raiders did disappoint when it came to some of their expectations.
The Raiders lost a close one, 24-19, although it can be said the game wasn’t as close as the final score, for most of the game at least. A 17-3 Chargers’ halftime lead turned into a 24-10 lead entering the final quarter. Vegas was able to answer with nine unanswered points and got the ball back late in the game, down by only five. The Chargers are historically the ultimate chokers (barring the Atlanta Falcons this week) and Derek Carr has an absurd number of game-winning drives in the fourth quarter. This game had “comeback win” written all over it. Yet, it was not to be.
With that loss came a ton of overreactions. It’s normal to be disappointed, and with the Raiders’ performance on Sunday, it’s more than understandable. Yet, by the reaction of some fans, you’d think the Silver and Black lost by 50. Here are a couple of reasons why fans should not panic, at least not yet.
It is Week 1, after all.
This is a bit of a simple explanation, but it can be applied to every team that lost this week. The Raiders, like all the other teams across the NFL, have a very long road ahead of them. An 0-1 isn’t great, but it’s a small blimp on the map in what will ultimately be a long, tough season.
To put things in perspective, when the Raiders started 1-0 last year, Henry Ruggs III and Jon Gruden were still on the team. If you had told the average member of Raider Nation how that season would unfold after Week 1, they would have laughed in your face and called you a liar. So many things will happen this year, and this game might be forgotten about in just a couple of months.
Even With Everything That Happened, the Raiders Still Almost Won.
In reality, that was one of the worst games the Raiders have played in a while. There was a time when Josh McDaniels called the worst trick play in NFL history, one in which Davante Adams got sacked (yes, you read that correctly), and the Raiders faced a third-and-forever late in the game, down by 14. The Chargers’ crowd was into it for maybe the first time ever, and everything seemed to be going wrong. And yet, the Raiders had the ball late in the game with a chance to win it.
Derek Carr threw three interceptions. Carr, who is often criticized for his conservativeness, hardly ever plays a game that poor. Sunday ended up being one of the worst games of Carr’s career, and by all likelihood, he won’t play another game that poor again for the rest of the year. And yet, the Raiders had the ball late in the game with a chance to win it.
In many aspects, Las Vegas played an extremely poor game. Their execution was just plain bad, and they shot themselves in the foot far too many times. And yet, in a road game against one of the most talented teams in the NFL, they only lost by five. This team will be fine, and they will have an excellent season. After all, Week 1 is no time to panic, Raiders’ fans.
*Top Photo: Budda Mendes/Getty Images