Oakland Raiders screech to Earth with second straight loss


October 11, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders kicker

Sebastian Janikowski

(11) reacts after missing a field goal from the hold by punter

Marquette King

(7) during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos this week, brought a young Oakland Raiders team to earth.

A Denver interception for a touchdown and two Sebastian Janikowski missed field goals ended-up being the difference in Week Five. This reminded Raider fans that their team has a long way to go before they become a winner.

This loss followed a last-second field goal defeat to the Chicago Bears last week.

Sadly, Raider Nation gained some confidence when the Oakland Raiders began the 2014-15 season 2-1. However, these two losses brought them and the team back to reality.

A reality that excludes a winning season or playoffs in the past 12 years.

Ultimately, the Raiders losing streak proves they are still a young team with a long-way to go. The reality is, the Oakland Raiders key players still need development before they can take the next step.

Derek Carr

Carr lead two impressive drives in the beginning of the game. However, the second half was a different story. Much of it attributes to the offensive line getting their butt kicked versus the Broncos. The receivers, including Amari Cooper, were also shadowed the entire game.

However, Carr failed to find the same big play magic that he did in the Raiders’ two wins. After the interception, Carr also looked rattled against a relentless Broncos defense. He settled for too many check-downs, and could not keep drives alive in the second half.

Clearly, Carr has a long way to go, but he reminded us he is only in his second year. He has young targets, and he is not experienced enough to put the team on his back. At least he outperformed Peyton Manning, and proved he still has a bright future.

Latavius Murray

Last Week, Murray killed the Raiders with two critical turnovers against the Bears. This week he killed the Raiders with 3 yards-per-carry on 13 attempts. He did also catch some nice pass plays early.

To his benefit, Murray battled a shoulder injury all week. However, Murray’s injury concerns have also been a knock on the first year starter.

Therefore, Murray has a long way to go before he is a “bell-cow” running back. Forget the game-changing plays. Just be reliable holding the ball and getting consistent yardage. More importantly, Murray must be available!

Khalil Mack

The Raiders best rusher seemed poised for a break-out season. It seemed like he finally arrived after two sacks against the Cleveland Browns. Then he tallied one sack against the Chicago Bears, but zero against the Denver Broncos.

Of course, the box score does not tell the entire story. Mack influences the game just by opposing offenses accounting for him. He finds way to rush the passer and stop the run. Plus, he lead a unit that kept the Denver offense to zero points.

However, Mack earns comparisons to game-changers like Lawrence Taylor and even Von Miller. Mack is no doubt a stout player, but he must start taking over games if the defense can take the next stop. Those expectations mean Mack needs to start finding ways to fill up the box score.

In closing, the Raiders are who we thought they were. They are a young team on the rise, but they are not there yet. They are still very young at critical positions, and they still find ways to lose.

After two losses, the Raiders came down to earth. They reminded us all that they still have a long way to go. Their key players must continue developing before they can win games they are supposed to win, like the Bears, or defeat a playoff perennial team, like the Broncos.

The culture is changing in Oakland, but it is not a winner just yet.