The Las Vegas Raiders’ loss on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals was an embarrassing one. After gaining a decent lead in the first half, they were outscored 29-3 in the second half and lost the game in overtime on a scoop-and-score touchdown.
There is no way the team could have lost this game, yet that’s exactly what they did.
Even though the loss is what that Raider fans likely don’t want to look back on, it’s important to analyze what went wrong in this game. There were some strong positives, especially in the first half. And the negatives of the second half revealed what this team needs to fix to get better. Here are the top three things that can be taken from Sunday’s brutal home opener.
Raiders vs Cardinals 2022 Week 2: Things we learned
When the Raiders are Up, they Need to Put the Game Away
This is probably the biggest reason why the Raiders ultimately lost the game in overtime. The Las Vegas offense touched the ball four times in the second half, with three of those drives resulting in punts and the other resulting in a field goal. On those drives, Las Vegas needs to score more than three points. It’s that simple.
The biggest standout was the last drive the Raiders had in the fourth quarter. Instead of making aggressive play calls, McDaniels called back-to-back passing plays that resulted in just a three-yard gain. In that situation, the offense needs to drive the ball into field goal range at the very least.
Having a lack of offensive aggression after holding a lead is something that Raiders fans should feel familiar with. It feels as if this same issue comes about every season; where the offense doesn’t add the one more score needed to win the game. Maybe this is an issue that McDaniels needs to work through as he gets used to this team and offense, or maybe it’s just poor execution. Either way, McDaniels needs to figure it out, and fast. If this team hopes to be a serious competitor in this division, then these are the types of games they need to come away with.