The Raiders continue to find new ways to lose.
In a season that began as one to forget, Las Vegas keeps finding new lows throughout the season. From starting off 0-3, blowing double-digit leads to the Cardinals, Chiefs and Jaguars, losing in Jeff Saturday’s coaching debut and now to a quarterback who was cut by another team three days before his start for the Rams, the Raiders have a long list of embarrassing losses at this point that have helped make this season all the more painful.
These blown leads at halftime, in particular, have become a growing theme, with the Associated Press’ Josh Dubow sharing the unfortunate history the Raiders have made in 2022.
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 9, 2022
MORE: NFL world reacts to Baker Mayfield’s insane comeback win
Each of Las Vegas’ losses have seemingly been worse than the next. Following the 17-16 defeat to the Rams, The Sporting News is ranking the Raiders’ losses from least to most embarrassing so far in 2022.
8. Week 3: 24-22 loss to Titans
There’s really no shame in this one. The Titans got off to a fast start, taking a 24-10 lead at the half, but the Raiders stayed in the game. They scored a field goal in the third quarter, another in the fourth and Mack Hollins caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr with 1:14 left to play. Las Vegas attempted a two-point conversion, but it came up empty and they were unable to recover the onside kick.
It was the third straight loss to open the season for the Raiders, but it came against a team that would then proceed to go on a five-game winning streak and is all but certain to go to win the AFC South. Carr had 303 yards and two touchdowns, Hollins went off for 158 yards on eight catches, the Raiders had more first downs, more total yards and slightly more time of possession. They just came up short against a tough opponent.
MORE: How did Baker Mayfield play against Raiders?
7. Week 1: 24-19 loss to Chargers
This one stung a little bit. The season-opener was filled with plenty of hype following the Raiders and Chargers delivered a thriller to end the 2021 regular season and after both teams made big offseason upgrades.
But while the score showed a close game, it certainly felt like an egg-laying from Las Vegas. The Raiders were outscored 17-3 in the first half, but the defense gave the offense a chance in the second. The two teams traded touchdowns to start the third and the Raiders booted a field goal to cut the lead to 24-13. The final four drives for the Chargers: three-and-out, three-and-out, missed field goal, three-and-out, end of game.
The problem? Carr threw interceptions on back-to-back drives to squander the strong second-half defensive effort. He led them on a late touchdown drive that brought the score to 24-19 with 4:32 left, but a false start penalty made the two-point try harder, and the conversion failed. Another three-and-out gave the Raiders 3:30 to try and mount a comeback, but it came up short with Khalil Mack sacking Carr at the two-minute warning. They burned their timeouts, but gave up a first down to Austin Ekeler and Sony Michel to allow Justin Herbert to kneel out the game.
MORE: Sean McVay gives Mayfield game ball after win
The Chargers are a quality team, and it wasn’t like the Raiders blew a massive lead. But three interceptions and the inability to take advantage of a strong second-half defensive effort left on the table a real chance to start the season 1-0 with a division win. Not an ideal start to the year.
6. Week 5: 30-29 loss to Chiefs
The Raiders were coming off their first win of the season in Week 4 and had a bye week coming up in Week 6 to hit the reset button. All that stood between them and that 2-3 record with a week of rest was the Chiefs.
Las Vegas came ready to take it to the Chiefs on the road. After a punt on the first drive of the game, the Raiders scored on each of their four remaining drives in the first half, going touchdown, touchdown, field goal, field goal, with Kansas City mustering 10 points on its final two drives to keep the game at just a 20-10 halftime deficit. If you’re familiar with the Raiders’ season, you know how this one ends. At one point, the Raiders led 17-0 with 9:22 left in the first half.
In what has become an all too familiar refrain, that lead wasn’t safe. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense scored touchdowns on three straight drives to take a 30-23 lead. The Raiders scored a touchdown with 4:27 left in the game that appeared to tie the game, but Las Vegas opted to try for the lead on a two-point try that came up empty. The defense forced a Chiefs’ punt with 2:36 left in the game, but the Raiders turned the ball over on downs with 47 seconds left, and Kansas City escaped with a 30-29 win.
MORE: McDaniels explains 2-point conversion decision in loss to Chiefs
The loss to the Chiefs adds to the overall narrative of the blown first-half leads for the Raiders, but Las Vegas can hardly be faulted for losing to Mahomes. In his career, Mahomes is 13-10 when trailing by double digits in a game, the only quarterback since 1950 to start at least 10 games when trailing by double digits and have a winning record. But like with the Chargers, it was a massive opportunity to get on the right track, and they weren’t able to get it done.
5. Week 9: 27-20 loss to Jaguars
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Jaguars. They started the year 2-1, lost five straight, mounted an impressive comeback against the Ravens and then were bludgeoned by the Lions.
Mixed in the middle there is that Week 9 game against the Raiders. Everything looked great for the Raiders through the first half. Carr was throwing darts to Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs was running the ball well and at one point, the Raiders led 17-0. At the half, the lead was 20-10.
No, this isn’t a repeat of the Chiefs’ game. This time, it wasn’t Mahomes. It was Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars opened the third quarter with a touchdown and never looked back. Las Vegas punted on its next drive, and the Jaguars scored another touchdown.
Jacksonville added only three points the rest of the game to pad the lead, but that didn’t matter too much as the Raiders put up a big ole goose egg in the second half points column.
MORE: Raiders blow third 17-point lead in 2022
The Jaguars have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, ranking 29th in overall defense defensive-adjusted value over average (DVOA) and 31st in passing DVOA. For the Raiders with Carr and Adams to be unable to score at all in the second half is a major letdown.
4. Week 8: 24-0 loss to Saints
Galaxy brain take: you can’t blow a lead if you never have one. Yes, blowing a 17-0 lead is a bad look. But what’s even worse? Not scoring at all.
The Saints have been a great defense in recent years. But this year? Their defense came into that game ranked 25th in DVOA and 20th in expected points added per play (EPA per play). That’s not a particularly good defense.
It was apparently enough to completely shut down Las Vegas. Here’s how the Raiders drives went:
- 3 plays, -2 yards, punt
- 8 plays, 27 yards, punt
- 5 plays, 17 yards, turnover on downs
- 3 plays, 8 yards, interception
- 8 plays, 24 yards, punt
- 1 play, kneel down, end of half
- 5 plays, 16 yards, punt
- 9 plays, 20 yards, punt
- 14 plays, 64 yards, end of game
The Raiders didn’t cross the 50-yard line until there was two minutes remaining in the game, with an offense led by backup Jarrett Stidham. Carr’s 101 passing yards were his third-fewest in a start of his career. The Raiders’ 183 total yards were only 23 yards above Alvin Kamara’s total yards from scrimmage. Andy Dalton looked like the Red Rifle again as he completed 22-of-30 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. It was a humiliating effort on both sides for Las Vegas.
Oh, and since that win, the Saints have gone 1-4, with their only win having come against the Rams.
3. Week 2: 29-23 (OT) loss to Cardinals
Just as the Raiders had playoff aspirations in 2022, so too did the Cardinals. After earning a wild card in 2021, Arizona looked to build off that in 2022 and make it back to the playoffs. It hasn’t turned out that way, however, as Kliff Kingsbury’s squad enters Week 14 4-8.
For a moment early in 2022, however, there was some promise. And it started with what they did against the Raiders. Las Vegas took a 20-0 lead into the locker rooms at halftime. They took a 23-7 lead to the fourth quarter. They led by eight with 8:13 left to play.
There’s no doubt that Kyler Murray pulled a rabbit out of his hat with some wild plays on a touchdown as time expired and the game-tying 2-point conversion to send the game to overtime. But somehow, it gets worse than just blowing the lead. How?
MORE: Byron Murphy nearly fumbled on winning overtime TD
Well, the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs at the Las Vegas 37 with 5:30 left in overtime while attempting a deep shot to Marquise Brown on a fourth-and-1. At that point, all the Raiders needed was a field goal. Hunter Renfrow caught a pass first for seven yards, then fumbled after an 11-yard grab. Fortunately, the ball was recovered at the Arizona 39 by Foster Moreau.
The Raiders tried a deep shot to Adams, which fell incomplete before turning back to Renfrow. He fumbled the ball again, and this time, could only watch as Byron Murphy hauled the ball 59 yards into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
There’s no guarantee the Raiders make a 55-yard field goal, but Daniel Carlson certainly would have had a shot had the Raiders simply stayed at the 39 and tried for the field goal right away. Instead, they watched a 20-point lead evaporate after being outscored 23-3 in the second half and a second overtime fumble drop them to 0-2.
2. Week 10: 25-20 loss to Colts
Look, there was no blown lead. No egregious player performance. Carr didn’t throw an interception. Adams had a big game. Jacobs rushed for a touchdown. That’s all fine and good.
The problem is that the loss came to an interim coach whose resume was playing center in the NFL, coaching a high school team and analyzing the league on ESPN. Just days before he was named interim coach, he made fun of the first team he would be eventually be facing. The hiring of Saturday was one of the most widely panned interim coaching hires to date, and a win for the Raiders looked inevitable.
But Saturday’s tweet calling the Raiders horrible didn’t wind up getting retweeted by Freezing Cold Takes. Instead, Jonathan Taylor rushed for 147 yards and Matt Ryan looked a little like himself in returning to the starting role. The Raiders took a 20-19 lead with 11:36 left in the game, but the Colts scored with 5:07 left to take a 25-20 lead, and the Raiders’ subsequent 14-play, 59-yard drive stalled at Indianapolis’ 17, and the Colts kneeled out the game.
MORE: Carr gets choked up talking about 2-7 Raiders’ continued struggles
The loss doesn’t look much better in hindsight. Indianapolis played the Eagles close in a 17-16 loss, but fell to the Steelers 24-17 and were humiliated in primetime in a 54-19 defeat to the Cowboys.
1. Week 14: 17-16 loss to Rams
There’s no getting around it. This is the worst loss in a season full of embarrassing losses. The Rams were losers of six straight games. They were sitting at 3-9 on the year and were missing their starting quarterback, their top wide receiver and their top defensive player. They were also starting a quarterback signed Tuesday afternoon, who was still learning the two-minute offense on the bus.
And to top it all off, it was yet another double-digit blown lead. Facing a depleted Rams’ team, the Raiders took a 13-3 lead at halftime, with the only Los Angeles points coming from a 55-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter. Both teams were scoreless in the third before Las Vegas tacked on a field goal with 12:20 left in the fourth to push the lead to 16-3.
MORE: Baker Mayfield’s Rams timeline from Panthers release to Hollywood ending
After that field goal, the Rams slowly marched 75 yards down the field, draining 9:01 off the clock, but scoring a touchdown to cut the deficit to 16-10. They gave the ball back to the inept Raiders’ offense, who could gain only nine yards on three plays and were forced to punt immediately after the two-minute warning. The punt was a good one, spotting the Rams all the way back at the 2-yard line, and as the ball was rolling down, Hollins started the griddy celebration.
THIS GRIDDY AGED SO HORRIBLY LOL pic.twitter.com/DSMVyH7cn6
— alex (@highlghtheaven) December 9, 2022
Yeah, that didn’t age well at all. Mayfield completed five-of-six passes (not including a spike) on a drive that featured both a pass interference penalty to erase an interception and a bone-headed unsportsmanlike conduct that erased a sack, capped off with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson to give the Rams the 17-16 lead. Carr threw an interception on the first play of the next drive to seal the loss.
Carr completed just 11-of-20 passes and threw for his fewest yards in a game since the Saints’ loss at 137 and Jacobs was held to fewer than 100 rushing yards for the first time since the Colts’ defeat. Mayfield, playing in his first game with the Rams, went 22-for-35 with 230 yards and a touchdown. His 91.4 quarterback rating was his second-best of the season, and best as a starter in a game.
The loss snapped a six-game Los Angeles skid to stave off playoff elimination and ended a Las Vegas three-game winning streak to all but put a nail in the Raiders’ playoff hopes.