Updated November 6, 2022 - 5:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The animated conversation between Derek Carr and Davante Adams in the corner of the Raiders’ locker room Sunday was a big clue that something beyond just losing another game is festering.
And it goes right to the stubbornness or overthinking that seems to be happening on the sideline as it relates to play calling and making adjustments.
“It’s plain to see,” Adams said after the latest loss, a 27-20 calamity to the beatable Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, in which the Raiders squandered at least a 17-point lead for the third time this season.
The loss dropped the Raiders to 2-6 and put all their goals and objectives on life support.
That was bad enough. But so, too, was the tired ritual of standing at podiums or in front of lockers repeating the same predictable words after another loss that followed the same script as the others.
Another blown big lead. Another afternoon of noncomplementary football. Another failed comeback in the closing minutes despite opportunities to escape with a win.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
“The thing about learning is, you hopefully just learn once,” Raiders tight end Foster Moreau said, his voice trailing off.
What followed was another postgame session in which the Raiders pledged to address the issues.
“There are things that will be said,” Carr said. “There will be things that need to be addressed.”
That brings us back to the postgame talk between Carr and Adams. And, no, the longtime friends were not taking a trip down memory lane. In fact, as Adams was about to point out to anyone who would listen, an elephant the size of Raider Nation is standing tall and prominent in the room. And until it is successfully dealt with, the Raiders have little hope of making anything of this season.
A frustrating habit is forming in which the Raiders either won’t or can’t stick with something that is working long enough to make their opponent pay a dear price for not being able to stop it.
Or, as Adams said: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
In this case, the star wide receiver was talking about his scorching start in which he caught all nine of his targets for 146 yards and two touchdowns to help the Raiders take a 17-0 lead. But then he caught just one more ball for zero yards in the disastrous two-plus quarters that followed in which the Jaguars walloped them with a 27-3 run.
Lest you think Adams was making it all about himself, you get the sense he would have said the same thing had it been anyone else torching the Jaguars. And he wasn’t about to run away from the criticism he was laying at the feet of coach Josh McDaniels.
“I’m not scared of that,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, I don’t care, like you can say whatever you want to say. The coaches gotta make the adjustments just like the players do. And that’s just the way that the game goes.”
And while Adams made it clear he enjoys playing for McDaniels and that they have an open dialogue in which he can go to his coach with suggestions, it’s obvious he thinks the Raiders need better coaching.
“The way we were attacking in the first half, it was working,” Adams said. “We got away from that and started playing the game a little different.”
McDaniels and Carr said the Jaguars switched their defense on Adams after his fast start, essentially forcing the Raiders to attack them a different way.
“It wasn’t like we didn’t have opportunities,” McDaniels said. “They didn’t double him to the point where we couldn’t throw the ball to him. I didn’t feel like we were as efficient in the second half.”
“I wouldn’t look at it like that,” he said. “I’ve played in a million games where I could tell you yes, but I wouldn’t say that there was any magic thing that was done. We could have continued doing what we were doing in the first half, and it would have been, you know, who knows. But I feel we didn’t put ourselves in the best position based on how we came out in the second half.”
It’s a recurring theme. And until the Raiders get it fixed, their season will continue to slip away.