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Monday was for rehashing, not dwelling on loss for Raiders

The sun eventually rose on Monday morning and with it a chance for the Raiders to try to move on from one of the most painful regular-season losses in franchise history.

As the saying goes, though, the tape doesn’t lie. If the 0-2 Raiders were expecting any relief upon re-watching the mayhem that occurred in a 29-23 overtime loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, they were in for a rude awakening.

Reliving the dramatic second-half about face they made while squandering a first-half lead of 20-0 and a 23-7 advantage with just over eight minutes remaining was just as frustrating on Monday as it was in real time.

“Of course it stings,” Raiders wide receiver Mack Hollins said.

As did the four fourth-down conversions they surrendered on two fourth-quarter touchdown drives by the Cardinals. And the two 2-point conversions the Cardinals completed to force a 23-23 tie and push the game to overtime.

Not to mention the fumble by Hunter Renfrow in overtime. One second the Raiders were marching into range for a game-winning field goal, the next they were watching Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy scoop up Renfrow’s fumble and race 59 yards down the sideline for a game-clinching touchdown.

Had the Raiders turned away the Cardinals on any one of those fourth downs or 2-point conversions, they win the game. Or, had they simply extended one or two second-half drives to drain more time from the clock, they would have been in a much better position to secure the victory.

But when it got right down to it, the Raiders simply didn’t come up with the play that needed to be made. Offensively or defensively. And that was the difference in letting an almost sure win slip from their grasp.

“There’s an art to learning how to finish the game the right way,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said.

Put more bluntly, when push came to shove, the Raiders failed to fight back.

As McDaniels explained, doing so requires “a lot of people to execute their jobs well under pressure. You grow to that. And when you get to that point where you can do that on a continuous basis, you have the ability, when you put yourself in that position, to put the game away.”

The Raiders weren’t quite ready to do that on Sunday. A day later, the frustration that resulted bounced off the walls of their Henderson facility.

“We put in a lot of work to prepare for the Cardinals and didn’t get the result we wanted,” Hollins said.

The Raiders face what amounts to a must-win situation on Sunday in Tennessee against the Titans. Every extra minute they hold onto their disappointment is a minute wasted in their game-planning for the Titans.

Hollins, a team captain, is determined not to let his teammates cross that line.

“If it consumes anybody longer than 5 p.m. today, then it’s consuming them too long,” Hollins said. “That doesn’t mean they forget about it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know that it happened, that you shouldn’t learn from it. But for it to be this overpowering ‘we’ve got to fix this problem. We gotta win’ and you get blinded in your preparation for the next opponent, that’s when it turns bad.”

Which is why Hollins issued a mandate to be enforced at the very moment the Raiders wrapped up their look back at the loss to the Cardinals.

“When the film is over, the boohooing and feeling bad for yourself, or whatever people are doing, or feeling mad at yourself, that’s gotta finish,” Hollins said. “You need to clear your mind and be prepared to take on a whole bunch of new information on the Titans.”

That was the challenge the Raiders faced on Monday.

But it will be a few days before they get a chance to prove they can overcome it.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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