How the Raiders performed in a 24-22 loss to the Titans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee:
Shades of bad red-zone efficiency from past seasons. It cost them. So did an alarming lack of discipline (drops, penalties, running routes into each other). Wide receiver Mack Hollins (eight catches on 10 targets, 158 yards, one touchdown) had a career day, but the next closest in receiving yards was tight end Foster Moreau (three receptions for 44 yards). Davante Adams had five catches on 10 targets for 36 yards and a score. He didn’t have a catch on the final drive. Derek Carr completed 26 of 44 for 303 yards with two scores and an interception. Josh Jacobs, who joined the team Saturday after battling an illness, rushed 13 times for 66 yards. Tight end Darren Waller (three catches for 22 yards) had a huge fourth-quarter miss at the goal line that went off his hands and was intercepted in the end zone.
This is an average for a C in the first half and an A in the second. The Raiders pitched a shutout after intermission despite dealing with mounting injuries in the secondary. In all three losses, the defense has essentially played well enough to win. They just needed to start faster Sunday, allowing touchdowns on each of Tennessee’s first three drives. Maxx Crosby had nine tackles and a sack — that’s now just two for the Raiders this season, both by their star rush end — and Divine Deablo added seven tackles. It wasn’t a great day for coverage in the first half — Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished 19 of 27 for 264 yards with a score and an interception.
Special teams: B-minus
Daniel Carlson extended his field-goal streak to 31 with makes from 21, 32 and 35 yards. Hollins made a terrific play to pin the Titans at their 1-yard line. But there were leaks in coverage, one that led to a punt return that allowed the Titans to kick a field goal as time expired in the first half. Another big return from Tennessee was erased by a penalty.
The Raiders weren’t prepared. Sloppy, lack of attention to detail, delay of game flags in key moments. It all comes back to coaching and having your team ready to play. Three close losses. Three winnable games. An 0-3 record.
Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at email@example.com. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.