58°F
weather icon Clear

Raiders let big opportunity slip away in loss to Texans

Updated October 27, 2019 - 10:09 pm

HOUSTON

Here is the problem for the Raiders and that idea about if opportunity doesn’t knock, one should build a door.

On Sunday, they would have either been flagged for not meeting proper specifications or simply dropped the darn thing on their collective heads.

This was one of those look-back games. When December arrives and playoff berths are secured, the Raiders could well rue every bit of a 27-24 loss to the Texans at NRG Stadium.

It’s over, finally, five consecutive games away from Oakland, concluding before an announced gathering of 71,893 in a manner the Raiders would just as soon forget.

The team that returns home to host three straight games and four of the next six — beginning with Detroit next Sunday — had every chance to end their long journey with a victory and grab a head-to-head edge for a possible playoff tiebreaker.

It was there for the taking.

“A really, really big game,” Raiders rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell said. “Missed opportunity, for sure. This one hurts really, really bad.”

If you couldn’t tell, he and his teammates were really, really disappointed.

It was a combination of their own doing and again the skills of a great quarterback, because like Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers before him this season, Deshaun Watson dominated the Raiders over a long enough stretch to secure a victory.

He would lead Houston to 17 second-half points and throw the game-winning touchdown after slipping out of a would-be sack, nearly falling to the ground and then being kicked in the eye, adding insult to injury for a Raiders defense that was on the field for more than 20 minutes in the second half.

That the Raiders had all sorts of issues getting a player of Watson’s caliber off the field has become more weekly occurrence than surprise. And if you combine such porous play with 11 penalties for 100 yards and key drops late, any chance at winning becomes even more remote than the likelihood of head coach Jon Gruden treating whoever makes the NFL schedule to a dinner.

It hasn’t been a major problem for the Raiders until now, all those yellow flags thrown in their direction. But sloppy showed up early and often Sunday, and Oakland suddenly ranks 11th in the league with an average of nearly 78 yards in penalties.

It wasn’t just that. They might have been limited in second-half chances, but the Raiders didn’t attack a Houston secondary riddled with injury enough all afternoon, a defense that lost All-Pro end J.J. Watt (torn pectoral) for the season in the first half.

And when they were aggressive, the Raiders ended up kicking themselves in the head and Watson in the eye.

Rooting for Houston

Take their final drive, trailing 27-24 with 6:26 remaining, trying to at least reach field-goal range to possibly tie things up and reach overtime.

Over the final four plays, Tyrell Williams would drop two deep passes from Derek Carr and guard Richie Incognito would be called for holding that took the Raiders out of kicker Daniel Carlson’s range.

Instead, they punted and never saw the ball again.

“I mean, we only had three (second-half possessions),” Carr said. “You know, this one hurt, One thousand percent. (But) no one is hanging their head. Everything is still in front of us.”

The Raiders face a remaining schedule of nine games against teams that, before Sunday, were a combined 18-35-1. So if you accept they can remain in contention for a playoff spot, losing to a side in Houston that also appears to be of a wild-card variety could cost big-time down the stretch.

It means the Raiders are now fans of the Texans to win the AFC South, given Gruden’s team beat Indianapolis, which leads that division.

This is all undoubtedly several steps ahead for a team that can’t consistently get stops and on Sunday lost the heart and soul of its offensive line when center Rodney Hudson left with an injured ankle.

There is also this truth: Great teams can afford to miss such an opportunity.

The Raiders aren’t great, and this has all the makings of a look-back game.

“Later in the season, there is going to be a game just like this,” rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow said. “Maybe it’s Week 12, 13, 14 … we’re going to have a chance to go take advantage of the opportunity.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

But on Sunday, they lost a really, really big one.

More Raiders: Follow at vegasnation.com and @VegasNation on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. 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.

Don't miss the latest Raiders news. Like our Vegas Nation page
Raiders Videos
Another Defensive Stand Earns Raiders Third Straight Win - VIDEO
The Raiders won their third straight home game with yet another clutch performance by the defense, when cornerback Trayvon Mullen intercepted Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley late in the 4th quarter. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family Environment Aids In Raiders Success - VIDEO
After emerging victorious on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, many of the Raiders, including one of the newest additions DJ Swearinger, spoke to the environment that the organization provides and how it becomes evident on the field. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' Defense Steps Up in 17-10 Victory Over Bengals - VIDEO
The Raiders beat the Bengals 17-10 in the last of their 3-game home stretch in Oakland. The defense played a huge part in the win, as defensive end Maxx Crosby secured 4 sacks and cornerback Trayon Mullen secured the game win with an interception. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Vegas Nation podcast host Heidi Fang break down the win and who on the team stepped up in the victory.
Raiders Not Concerned With Stats Just Execution - VIDEO
The Raiders emerged victorious in their game against the Cincinnati Bengals 17-10 on Sunday. The team did not take the win-less Bengals lightly, a message they preached all week and continued to echo after the game. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Hope Clelin Ferrell Continues Upward Trend - VIDEO
The Raiders are hoping rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell cotniues to improve on his recent game performances. LaMarcus Joyner is out for Sunday's game against the Bengals. Daryl Worley and Nevin Lawson look fill the gap left by the injured defensive back.
Raiders' Incognito Recalls Incident Similar to Browns-Steelers Brawl - VIDEO
After Thursday's game between the Browns and Steelers saw a brawl between Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolf, Richie Incognito recalls a similar indecent from earlier in his career. Jon Gruden expects DJ Swearinger and Dion Jordan to go on Sunday against the Bengals.
Bengals Impress Raiders Coaches Despite Win-less Record - VIDEO
The focus this week for the Raiders is making sure not to over look the win-less Cincinnati Bengals for this Sunday's game. Despite the Bengals record, they do have impressive players.
Raiders Look to Take Advantage of Bengals Run Defense - VIDEO
With the Bengals being last in the NFL in terms of run defense and record, the Raiders are looking to capitalize on rookie running back Josh Jacobs already impressive season.
M Resort plans to offer gameday experience with Raiders partnership
The Raiders and M Resort entered into a 10-year partnership as announced at a press conference Wednesday. Raiders president Marc Badain called the hotel the team's "home away from home" and M Resorts general manager Hussain Mahrous said the hotel, new team store and Raiders Bar & Grill will provide a great gameday experience for fans. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
M Resort, Raiders announce partnership
The M Resort announced on Wednesday that they are the official team headquarters hotel of the Raiders. Raiders president Marc Badain and M Resort general manager Hussain Mahrous announced the partnership at a press conference in Henderson. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium District Possibilities- Video
Allegiant Stadium, the future home of the Las Vegas Raiders, is well on its way to making its completion date of late-July 2020. As for the surrounding area, known as the Stadium District, plans are now in motion to develop the industrial area into a place where fans can potentially enjoy game-day activities.
Raiders Are Not Overlookng Winless Bengals - VIDEO
The Raiders are making sure to stay focused this week to avoid what would be an upset to the 0-9 Cincinnati Bengals. While the Bengals have not won a game this season Jon Gruden is making sure the Raiders do not take them lightly. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dion Jordan Practices, Gruden Declines Comment on Kaepernick - VIDEO
The Raiders brought in former first-round pick defensive end Dion Jordan after placing Arden Key on IR. Jon Gruden declines comments on the Colin Kaepernick workout taking place this Saturday as the team prepares for the Bengals.
Injuries Persist as Raiders Prepare for Bengals - VIDEO
The Raiders have dealt with the injury bug all season and this week is no different. safety Karl Joseph has been placed on IR, and cornerback LaMarcus Joyner is awaiting an injury designation as the team prepares to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Bring in Safety D.J. Swearinger, Place Karl Joseph on IR - VIDEO
In Thursday's win against the Los Angeles Chargers, Raiders safety Karl Joseph was injured on the game clinching interception. The team placed Joseph on injury reserve and brought in D.J. Swearinger to help fill the gap. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Thanksgiving Set to Be Milestone Date for Allegiant Stadium, Raiders - Video
Thanksgiving will be a big day for Allegiant Stadium, the future home of the Raiders, as two major accomplishments are set to be hit by this date.
Raiders Win Second Thriller in 5 Days - VIDEO
The Raiders beat the Chargers 26-24 in the teams' second game in 5 days. The Raiders were able to stall Phillip Rivers and the Chargers offense in the final moments to seal the victory. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' Short Week Ends In Victory, Beat Chargers 26-24
The Raiders beat the Chargers 26-24 in their second game in 5 days. Once again Karl Joseph and the Raiders defense came up big sealing, the game on an interception. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' Defense Comes Up Big in Win Over Chargers, 26-24 - Video
The Raiders beat the Charges 26-24 in the Thursday Night Football divisional matchup. The defense played a huge part in the win, as safety Erik Harris nabbed two interceptions for his team including a pick-six. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Vegas Nation podcast host Heidi Fang break down the win and how the defense really stepped up against a division rival.
Raiders aim to stay ahead in AFC West | Vegas Nation Red Zone
The 4-4 Raiders are coming off a 31-24 win against the Detroit Lions in what was the first of a three-game home-stand in Oakland. Up next, the Silver and Black will look to keep their spot in second in the AFC West as they face the Los Angeles Chargers (4-5) on a short week. The Chargers are also coming off of a win against the Green Bay Packers. The team was able to hold Aaron Rodgers and company to just 11 points and will look to build off of that performance. Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney and show host Heidi Fang give a preview of the matchup, recap the Raiders win over the Lions and give an update on injuries heading in to the Thursday game.
Allegiant Stadium, Raiders Announce Ford Dealers as the Official Automotive Partner - Video
Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders have announced that the Desert Ford Dealers will be the Official Vehicle of the Raiders when the team debuts in Las Vegas in 2020. There are five Ford dealerships in Las Vegas: Ford Country, Friendly Ford, Gaudin Ford, Rush Truck Center, and Team Ford. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Stadium Insider Mick Akers discuss the partnership announcement, as well as find out if Raiders players will only be driving Fords in the future.
County Approves Allegiant Stadium Sign Proposal - Video
The Clark County Zoning Commission has approved the Raiders’ request for waivers to development standards for signs planned for Allegiant Stadium. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Stadium Insider Mick Akers discuss the delays that led up to the approval, as well as speak to Raiders President Marc Badain about the news.
1-on-1 With Johnathan Abram: Halfway Through The Season - VIDEO
Guenther Hopes to Play Cornerback Isaiah Johnson - VIDEO
Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther hopes to play cornerback Isaiah Johnson in Johnson's first game back from IR. Quarterback Derek Carr said he is glad to have wide receiver Tyrell Williams to throw to.
Short Week of Preparation Begins for Raiders - VIDEO
The Raiders hosted their only media availability on Tuesday as the team prepares to take on Joey Bosa and the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jon Gruden on Thursday Night Football - VIDEO
During his press conference on Monday, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden spoke out about teams having to play in Thursday Night Football games.
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden Speaks Ahead of Short Practice Week - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden addressed the media ahead of the team's short practice week before they take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.
Raiders release Brandon Marshall, Gruden Discusses Injuries and Short Practice Week - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced on Monday that the team has once again released linebacker Brandon Marshall in order to activate rookie cornerback Isaiah Johnson. Gruden also discussed the injuries currently plaguing the team, his "hate" for Thursday Night Football and how it affects the team. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Late Game Heroics Help Raiders Beat Lions 31-24 - VIDEO
The Raiders were able to hold off the Detroit Lions 31-24 after a late game defensive stop from Safety Karl Joseph
Raiders Youthful Depth and Veteran Experience Key in Victory Over Lions- VIDEO
Raiders tight end Darren Waller, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and safety Karl Joseph react to Sunday's victory over the Lions. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Personal seat licenses for Raiders almost sold out - VIDEO
Personal seat license sales (PSL) for the $2 billion 65,000 fan-capacity domed Allegiant Stadium are about 96 percent sold, with the sales process expected to wrap up by Thanksgiving. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Spend $28 Million on new parking areas - VIDEO
The Raiders have spent $28 million on new parking locations on Valley View Boulevard between Reno and Tropicana avenues. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Raiders struggling against elite quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson have combined to complete 82 of 114 passes for 1,151 yards with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions against the Raiders.