By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports activities Author
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — A sluggish begin is changing into a well-known predicament for the Las Vegas Raiders, who’ve fallen behind by two touchdowns in three of their 4 video games this season.
However a delayed kickoff due to a lightning menace — at a stadium with a roof?
That was a novel supply of lateness for coach Jon Gruden and his Raiders earlier than they confronted the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday evening.
“It was nearly like, what on the earth is occurring?” receiver Hunter Renfrow requested. “I imply, we’re in a dome, proper? I guess you in the event you polled all people in right here, no person would have guessed you may have a lightning delay. However clearly they responded higher than we did to it, or we would not have come out and performed the way in which we did within the first half.”
Certainly, the Raiders (3-1) nonetheless struggled to catch up after they lastly received on the SoFi Stadium discipline after the lightning menace handed within the Southland.
They have been down 7-0 after Los Angeles’ opening drive, and so they trailed 21-0 at halftime after managing a paltry 51 yards of offense — the Raiders’ worst first half since Gruden’s return in 2018 — offset by 53 yards in penalties.
Two prolonged scoring drives to open a robust third quarter weren’t sufficient of a rally to save lots of Las Vegas from its first lack of the season, 28-14 to its AFC West rivals.
As a substitute of fashioning one other dramatic ending in a season already that includes two additional time victories, the Raiders have been powerless to cease the Chargers from salting away a snug win.
“If something, hopefully this wakes us up slightly bit,” stated Derek Carr, who handed for a season-low 196 yards and two TDs. “I believe we have to begin loads sooner, if I’m trustworthy. We began the season nice, however we don’t begin video games almost ok but.”
The Raiders have been outscored 56-31 within the first half this season, together with 28-5 within the first quarter. These numbers are alarming, however Gruden was significantly dismayed by this sluggish begin, repeatedly calling it “ridiculous.”
It may have been even worse, however Renfrow made among the finest heads-up performs in current NFL historical past when he sniffed out a faux punt late within the first quarter and roared up from his place because the returner to explode a move from Ty Lengthy to Tevaughn Campbell.
“We had penalties that have been ridiculous,” Gruden stated. “We gave up some performs within the passing sport as we speak you can’t hand over. We did not play nicely within the first half. … We fought again and put ourselves ready to make a dramatic comeback tonight. We simply did not make the performs.”
Las Vegas’ first 3-0 begin since 2002 ended at SoFi Stadium in entrance of hundreds of silver-and-black-clad followers from the Raiders’ bountiful fan base within the Los Angeles space. Though the stadium rocked for the Raiders, the Chargers’ followers had rather more to cheer outdoors the third quarter.
The Raiders’ potential tying drive was stopped on the Chargers 34 with 10:38 to play when a brief move, a brief run and a sack of Carr short-circuited one other handsome drive. Carr stated the third-down sack was a fluke partly attributable to tight finish Darren Waller beating his man so badly that it left his Chargers defender standing within the window the place Carr wished to throw to Renfrow.
“So I went to Waller, however by the point I used to be going via my development, I attempted to scramble, and it was too late,” Carr stated.
Daniel Carlson missed a discipline purpose try, and the Chargers drove for the decisive landing.
The Raiders have little time to dwell on this setback with a brief week of preparation for a go to from Chicago (2-2) on Sunday. Carr apologized to the Raiders followers who cheered them in Inglewood and vowed to do higher in Las Vegas.
“Coming right here, it wasn’t actually a hostile place,” Carr stated. “It was extra of a house sport, similar to we thought it will be. For us to only maintain going ahead, we simply have to be constant. … The expectation by no means adjustments. The expectation is to win each sport. We did not try this as we speak, and that is all my fault.”
Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.