Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders: Breaking Down Oakland’s Game Plan

A strange thing happened to the Oakland Raiders in their Week 1 loss at the New York Jets.

Offensively, the Raiders managed only 176 yards of total offense—73 of them on the team's final drive—and a meager 11 first downs for the entire game.

Defensively, they were pushed around for four quarters. Geno Smith finished 23-of-28 for 221 yards, and the Jets as a team rushed for 212 yards while averaging over six yards per carry. Watching the game, it was obvious that Oakland was dominated in every area.

Yet somehow, the Raiders were within a single score of taking the lead the entire game and were a recovered onside kick away from a chance to win it at the end.

Oakland led after one quarter, was down three at halftime and down six after three quarters. And even when Chris Ivory's 71-yard touchdown run with 8:03 left in the game extended the Jets lead to 12 points and seemed to seal the Raiders' fate, the lead didn't last. A late touchdown pass from Derek Carr to James Jones made this a winnable game in the final minutes.

Statistically, Oakland was dominated. Despite that, the team was never out of it. This game was there for the taking, but the Raiders were just never able to take advantage of the opportunity.

So what went wrong?

As Oakland struggled for the better part of four quarters, three things became evident: the defense was unable to generate any pressure on the quarterback, the offense couldn't run the ball and the passing plays were too conservative.

This Raiders team is more talented than it has been in years, but it's still going to struggle to find wins. That makes it even more crucial that opportunities to earn a victory, even if it's stealing one, aren't squandered.

Chances to win a game could be few and far between for Oakland in 2014. When a great opportunity like the one they had in Week 1 arises, the team can't let it slip away.

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