Winless Oakland Raiders Are Improving, but Still Beating Themselves

The 0-7 Oakland Raiders were huge underdogs Sunday in Seattle against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. It was 24-3 by halftime because the Raiders made mistake after mistake after mistake—as expected.

Then something changed in the third quarter. Perhaps the Seahawks relaxed a little bit, but the Raiders made a game of it before falling 30-24 to move to 0-8 on the season.

The Raiders may still be winless, but they proved Sunday they are not content to wither on the vine. No one is going to mistake the Raiders for a good team, but they’re improving. If they can stop beating themselves, they just may win a game or two in 2014.

In the first half, the Raiders beat themselves with big mistakes. They had three turnovers and two penalties that directly or indirectly resulted in all 24 of Seattle’s points. When the Raiders had an opportunity to score, they left points on the field.

The Raiders had to settle for a field goal after not being able to convert on 3rd-and-3 from Seattle’s 30 on the first drive of the game. Convert the short third down and the Raiders had a chance to take a 7-0 lead instead of 3-0 lead. At the end of the half, kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed a 51-yard field goal.

That’s hypothetically seven points the Raiders left on the field in the first half to go along with the 24 they allowed.

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr threw two interceptions on back-to-back drives in the first half that resulted in 10 of Seattle’s points. Linebacker Bruce Irvin made a great play on one of the interceptions, tipping the ball to himself and returning it for a touchdown.

Cornerback D.J. Hayden didn’t help things with defensive pass interference and taunting penalties in the first half. Both plays put the Seahawks in position to score points, and they capitalized with two touchdowns.

Other mistakes di...

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