What Derek Carr said as he stood at the podium following the Oakland Raiders third consecutive loss of 2018 was echoed in the locker room by his teammates on the offensive side of the ball.
"We're doing it, almost there, right," said Carr following the team's 28-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. So there's no sense of we have to give up now. You talk to anybody in that locker room, we're one play here, all throughout the game, one play here, one play here, one play here. We're right there, where each man in the locker room is like, I can give a little bit more. I can do a little bit more to help us. Go in there and look at them. Look at our guys. Talk to them. Everybody is obviously mad at losing, but not one person is giving up."
"I think we're just a play away, a check away from being probably the most explosive offense in the league," added Marshawn Lynch. "It comes with time. It comes with preparation, and I mean, I don't think we're going to stop doing that, so any given moment in can click though."
Now, "close" won't get you a whole lot in the NFL, and the Raiders now sit at 0-3 headed into Week 4, but the team can take some solace in the fact that, once again, they actually outplayed their opponent for much of the game.
At halftime, Head Coach Jon Gruden's team led 10-7 – although to be fair, the score should have leaned a little heavier to the Raiders advantage – had limited the Dolphins to just 22 rushing yards and had outgained Adam Gase's squad by 102 total yards.
Following the break, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's group forced a three-and-out, and then Carr and the offense got back to work, putting together a 16-play drive that took nearly ten minutes of the clock, and was ultimately punctuated by Marshawn Lynch's third rushing touchdown of the young season.
Then, as was the case in the first two weeks of the regular season, things stalled for the offense, as the Raiders were able to manufacture just three more points – a Mike Nugent field goal with 25 seconds left – as they witnessed Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins end the game on a 21-3 run.
The Raiders final touchdown drive of the afternoon showed the best of what the Silver and Black can be offensively; dominant at the line of scrimmage with Carr playing maestro of the symphony, but unfortunately, once again, that success didn't translate to the final quarter.
"We have a lot of tools," Kolton Miller explained. "We can run the ball. We can pass the ball. We just have to execute well…. We just have to execute."
"We've been showing that the whole season, really, it's just about being consistent," fellow lineman Kelechi Osemele added. "We have drives where can go down there for damn near ten minutes, and capitalize, and then we come back out, and we'll have a three-and-out [or] we'll just have the one first down type of thing and not be able to finish. We just have to watch film, and see where we can be better, where we're not picking up the first, like, what's going on, the mistakes that we're making, but the only thing you can do in a situation like this is keep swinging, man, so we're just going to go back to work and try to get it fixed."
The situation that the Raiders find themselves in now is a challenging one. While there are still 13 games left on the schedule, and the regular season is not yet even a quarter complete, the Silver and Black have yet to tally their first win of the year and are looking up at every other team in the AFC West.
That said, there are no hanging heads in the Raiders locker room.
"In terms of the mood, no one's hanging their head," Miller said. "I don't think we have that type of group. We came in here with that type of confidence, that we were going to bring it to them, but no one's getting down and stuff, we're still going to keep fighting, and keep practicing. We still have faith in these coaches, and the program, and each other, so I think we'll be good."
"I think what's going to be most important is we rally behind each other, more than anything," Lynch explained. "If you get into an outside-looking-in look, it would look terrible, but we know what we've got in this locker room, so I mean, if we get behind each other, I think we'll be able to turn this around."
Each week in the NFL, it seems as though almost every game comes down to one or two plays; unfortunately for the Raiders they've found themselves on the wrong side of said plays in the early goings of 2018.