Despite being 0-3, the Las Vegas Raiders are not necessarily a bad team.
The amount of talent on the team has shined through several times this season, with all three games being decided by less than one score. However, the Raiders have been inconsistent in their play, which reflects their current record.
After being down 14 points in the first half to both the Chargers and Titans, the Silver and Black outscored the two opponents 28-7 in the second half. As for the loss to the Cardinals, the team was up 20-0 before surrendering 29 points in the second half and overtime. Overall, the Raiders have proven they can be a good team, but according to Head Coach Josh McDaniels they have to learn how to "play a full 60 minutes and earn the right to win."
"There's no shortcuts to it. You can't just say, 'Hey, let's put this player out there on the field,' and all of a sudden we'll magically be consistent," McDaniels said Monday morning following the loss in Tennessee. "I think consistency is the responsibility of every man, starting with the coaching staff going to the players.
"It starts with our approach. It starts with our mindset on the day. It starts with our preparation," he continued. "And if we do a good job at those things and then we go out there and practice, we work as hard as we can to try and get it right in the practice field, then I think we give ourselves an opportunity to do more things well during the course of a 60-minute game."
One of the Silver and Black's more consistent players is edge rusher Maxx Crosby. The 2021 Pro Bowler currently leads the team in sacks (2.0), tackles for loss (four) and quarterback hits (five). The team captain's high motor and energy are desirable attributes for any team to have, as he hopes his level of play continues to set an example for his teammates.
"We're doing a lot of good things, we're just not finishing and getting the wins," said Crosby. "On the outside, it's frustrating, I get it. It's frustrating in here. We work our ass off every day to try to go out there and be our best, and I feel like we're on our way. Even though it's hard right now and seems like the world is closing down, we have a lot of positive things to take away."
With 14 games in front of them, the locker room is keeping sights set on learning their next opponent and not letting themselves fall into the mental hole of an 0-3 record.
"We're going into Week 4 now. There's a lot of football left," Crosby on the attitude the team. "Last year we lost, what, five out of six in the middle of the year? If we were to quit, nobody would have talked about that year. All they remember is us going to the playoffs. ... We want to play, but right now it's let's get a win. It comes down to getting a win. That's all we're trying to do. It's tough, but like I said, we've got great guys, great coaches, great players, so we just got to keep moving forward."
Running back Brandon Bolden knows the days after losses are tough, but believes that learning how to fix mistakes throughout the week is what builds consistency. The 10-year vet said his team is emphasizing "putting together our formula of finishing." McDaniels echoed Bolden in that once the formula is established, it will lead to positive results on gamedays.
"We have the answers, we are the answers," said Josh McDaniels. "I have no issues with the way we work and the way we compete. That's clear, you guys can see that every Sunday. We're battling right to the very end – for that they need to be commended for their efforts, and their attitude and their competitive spirit.
"We just need to make a few more plays as we go along through the course of the game so we can start turning in some 'W's'."
View photos from the Raiders' Week 3 matchup against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.