The Las Vegas Raiders dropped their third game of the season, 24-22, in cruel fashion to the Tennessee Titans.
After trailing 14 points at half, Derek Carr and the offense were able to make up for 12 of those points with less than two minutes. A failed two-point conversion stopped any comeback in its tracks. It was the third straight contest in which the Raiders lost by less than one touchdown.
"We're going to have to learn to play a full 60 minutes and earn the right to win," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said postgame. "There's a lot of things we have to do better as coaches and players, and that's what we're going to focus on."
"Losing gets old, fast," continued a passionate McDaniels. "These guys, they compete hard. They play hard. Coaches coach hard. But you have to earn it. There's good players and good coaches on the other side. We've got to learn how to start well, play well in the middle and finish well. Right now, we've not figured out that formula yet."
The two highlights that come from the loss for the Raiders is the play of their defense in the second half as well as a career day from receiver Mack Hollins. After surrendering 24 points in the first half, the defense kept the Titans from increasing their score anymore in the second half.
"Somebody [had] to step up," Hollins said after the game. "It happened to be my day today."
Duron Harmon, who nabbed an interception off Ryan Tannehill in the third quarter, found no moral victories in containing the Titans offense. The veteran safety was more consumed by how the first half got away from them – forcing them to respond from a punch to the gut.
"Obviously, it's always good to make plays for your team, but at the end of the day, we came here to win. Not to get stats," Harmon told Raiders.com. "This game is about winning. However you win is however you win. We just didn't do enough as a defense.
"We know that 24 points is too much. When you look around, especially in one half, when you look around at the talent we have in this locker room – yes we played better in the second half, but it's still not acceptable to give up 24 points in one half."
As for the Raiders' offensive star of the game, Hollins had his best statistical game of his NFL career in the Music City. The team captain finished with eight catches for 158 yards and a touchdown while also playing a role in field positioning on special teams. In the last offensive drive of the game, Hollins recorded 62 receiving yards.
"Mack plays hard on every play," McDaniels said of Hollins. "I thought it was a great play that he made, and then being able to re-establish himself quickly to down the punt in there inside the five was obviously a great individual play.
"Had a lot of single coverage today and made some plays in the passing game as a receiver too. Mack always works hard. I think that's why he was voted as a captain. His effort and the way he performs has been a bright spot for us, for sure."
This will be another game for the Raiders to shake off on their quest to forge through the season, hoping to correct mistakes with a home matchup against the Denver Broncos looming ahead.
"Not the end of the world, but at the same time, there's an urgency," Derek Carr said of the atmosphere in the locker room. "It's not like we're in OTAs and we're like, 'Oh, we'll get it right eventually.' We've got to get it right now. Whenever Coach gives us our corrections tomorrow, you go in with thick skin and take it and then do better."
View photos from the Raiders' Week 3 matchup against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.