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Crosby, Gruden look to tighten up defense moving forward after loss to Patriots

Although they were one of the most disciplined teams their first two games of the season, the Las Vegas Raiders struggled with penalties and injuries, ultimately costing them in a 36-20 loss to the New England Patriots. It's the first loss of the season for the Silver and Black.

The Raiders were outmatched in time of possession, with the Patriots offense staying on the field for nearly 35 minutes to the Raiders' 25 minutes, along with giving up 250 rushing yards and 40 yards on six penalties to the Patriots.

Those numbers told the story of the game.

Following the game, Coach Gruden recognized the run defense needs to improve moving forward.

"Obviously we missed some tackles, and we had a couple of players out of their gap," Coach Gruden said. "Not against the New England Patriots, not against anybody."

Maxx Crosby was able to return to form of disrupting the passing game, sacking Cam Newton twice. Crosby attributes disciplinary issues to why the young defense had problems against the Patriots.

"We just got to be in our gap and do our job and make tackles," said Crosby "We're not doing a good enough job of that right now."

Crosby also acknowledged that the defense is still going through growing pains and is looking forward to them playing at their full potential as a unit.

"It's super early in the season. We're trying to gel right now, and we thought that was a really winnable game. We were in a really good situation and we didn't come through so just got to get better. There's no excuses."

The defense also had a shining moment in the first half when second-year standout safety Johnathan Abram grab his first career interception to set the Raiders up for a field goal. Abram is another Raider battling through injuries after injuring his shoulder against the Saints after running into a camera stand.

Yet despite the injuries and mistakes made against the Patriots, Gruden is confident that his young team will resiliently come back and be ready for an undefeated Buffalo Bills team at home next Sunday.

"We gotta get a good-looking medical report, see who's going to be able to play," said Gruden. "I like our team. [They] showed at times today. I wasn't perfect either. I made plenty of mistakes, but I do like the team.

"I like the way they hustle; I like the way they finish. We just gotta play better in some key situations."

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