'These are hard lessons to learn': The Raiders go back to the drawing board to find a recipe to close out games

The Las Vegas Raiders lost in peculiar fashion to the Los Angles Rams after holding a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Silver and Black played a tough game down to the wire, doing a lot of good things to stifle the Rams through the first three quarters of play. They ran the ball efficiently with Josh Jacobs, who finished with 99 rushing yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, they made things difficult for Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield in the pocket – sacking him four times.

However, after Daniel Carlson made a 36-yard field goal with 12:20 left to go in regulation, the Raiders became stagnant as the game neared the end.

The Rams reeled off 14 unanswered points in their last two drives of the game. The two touchdowns came by meticulously driving the ball down the field for a one-yard Cam Akers touchdown rush followed by a 98-yard drive that resulted in Baker Mayfield connecting with Van Jefferson for a 23-yard touchdown to put the Rams up, 17-16, with 10 seconds left.

"It's 60 minutes. Everybody will point to the last play or the last four plays or the last drive, what have you, but there's plays in every quarter that could have helped us extend the lead," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said postgame. "There are things we could have done in all three phases that would've put us further ahead in games. There's a lot of things that go into a result in the National Football League. … These are hard lessons to learn, they are."

"This is the National Football League. If you let them hang around long enough, it comes down to one possession, a couple plays and who makes them," McDaniels added. "This isn't an offense, defense or special teams thing. It's a team thing. We've got to be able to extend a lead if we have one and keep competing."

Derek Carr played with much success in the first half, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes to help the Raiders gain a 10-point lead going into halftime. In the second half, Carr went 2-of-7 for 11 passing yards and an interception. After going for 71 yards on three catches in the first half, the NFL's touchdown catch leaderDavante Adams was held to no receptions in the second half.

"For me, it didn't feel out of place. Something didn't feel off or anything like that," Carr said of the way the game played out. "It felt like we had good control of what we wanted to do. I really think it just comes down to the execution of the plays. Some of the stuff that hurt us in the past games, that's just what it came down to at the end."

The Raiders' three-game winning streak is in the rearview, as they digest Thursday's loss and shift to preparing for a home matchup against the New England Patriots. It also gives their head coach an opportunity to show his team how to move on and keep playing hard in adversity.

"Obviously, we don't have much margin for error now," said McDaniels. "We'll go back to work and try to fix some of the things that we didn't do right."

View photos from the Raiders' Week 14 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.

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