Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Seven

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) reacts after throwing touchdown pass in the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Gotta Keep That Pedal Down

The fact that the Raiders were outscored 23-0 in the fourth quarter should raise a few eyebrows if not a few red flags. Oakland had built a very comfortable 37-6 lead in the third quarter, but then the team seemed content to shut it down and coast to the end, hanging on for the 37-29 win.

That’s a very dangerous spot to put yourself in – especially if your garbage time defense is as bad as Oakland’s was in San Diego. In that fourth quarter, the Raiders went from aggressive, attacking, and in your face, to a turtle tucking itself back into its shell, content to just hang on.

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The play calling on both sides of the ball went ultra-conservative and it turned what had been a laugher to that point into a closer game than it had any right being. The fact that the Raiders had stymied the Chargers for three quarters of the game only to let them explode for 23 points and a lot of yards of offense is something this team must be concerned with and must address if they find themselves in that position again.

Though most are content with the fact that the Raiders came away with a win – and a win is the most important thing of course – Oakland has to learn to close out games. They can’t shift into a conservative prevent style defense only to let a team creep back into the game because you never know. A funny bounce here, a bad call there, and who knows – they may wind up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory one of these times.

The Raiders need to play with intensity for a full sixty minutes. When they can do that, you will see just how dominant this team can be.

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