Raiders offense collapses in historic loss against Cardinals

Las Vegas Raiders, Darren Waller - Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Las Vegas Raiders, Darren Waller - Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

With the Las Vegas Raiders leading 20-0 at halftime against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon everything seemed to be going well for the Silver and Black. That changed quickly after halftime.

Allegiant Stadium was alive and rocking as the Las Vegas Raiders started the second half of their Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals lost in Week 1 to the Kansas City Chiefs by a staggering 23 points and it seemed that they were poised for another huge blowout.

Las Vegas Raiders suffer horrendous collapse against Cardinals

The champagne bottles popping before the game was over was probably a bad move as Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray would lead his team throughout the half scoring 23 points while the Raiders were held to a field goal. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw a few errant passes and failed to convert third downs to move the chains.

The Raiders’ offense was moving like a high-powered locomotive during the first half and the second-half offensive unit appeared to have rolled right off the tracks. Head coach Josh McDaniels’ offensive playcalling was reminiscent of Jon Gruden’s tenure with the Raiders; playing NOT to lose, not playing to WIN. Gruden was notorious for playing ultra-conservative whenever the Raiders had a lead which usually ended up allowing the opponent to get back into a rhythm and take over the game.

The same scenario played out Sunday evening and Kyler Murray successfully brought his team to a tie with the Raiders after a ridiculously long (20.8 seconds) but successful two-point conversion rushing score by Murray.

Throughout the game, there were many opportunities for the Raiders to “put away” the Cardinals in their home opener. There were countless missed tackles and several dropped interceptions that could have ended the game before it even got to overtime. But after Murray’s successful conversion the Cardinals failed to score in their opening drive in overtime. Their luck did not run out as not only one, but two fumbles by Raiders receivers Hunter Renfrow led to a scoop and score by Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr.

There is no single scapegoat in this game but for this particular outing, Derek Carr can’t blame his offensive line who gave him plenty of time to throw the ball. Carr did appear to be out of sync with Davante Adams (2 receptions, 7 targets, one TD) and his lack of production kept the defense on the field for the majority of the second half. Not to mention Murray was facing the Raiders with an injured JJ Watt, absent and injured receivers, and star running back James Connor left early with an injury.

Coach McDaniels will definitely hear the music on this one as the Raiders fall to 0-2 and face the Tennesee Titans next week. As if the largest blown lead in Raiders history wasn’t enough a 0-3 start will have the Silver and Black calling for an early changing of the guard.