On Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders looked like anything but a playoff team. In fact, they looked like they didn’t even belong in the Atlanta Falcons' Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
That’s how bad it was in a terrible 43-6 loss that will have the Raiders looking inward to see if they can avoid a similar collapse to a 6-4 start like they had last season.
For those who remember, The Raiders were 6-4 last year heading into a matchup with a 3-7 New York Jets team.
They then proceeded to get stomped 34-3 and would lose five out of their next six games to finish 7-9.
It felt eerily similar to how the game against Atlanta turned out. From the get-go, it seemed as if the Raiders had left all of their good football in Vegas.
That seemed especially true for Derek Carr, who accounted for four of the Raiders' five turnovers.
After a season that’s seen him arguably play as well as he’s ever had, it was baffling to see that kind of performance.
The credit of course has to be given to the Falcons and their inspired defensive effort.
Along with forcing five turnovers, they held the Raiders to 203 total yards, including only 40 on the ground.
On the other side, there wasn’t much the Raiders defense could do considering the circumstances the offense put them in.
Especially with injuries knocking out both starting cornerbacks, Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen, nothing was going to go the Raiders way.
Even for those who thought this could have been a trap game, they probably didn’t think that the Raiders would be so inept in all phases of the game.
The season isn’t over, of course. The Raiders have a very winnable game this week against the winless Jets.
This game though could end up haunting them. Now in the ninth spot in the AFC playoff race, the Raiders realistically need to win at least four of their next five to have a real shot at making the playoffs.
Not taking what should have been a winnable game could cost them in that stretch.
Then again, if they have a similar collapse like they did last season, it won’t have even mattered.
Either way, there’s a strong chance that this loss to Atlanta could go down as the turning point of the Raiders season, for better or worse.
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