HOUSTON – The Raiders left Houston on Sunday night believing they lost a game they should have won.
They grabbed an early lead over the Texans and held it all afternoon until Deshaun Watson’s third touchdown pass with 6: 26 remaining established the margin of victory in a 27-24 Raiders Week 8 loss at NRG Stadium.
The Raiders had a comeback try that fell short, with two deep shots to Tyrell Williams that should have been caught. The Silver and Black's defense didn’t get the stops when it was required, allowing four straight scoring drives before Watson kneeled out the win.
The Raiders steadfastly believe that this was an opportunity blown, a game they should have taken to the bank.
“1,000 percent,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “This one hurts my heart so much. I mean, we only had three possessions, I think, in the second half. You know, we got points on two of them. On that third [and final] drive, we should still be on the field but we’re not. You know this one hurt. That’s all I can say.”
In addition to the lack of opportunities, the Raiders were their own worst enemy with 11 penalties for 100 yards. Some of them came at terrible times, including the final comeback attempt and third downs when the Raiders defense just couldn’t get off the field.
"It’s all about not beating yourself,” defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell said. “I had an offsides penalty so I’m a part of that. There were just too many flags. It’s that simple. You can’t have that.”
The Raiders wrapped an extended road trip at 2-3, with a legitimate shot to get that third win in hand with a three-game homestand coming up against beatable competition.
“This was a big game and we look at it as a tough opportunity,” Ferrell said. “It would have put a great cap on our road trip coming home at 3-2 on the time away from home. This one hurt really, really bad. We have to put it behind us quickly and move forward.”
The Raiders are coming back with confidence moving forward despite a golden opportunity missed. They believe they can improve and rally and go on a solid run.
“Everything is up and down in the NFL,” Raiders defensive back Lamarcus Joyner said. “We’re a really good football team. Once we start clicking on all cylinders, we’re going to be good. Nobody’s worried around here.
“The league did what they did with the schedule and, for the most part, we did a good job of hanging in there. Nobody thought we’d be 3-4 right now. I’m pretty sure people laughed at us and thought we’d win zero games. We’re going to keep going. We still believe we’re going to be good.”