MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Raiders can’t finish. Plain and simple.
It’s a problem that could well be fixed in time. But right now, it’s costing them victories.
The Silver and Black have been outscored 37-3 in the fourth quarter, leaving no doubt the Raiders struggle mightily down the stretch.
Gruden stood before the media Sunday following a 28-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins and vowed to right those wrongs.
“That’s my responsibility to fix it,” he said.
The Raiders haven’t been able to finish games or drives. They’re leaving far too many points uncollected thanks to issues converting in the red zone. They were 2-for-5 from inside the Dolphins’ 20-yard line, and couldn’t score often enough.
“We could have finished with so many more touchdowns,” Carr said. “We were moving the ball again ... [It’s the] third week where we’re moving the ball. We had a good plan, and we had some good routes and good things going on and good runs and all of that kind of stuff, but when we got down to the red zone, I think that will be a point of emphasis for us just to finish those drives.”
Scoring late must be a point of emphasis after the Raiders blew three halftime leads in three games this season.
The Raiders used to perform well in the clutch. They were comeback kids in 2016, compiling a 12-4 record thanks in large part to late-game heroics. These guys, as individuals, know how to win. They just haven’t put it together here in 2018.
“It’s a mentality more than anything,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “I think we do have that mentality. When we’re in the huddle and you look everybody in the eyes, they want it. It’s not a matter of will. It’s just not coming together. We have to watch film, work out problems and keep grinding.
"There’s no quit in this group. The desire is there. The mentality is there. It will fall our way. We’re just a couple plays away from making it happen.”
It needs to happen fast. The Raiders are 0-3, and they must quickly rebound to avoid sending the season into the tank. The Silver and Black weren’t expected to be great, but their level of talent belies their winless record.
They’ve fallen far below expectations to this point, despite starting fast, compiling yards and making tough stops. Early in games, anyway.
The fourth quarter has been a different story -- one that has tragic ends.
“It's not what I expected at all,” Carr said. “I feel terrible but not down. Trust me, I know how to deal with adversity, and you don't do it by going in the dumps and stop working hard and give up. That's what I think soft people do, and that's not what this team is. And that's not the way I was raised.
“When things get hard, when life gets hard, you put your head down and you grind, and you make sure whatever you can do, you do better. And that's all. That's it.
"Like I said, I think we can finish better, obviously. But whatever we can do, you’ve got to stay up. You don't feel good because, again, we don't work this hard to lose games. But you keep your head up, and you keep going.”