Programming note: Watch Raiders Press Conference Live today at 2:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California, or streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – The Raiders are the NFL’s only winless team.
Odds are you knew that already.
You also knew that there are reasons why they can’t secure victory.
Let’s focus on Sunday’s 24-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and figure out what went wrong in a game where the Raiders won the turnover battle and still lost the game.
Here are three negative aspects from the Raiders latest defeat:
1. Running game fell back to sleep: The Raiders running game had a Week 6 revival against the San Diego Chargers, averaging 5.7 yards per carry over 20 attempts. Darren McFadden ran tough and remained productive in what could’ve been a breakout performance had success been sustained.
The Raiders weren’t able to do so against Arizona, one of the NFL’s best run defenses.
The Raiders had 56 yards and averaged 2.9 yards per carry, which limited drive sustainability and overall point production.
It was an unwelcome reversion for McFadden, who saw his running game slip back to last in the league.
“It’s very frustrating,” McFadden said. “You always want to go out there and run the ball. In your mind you want to rush for 100 yards every game, but you know it’s one of those deals.
"They fought hard on defense so you’ve got to give those guys [Cardinals] credit. Our O-line did their job and made some big plays and made some big blocks, but it just wasn’t one of those days where we could get it going all the way.”
2. Third-down struggles: The Raiders have struggled mightily in this crucial area. Arizona converted 60 percent of their third downs, while the Raiders were successful 33 percent of the time.
Those numbers will get you beat.
The Raiders have a tough time pinpointing why they struggle so.
“We’ve got to go back and see what we have done and what we can do to be efficient on third down,” outside linebacker Sio Moore said. “We’ve got to execute that because when it just comes down to that, and that’s how guys are beating us.”
3. Oakland beating Oakland: To borrow a phrase from interim head coach Tony Sparano, the Raiders are beating themselves too often.
Penalties, whether warranted or not, knocked out a few big moments that could’ve changed the game.
TJ Carrie had a big punt return called back due to a block in the back.
Sio Moore got tagged with a roughing the passer penalty when the Raiders won on third down deep in Cardinals territory.
The Raiders gave up four first downs by penalty and were certainly hindered by eight flags thrown against them. That can wear a struggling team down, and it certainly did on Sunday.
"We're killing ourselves with penalties," cornerback Carlos Rogers said.