The Raiders hadn’t started a season 0-6 since 1962. On Sunday, this group matched that mark.
A 24-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum cemented that unwelcome reality and extended the body blows of a tortuous season where the Raiders can’t seem to put forth a winning effort.
The Raiders are the NFL's only winless team.
They had opportunities to climb back into this game after a rough opening half, but the offense couldn’t replicate last week’s production against San Diego.
Defense kept the Raiders in it late, but third-down defense ultimately did them in. Arizona converted 9-of-15 third downs, including a 3rd-and-8 late in the fourth quarter.
The offense didn’t help matters much, scoring only 3 points in the second half.
The Raiders scored 13 unanswered points to make it 14-13, but Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor scored a 4-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to extend the lead.
Derek Carr heated up between Cardinals touchdowns and the defense played better – still not good – to help the Raiders get back in the mix.
They cashed in with a 1-yard run from Darren McFadden and a pair of field goals from Sebastian Janikowski.
Arizona built a 14-0 lead with a pair of first-half touchdowns while the Raiders struggled to gain yards. Stepfan Taylor scored from 2 yards out and quarterback Carson Palmer hit Micheal Floyd on a 33-yard strike.
Old man’s still got it: Raiders free safety Charles Woodson has long proven opportunistic, and he capitalized on a tipped ball to create a big play. Tight end John Carlson tipped a high pass from Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer and Woodson swooped in to intercept it. He returned it 30 yards into the red zone, and the Raiders got a field goal from the effort.
Woodson has played well all season, and Sunday was no exception. He registered 7 tackles.
“Hold” on a minute: Raiders kicker Sebastian Joanikowski struggled to get comfortable with punter Marquette King holding field goals last season, but seemed to leave those issues in 2013. King was the holder through five games, but was replaced by backup quarterback Matt Schaub.
Janikowski missed a 53-yard field goal last week vs. San Diego that was costly in a three-point loss. It’s uncertain whether Janikowski requested the switch or coaches made it for him, but it helped. The veteran kicker hit field goals from 29 and 53 yards on Sunday.
Injury update: Raiders strong safety Usama Young suffered a knee injury and could miss some time. He was helped off the field by trainers, taken off the field on a cart and did not return.
The Raiders need Young in the lineup. They’ve already lost Tyvon Branch for the season, leaving them woefully thin at strong safety.
Sitting it out: The Raiders missed three starters on Sunday. Fullback Marcel Reece, defensive end Justin Tuck and right tackle Khalif Barnes were out due to injury after being considered questionable on the injury report.
Quarterback Matt McGloin, receiver Vincent Brown, guard Tony Bergstrom and cornerback Keith McGill were also ruled inactive.
What's next: The Raiders head back on the road again. They face Cleveland next week, with a contest at Seattle to follow. That’s another tough stretch for a team that still hasn’t put a winning effort together.