The Oakland Raiders are starting to develop a bad habit for coming out flat in the second half.
In their first game of the year against the Denver Broncos, the Raiders dominated in the first half then almost let the game slip away in the second half. This week, against the Buffalo Bills, the Raiders dominated in the first half then disappeared in the second half.
The Raiders entered half time against the Bills leading 21-3 and looking like they were going to cruise to an easy victory. The defense looked like it was one of the league’s best, and on offense, Jason Campbell already had more yards than he finished the Broncos game with.
Then, it was almost as if an entirely different team took the field in the second half. The Buffalo Bills managed to score a touchdown on every single one of their second half possessions. Meanwhile, the Raiders were unable to get on the board in their first two second half attempts and could not keep up with the scoring seminar that Fred Jackson and the Bills put on in the second half.
Maybe the Raiders were tired after a short week with travel to two different road games and a game that started at 7am west coast time, but that would not explain their lackluster performance in the second half of the Denver game. Plus, Hue Jackson had the Raiders up early for practice all week in order to off set the impact of the time change.
Whatever the problem is, it is most likely mental. It appears as though the Raiders get overly confident after playing well in the first half and start to get undisciplined in the second half. That means it will be up to Hue Jackson and the Raiders coaching staff to figure out a way to get the Raiders to play consistently throughout an entire game.
Oh, and with the New York Jets and New England Patriots coming into town the next two weeks, they had better figure it out quickly.