The Las Vegas Raiders faced one of the top offenses in the National Football League and came up short on Sunday.
The Silver and Black held the top-scoring offense in the NFL to their lowest point total of the season. The Miami Dolphins averaged more than 30 points per game but scored only 20 against Las Vegas.
The Raiders were one of the biggest underdogs of the weekend, as Miami was favored to win by double digits. The Raiders hung around with one of the best teams in the league, having a chance to win until losing, 20-13.
Entering the game, the Raiders found themselves in a prime position to fight for a playoff spot. After losing to Miami, the Raiders' playoff chances took a hit. Interim Coach Antonio Pierce says the team abides by the 24-hour rule to deal with the loss and move on.
"I mean, it's hard because especially you have five hours to sit on a plane and think about it," Pierce said. "First of all, you must reflect on what you did well. And then what can you correct? What were the mistakes? Why did you make that mistake?
"To be honest, it's the 24-hour rule. And for us, it's even shorter, because we'll be on the practice field tomorrow. I told our guys to flush it out of their system. Just like we embrace wins, we embrace the losses and learn from them. And we're doing that."
Pierce says the team was as prepared as possible. The Raiders certainly looked like it on Sunday.
"It's the National Football League," Pierce said. "We knew we were up to the challenge, but there was no excuse; there were no mistakes.
"Guys came out fresh. We were ready to go. Did we complain about the heat? No. Did we complain about the travel? No. Guys strapped up and played, and we went out there, and we gave ourselves an opportunity in the fourth quarter three times, to either tie the game or win it, and it just didn't go our way."
The Raiders return to Las Vegas with a formidable six-game stretch on the horizon, starting with the Kansas City Chiefs. While there has been a turnaround in the team's attitude and play, these next few weeks will directly impact many players' and coaches' futures with the organization.
The Silver and Black will return home next week to celebrate Thanksgiving and take on their AFC West rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Sunday, November 26, at 4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST.
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