The Oakland Raiders were supposed to beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football. They were favored to win, even on the road, and were supposed to improve to 3-0.
That did not happen.
The Raiders lost, 27-10 – and were completely and utterly dominated in the process.
“I just think that the Redskins were up for the game, and I think the Raiders weren’t expecting that type of a game,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I don’t know what the distractions were. I was actually in the air, so I missed a lot of the game. But from what I could see when I finally got to my room and turned the game on (in) the (second) half, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was really quite surprised.”
On Sunday morning, Haynes thought Oakland was a legitimate Super Bowl contender. By Sunday night, not quite.
“I did (think they were a Super Bowl contender),” said Haynes, who played for the Raiders from 1983-89. “(But) if they play like they played last night, heck no. When they showed the sideline, they showed the Washington Redskin coaches, their facial expressions, their temperament. Their guys were into it. They were like, ‘Let’s kick some butt.’ They really had the guys all fired up. And (when) you looked at the Raider coaches, it was (a) quite different experience. They weren’t matching fire to fire there. So I think the Redskins somehow found a way to get up for that game way more than the Raiders.”
Washington out-gained Oakland 472-128, dominated time of possession, and forced three turnovers. If not for a pair of Washington turnovers deep in its own territory, the Raiders, who scored 71 points in their first two games, might have been shut out.
Oakland is a young team, yes, but after going 12-4 last season, the expectations have risen considerably – and on Sunday, the Raiders couldn’t live up to them.
“I think the challenges are really something that maybe the players themselves are going to need some help with,” Haynes said. “The coaches are going to have to help them. The coaches are going to have to help them understand that when you go into Washington, you’re going to be playing a team that thinks you guys are Super Bowl contenders. There’s a little history here, and a lot of guys don’t know the history between the Raiders and the Redskins, so they need to get educated.”
Haynes and the Raiders beat the Redskins, 38-9, in Super Bowl XVIII in January 1984.
“So I think maybe a little bit better game preparation from the part of the coaches and getting them ready for games (would help),” Haynes said. “The defense is going to be great. I think the defense is going to be good. They’re young. They’re going to get better every week, every game. But the offense cannot stumble. They really have to make plays and not have turnovers and things like that. Last night just wasn’t their day.”
The Raiders (2-1) will play the Broncos (2-1) in Denver this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET before hosting the Ravens (2-1), Chargers (0-3), and Chiefs (3-0) in Weeks 5-7.