The Las Vegas Raiders crapped out Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, getting blown out of the building, 43-6. The final score wasn't even indicative of how poorly Jon Gruden's team played. The loss could have been much worse if the Raiders defense didn't force five field goals.
All Raiders players know they need to wash the bad taste away quickly.
"I know it's a crazy time for all of these guys, but it's really a gut check for teams that want to be here," fullback Alec Ingold said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"Whatever we did last week will not work," Ingold added. "Now or in the playoffs. So we just can't do it anymore."
The Raiders turned the ball over five times and gave it up on downs once. In 13 possessions, Las Vegas scored just two field goals and punted five times, including three three-and-outs.
Whatever the reason for the massive disappointment, the Raiders, who had won three straight before back-to-back losses, must turn the corner in a hurry if they're to grab a wild card spot.
Last season, Gruden's squad experienced a similar collapse. The Raiders were 6-4 before a blowout loss to the New York Jets sent them into a spiral, losing four of their final five games. On Sunday, Vegas fell to 6-5 after losing to a three-win Falcons team.
The Raiders know that they can't let the latest disappointment turn into another series of flops.
"It's a good opportunity to show how much better we are this year compared to last year," Ingold said. "To play a game in about the same scenario. How do we prepare? How do we show up for the game? How do we find a way to win? I think this next week is really going to show character and poise and team commitment levels."
The Raiders get a chance to get back on track against the winless Jets on Sunday before games against the Colts, Chargers, Dolphins and Broncos to close out the season.
"Everyone says champs don't lose in December leading up to the playoffs," Ingold said. "Well, we have about five playoff games before the real ones start."
The Raiders sit just outside the playoff picture heading into Week 13, battling Miami, Indy and Baltimore for the final two wild card spots. Someone will get left out in the cold. If they play like they did Sunday, it will be Gruden's team sitting at home once again during the postseason.