On Thanksgiving Day, the Oakland Raiders were up by 14 points against the Dallas Cowboys on the road and seemed to be headed toward pulling off the upset at AT&T Stadium.
Unfortunately, the Raiders struggled in the second half and let Tony Romo and company get back into the game. The Cowboys ultimately went onto win handing the Raiders their eighth loss of the season.
Following the loss, Mike Jenkins, former Cowboy, said the Raiders struggle to closeout games and it has been somewhat of an Achilles heel for the team all season long via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com:
“We don’t finish,” cornerback Mike Jenkins said. “Guys play better ball than us at the end of the game. We have to manage it. We have to get it corrected.”
An argument could be made that the Raiders should’ve won three to five more games at this point in the regular season. Plenty of times throughout the season the Raiders have had the game in hand or come one score away from tying or defeating their opponent, but never seal the deal.
There’s no question this current squad is much improved in many different areas this year in comparison last season. The defense has taken a giant leap forward with veterans Charles Woodson and Lamarr Houston leading the way, but the offense has been inconsistent with three different starting quarterbacks and two different running backs.
Regardless of the end result, the Raiders have something to build on this season. Jenkins hit the nail on the head with the team struggling to close the door as that may have been the difference between a playoff spot and another disappointing end to a season.
(h/t Raiders Tribune)