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Another late collapse sends Gruden’s Raiders to 0-3 start

September 23, 2018
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Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden walks the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders are off to a bad start because they can’t finish.

Fooled repeatedly by the Miami Dolphins’ razzle dazzle, the Raiders blew a second-half lead for the third game in a row and lost Sunday, 28-20 .

Oakland was outscored 14-3 in the final 7:18, and has been outscored 37-3 in the fourth period this year.

“That’s just my responsibility to fix it,” Gruden said.

Back on the sideline for the first time in a decade, Gruden has lost seven games in a row. He dropped his final four games with Tampa Bay in 2008.

The Raiders have lost their past seven games. They’re 0-3 for the first time since 2014, when they started 0-10.

“We have a lot of work to do here,” Gruden said. “We’ll continue to work, and we’ll get this show on the road here hopefully soon.”

The Raiders did a lot right against Miami. On a sunny, 90-degree afternoon, they had a 17-minute advantage in time of possession, and a 25-13 advantage in first downs. They ran 74 plays to 39 for the Dolphins. Derek Carr threw for 345 yards , including 173 to Jordy Nelson.

But three trips to the red zone produced only 10 points. Xavien Howard twice intercepted Carr deep in Dolphins territory, and the Raiders were stopped at the Miami 1 on downs.

Worst of all, the Raiders gave up two touchdowns on jet sweeps, and another on receiver Albert Wilson’s 52-yard pass to Jakeem Grant. Two of the big plays fueled Miami’s late rally.

“Clearly we’re doing a good job at the beginning,” Carr said, “but we can finish in all phases better.”

Carr said an 0-3 start is not what he expected, and he feels terrible about it.

“Terrible, but not bad,” he said. “I know how to deal with adversity. You don’t do it by going in the dumps, stop working hard, and give up. That’s what soft people do, and not what this team does.”

Running back Marshawn Lynch , who rarely shares his thoughts publicly, said he remains optimistic about the Raiders’ potential.

“We’re just like a play away from being the most explosive offense in the league,” Lynch said. “From the outside looking in, it looks terrible. But we know what we have on the inside, and if we get behind each other, we can turn this around.”

They’ll try to start Sunday at home against the Cleveland Browns, another team that knows about losing. The Browns are coming off their first victory since December 2016.

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