Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has been a part of 80 losses during his eight-year NFL career. Sunday's 38-35 defeat to the Buffalo Bills counts as the worst, he said.
The Raiders led 21-3 at halftime, 28-24 and 35-31 in the fourth quarter, and still had a chance to put away the Bills inside the final 20 seconds of the game.
The Bills converted a fourth-down play into a 6-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left to complete a comeback that would have made Frank Reich proud.
Reich guided the Bills from a 35-3 deficit to a victory over the Houston Oilers in a 1992 AFC playoff game. Sunday's game came in the second regular-season game for the Raiders. Yet, that didn't lessen the sting much for veteran defensive tackle Richard Seymour.
"I've been in many games in my career, and that's one of the most heartbreaking ones I've had," Seymour said.
The Raiders have had ample time to digest the loss, Kelly said. Now it's time to move on and gear up for their home opener Sunday against the New York Jets.
"We got to go in here, come out, watch this film, try to make these corrections and get ready for the Jets, because they're going to bring it," Kelly said. "So, whatever happened the other day happened. It's a tough pill to swallow."
It's conceivable that all three will be healthy enough to play Sunday. If so, coach Hue Jackson has quite a problem on his hands in deciding who starts and how much playing time each one deserves.
Backups Denarius Moore and Derek Hagan combined for 10 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown against the Bills. Hagan wasn't active in the opener against the Broncos, and Moore didn't catch any passes that game.
"You see guys like (Moore), (Hagan) stepping up, making plays, it's big for our offense," quarterback Jason Campbell said, "because when we get the other guys back, now you're able to just put all of it together, you're able to do different sets, you're able to do different formations and everything, try to get everyone involved."
Jackson said Moore has earned the right for more playing time based on his five-catch, 146-yard performance against the Bills.
"Oh, boy, you better believe he has," Jackson said. "There's no doubt. You can't deny that one. ... He is as advertised. He made some plays. It's going to be hard to keep that young man off the field."
Through two games, the Raiders lead the league with 23 penalties for 216 yards. They are six penalties ahead of the second-most-penalized teams and 58 yards clear of the runner-up Arizona Cardinals.
"You got to start somewhere, and we got better," Jackson said.
Jackson said he is encouraged by the progress made in less than a week, but there's a long way to go.
"So, we're seven better than the pace was the week before and, hopefully, we can go from eight down to two, and then we'll be doing something."
"The first half, they had about 30, 40 yards rushing," Kelly said. "I look at the thing at the end of the game and they got 200 and something. I don't really know what happened. ... They shouldn't run for 200 yards on us. It's like a nice little punch in the gut."
Worse, teams are averaging 6.7 yards per attempt, which is better than only the St. Louis Rams (7.4 through one game).
During that time, the Raiders have played games in Seattle, Denver and Buffalo. Kelly and several other players said they are looking forward to returning to O.co Coliseum.
"It will be fun," Campbell said. "It would be nice to be 2-0, but that's not going to happen. But, at the same time, we get our home crowd in there and move forward."