Season on the brink? How do Raiders react to 'trash' showing in Atlanta?

Derek Carr felt it coming all week.

Johnathan Abram said the Las Vegas Raiders were "flat" in Atlanta.

And all Raiders coach Jon Gruden could do was offer a heartfelt apology to "the Raider Nation."

Indeed, when you get blown out 43-6 in such humiliating fashion by a woebegone team like the Atlanta Falcons in the most crucial game of the season thus far, questions will be raised.

Such as ...

How do the Raiders, who dropped their second straight game to fall to 6-5, not let this performance define their season?

How do they not let it hasten a downward spiral, like last year's 34-3 loss to a bad team in the New York Jets did in such ghastly fashion?

>How do the Raiders recover from this?

Remember, the Raiders were 6-4 last year but a bad beating by the Jets led to a 7-9 finish. This time around, the Raiders went to Atlanta with a 6-4 record and travel to, you got it, the Jets next week.

"It snowballed on us today, and I've seen it happen before," Gruden lamented. "Can't happen again.

"We've got to learn from our mistakes. Got a lot of players hurt today; that doesn't help our cause. But the offices are closed tomorrow [and] on Tuesday. There is a lot of distraction right now. We've got to stay focused, get players healthy, see who's available for practice on Wednesday, and we'll regroup and hopefully play much better next week."

Indeed, these are strange times and as part of the NFL's more restrictive COVID-19 protocols, teams must stay away from their facilities for two straight days after Sunday games in an effort to keep the coronavirus at bay.

That means the taste of Sunday's loss will stay in the Raiders' mouths longer.

In normal times, the Raiders would have stayed put this week to cut travel time down with consecutive games on the East Coast. Instead, they had a cross-country flight to chew on the loss and, essentially, a short week now before flying to New Jersey on Friday.

"This is one of those where you want to watch it, correct it and then burn the film because you're like, 'That's not who we are,'" Carr said. "But it is. We put it on film.

"There's two ways we can handle it -- we can say, 'Ah, crap,' and just keep giving in to that. Or we can grit our teeth, like I think our team will, and get better. We have a team that kicked the crap out of us last year coming next [in the Jets]. They beat the dog out of us last time. We better get our minds right before we get on the plane for that game."

Indeed, Carr was harassed by the Falcons into three lost fumbles on strip sacks and a pick-six.

And, as noted earlier, Carr said he felt perhaps a "hangover type of effect" in practice after last Sunday's heart-breaking, last-minute loss to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in prime time.

"You try and get a couple of guys going in practice, you get yourself going and things like that," Carr said. "It just didn't feel right. I don't know what the reason for that was. I think we've done a good job of flushing a win or a loss and then going to the next game.

"I just know it wasn't up to our standard. For this week, it better be."

The Raiders committed five turnovers against the Falcons. They were just 3 for 12 on third down. And they committed a season-high 11 penalties for 141 yards.

"It was just kind of a chain of fate," said Abram, who had a first-quarter interception off an Isaiah Johnson tipped ball. "It really wasn't a snowball effect, it was just we really couldn't get going on offense. Defense, they had a couple of plays where they end up getting in the end zone. But overall, we just have to do better on both sides and all phases of the game Today, it just wasn't there."

You can say that again.

Or you can just take Carr's word for it.

"Our fans deserve better than what we did today, our organization deserves better than we put out today," Carr said. "That was a bunch of trash."

With a trip to the Meadowlands, site of so many old landfills and dumps, and the winless Jets awaiting.