Raiders struggling mightily to defend on third down

ALAMEDA — By the time the Raiders board their plane bound for Denver Saturday, they’ll hope to have their Achilles’ heel rectified.

The one that was illustrated in 15-second sequence against Washington,

The Raiders trailed 21-7 with 2:36 left in the third quarter. Washington was faced with third-and-19. With a defensive stop and a touchdown, it was suddenly a game.

The Raiders’ third-down defense had been one of the worst in the NFL up to that point. It was a chance to flip the script.

Instead, quarterback Kirk Cousins completed a screen pass to running back Chris Thompson, Bruce Irvin couldn’t get to the sideline in time, Mario Edwards Jr. was a step slow when Thompson cut inside and then cornerback Gareon Conley tripped over safety Reggie Nelson.

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