DENVER – The Raiders lost their second straight game Sunday. That 16-10 result is far less important that Derek Carr’s health.
The Raiders’ franchise quarterback suffered a back injury late in the third quarter after being sacked by Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe.
The extent of Carr’s injury was not immediately known, but he did not return to the game. The Raiders were down two scores when he got injured, though the offense struggled before and after than event.
The Raiders desperately need Carr despite that fact. He is their unquestioned leader, and any time missed would be detrimental to a team with lofty expectations now sporting a .500 record.
EJ Manuel filled in well, completing 11-of-17 passes for 106 yards
A unit considered a juggernaut this summer has floundered in the past fortnight, including a lackluster showing here in Denver.
Their third-down woes continued. A week after going 0-for-11 on third down, the Raiders turned in a 2-for-12 performance than kept the offense from establishing a rhythm.
Defense, surprisingly enough, kept the Raiders in it. The offense started slow, but found life in a 99-yard touchdown drive highlighted by Johnny Holton’s first career touchdown. He was wide open deep and Carr hit him in stride, for a 64-yard score that put the Raiders down three.
It could’ve been a tie game had head coach Jack Del Rio chosen a 48-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter. Marshawn Lynch couldn’t pick up a 4th-and-1, forcing a turnover on downs.
The Broncos struck early, with a field goal and A.J. Derby’s 22-yard receiving touchdown, and never relinquished their lead.
Mack attacks in Denver: Khalil Mack must like playing in Denver. He destroyed a game two years ago with five sacks and a safety, and hassled Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian on Sunday. He had two sacks on the day -- that total is good for a tie atop the team.
Amerson out: Raiders cornerback David Amerson is in the concussion protocol for the second time this season. He was concussed this preseason but didn’t miss a game, and suffered another head injury.
He was ruled out a halftime. That left the Raiders thin at cornerback, with TJ Carrie, Sean Smith and Dexter McDonald carrying the load.
Cooper a non-factor (again): Receiver Amari Cooper’s struggles continued against Denver’s top-flight secondary. The team’s No. 1 receiving option hasn’t played like one recently, with a series of lackluster performances. He had but two catches for nine yards in this one. It stands as his third straight impact-less performance, and included a crucial fourth-quarter drop.