Raiders

Carr gifts Eagles a Christmas win, late interception leads to GW field goal

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AP

Carr gifts Eagles a Christmas win, late interception leads to GW field goal

BOX SCORE

PHILADELPHIA – The Raiders had nothing to play for Monday night. They were formally eliminated from playoff contention Sunday afternoon, leaving just two games to wrap an incredibly disappointing season.

Effort never waned against the Eagles, though the Raiders played like a team that doesn’t belong in the postseason.

Offense is to blame for the season going so far south, and was the problem yet again on Christmas night. That unit was awful, and the passing game in particular was ugly as ever against the Eagles.

Defense kept the Raiders in it with one stop after another.

The offensive gave this one away, and was responsible for a 19-10 loss at Lincoln Financial Field.

Quarterback Derek Carr’s second interception was a back breaker, giving the Eagles possession near midfield with less than a minute to go. Philadelphia worked into field goal range and Jake Elliott converted from 48 yards out with 22 seconds left.

There was no late-game magic in that unit, which could move an inch with the game on the line. The offense turned it over four times in the second half, including the final play with the Eagles returning a fumble for a touchdown.

The Raiders ran well against the NFL’s best rushing defense, with 137 yards on 33 carries. Marshawn Lynch paced that effort, with 94 yards and was the team’s steadiest offensive presence.

The passing game, however, was completely out of sync. Protection was suspect. Receivers weren’t getting much separation.

Quarterback Derek Carr couldn’t find a rhythm, wasn’t terribly accurate and made some poor decisions one of his worst games this season. He completed 15-of-29 passes for 147 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble at the end.

Most of his yards came from one pass.

Amari Cooper scored the Raiders’ first touchdown on a 63-yard reception from Carr. Cooper ran a slant and go route, and Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills bit hard on the first half on a double move.

Cooper was wide open for a relatively easy touchdown.

The Raiders struggled to sustain drives, as they have all season, but found themselves in the driver’s season down the stretch.

Defense maintained firm control over an Eagles offensive far more explosive with Carson Wentz under center. He’s out with a torn ACL, leaving backup Nick Foles to captain the ship. Raiders fans will remember him for seven touchdown passes at Oakland Coliseum in 2013, but he was far less effective this time around.

Offensive play was truly offensive in the third quarter, with three turnovers in four plays. Carr threw an interception. Jay Ajayi lost a fumble to plays later and then Marshawn Lynch coughed it up on the next play.

The Eagles only got a field goal from that exchange well into Raiders territory, securing a 10-10 tie heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles broke it late, but it wasn’t the defense’s fault. This “L” falls on the offense.

Raiders rookie Kolton Miller off to solid start with plenty of room to grow

Raiders rookie Kolton Miller off to solid start with plenty of room to grow

MIAMI -- Kolton Miller has played every Raiders offensive snap through two games, compiling stats suggesting the rookie left tackle’s season is off to a solid start.

This year’s No. 15 overall pick has allowed just three quarterback hurries -- he’s one of seven left tackles to allow no sacks, no QB hits this season -- in 83 pass-blocking snaps against the Rams and Broncos. The Raiders have not run great off the left tackle, with 13 yards in the too-small-a-sample-size four attempts. Running backs are averaging 4.0 yards on carries between Miller and mauler left guard Kelechi Osemele.

Numbers will tell part of this story. Tom Cable sees the whole matrix.

The Raiders offensive line coach believes Miller can be an excellent left tackle, but he fully understands his star pupil has a long, long way to go.

“If you’re looking at the whole spectrum of it, I would say he’s doing C-plus work right now and continuing to climb,” Cable told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. “That’s where you want him. You don’t want him failing, and at the same time I don’t think there will be rookies out there doing better than him. That’s a good thing, but he has a long way to go to become a complete player.

“That’s just part of being young, more than anything. He is on course. He’s invested in this process. I like his preparation and how he gets ready for each test. He presses into it, which is really important.”

Cable has pressed new mechanics upon the 6-foot-8, 309-pound UCLA product, helping a supreme athlete become a technician in time. He has Miller going more vertical in his pass-blocking sets, to help him control matchups with defensive linemen and use his size appropriately. There’s a major emphasis in cleaning up his run blocking.

And, in an effort that will take some time, Cable believes Miller can gain functional strength and lean bulk to his frame working with the Raiders' strength staff.

“[Cable] has worked to adjust things here and there to help refine my technique and make me a better player,” Miller said. “It has been great working with him.”

Miller has the size and athleticism and savvy to be a productive player. Cable believes two other attributes are vital to his professional success: coach-ability and commitment.

“He’s the strong, silent type in terms of personality and is hungry to be the best version of himself,” Cable said. “He’s in search of that. He checks all the boxes for us. He wants to learn and fix mistakes, and the cool thing is that he’ll then come out on the field and work hard at it.”

Cable and the Raiders took a deep dive into Miller’s background, and felt confident in making him a first-round pick.

“If you’re going to take a guy early in the draft like that, you need to understand his level of humility,” Cable said. ‘There are times when guys get picked early and get paid a little bit, they think they’re made it. You want to find out of he can stay even-keeled, not put too much into the whistles and bell and put everything into being worthy of that pick. That’s important to me. That’s always important because, once the ‘disease of me’ hits people, they’re screwed up. Then they become less of a teammate.

“We learned that about him, that he’s humble and coachable, and cares about his craft. That’s a major plus that allows him to grow and develop.

The biggest fear in starting a rookie at left tackle, especially after two-time Pro Bowl pick Donald Penn moved to the right to make room for Miller, is the big mistake that gets quarterback Derek Carr in trouble. We haven’t seen anything like that off Miller’s edge.

Miller has fared well against the vaunted Rams and Broncos defensive fronts, and gained confidence from those efforts. He believes he already can compete with anyone, knowing full well there’s room for improvement. He’s honed on technique, not emotion or trash talk or who he’s lined up against. Miller is as even-keeled as they come.

“The goal is to be consistently good from week to week,” Miller said. “That’s how players become good and establish themselves in this league.”

Cable believes maintaining this current course could lead to good things.

“Potential is a dangerous word. That said, he’s potentially one of the really special young players in the game,” Cable said. “It will be up to all of us to keep him on the track of growth and development. If he ever makes it about money and outside stuff, it’ll detract him. Knowing him, I think he wants to find out how good he can be. As long as he keeps that mindset, he can be something great.”

Raiders-Dolphins injury report: Rookie P.J. Hall ruled out again

Raiders-Dolphins injury report: Rookie P.J. Hall ruled out again

MIAMI – Injury reports can be lengthy even in the early going. This one advancing Sunday’s clash between the Raiders and Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium is the opposite.

Only three are considered questionable or worse, leaving most impact players available for this Week 3 contest.

Raiders defensive tackle P.J. Hall was ruled out for the second straight game with a sprained ankle. He wasn’t expected to play this game, though head coach Jon Gruden is crossing fingers he can return soon.

“He’s working hard to get it right,” he said Friday. “Hopefully he can return next week. We miss him.”

Nick Nelson showed up on the participation report on Thursday with a hamstring injury limited his workload, though he has been inactive thus far regardless of health.

The Dolphins listed starting safety as questionable with a shoulder injury. He has 10 tackles, two interceptions and two passes defensed already, so losing him would be a blow to Miami’s secondary.

INJURY REPORT

RAIDERS
Out

DT P.J. Hall (ankle)

Questionable
CB Nick Nelson (hamstring)

DOLPHINS
Questionable

S Reshad Jones (shoulder)