Raiders

Derek Carr frustrated with officials, offense in Raiders' loss to Chiefs

Derek Carr frustrated with officials, offense in Raiders' loss to Chiefs

OAKLAND -- The first 12 minutes of Sunday's Raiders-Chiefs game looked a lot like Oakland's Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos. 

Quarterback Derek Carr and the offense possessed the ball for 8 minutes and 13 seconds, with Carr going 6-for-12 for 71 yards and a touchdown to give the Raiders a 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter. 

It was clinical, precise and had everyone believing -- if only for a minute -- these Raiders were different. 

But the Raiders' offense stalled in the second frame, picking up just four first downs while Patrick Mahomes tossed four touchdowns as the Chiefs held a 28-10 lead at halftime. Carr was 9-for-11 for 70 yards in the second quarter, but penalties kept the Raiders from keeping the chains moving, allowing the Chiefs' offensive avalanche to get going, something the Raiders couldn't recover from in the 28-10 loss

"Early on, we were able to hit on some things, we were able to protect it up, hit some shots down the field," Carr said after the loss. "Obviously, that was an emphasis, taking some shots, doing that kind of thing. But the next three to four drives, they'd get us on something or we'd be just short of the first down, things like that. That's football stuff. It's not like we were stressed out or anything like that. But while we did that on offense, they were able to get going and get out to a big lead.

"And it gets annoying after that because then the game changes," Carr continued. "The game plan is a little bit different, you know, the whole setting things up really doesn't matter because they are dictating in a different way. That's just the flow of the game, during that time where we couldn't get a first down, they jumped up on us and that changes a whole bunch of stuff."

During that second quarter, the Raiders had a third-and-11 from their own 36, looking to keep their drive going an extend their 10-7 lead. Carr was flushed from the pocket and took off down the left sideline. Seeing the marker, Carr went airborne to make the line to gain, but the refs ruled him a yard short even though it appeared he stuck the ball out over the line before the ball crossed out of the field of play. 

The Raiders were forced to punt, and the Chiefs preceded to go 95 yards in 14 plays to take a 14-10 lead on a 42-yard pass from Mahomes to Mecole Harman. 

Being marked a yard shy of what appeared to be a clear first down helped change the momentum of the game, swinging it in Kansas City's favor, and frustrating Carr, who was adamant he made the line. 

“I’m just trying to win, to be honest with you," Carr said. "I don’t like losing. I believe we have a good football team. And in that moment, obviously it was in that moment we talked about, we need a first down. And then we get a penalty. The penalties were a big deal to us. Pre-snap penalties. But we get a penalty. At the moment, I see the sticks and I’m like, “Oh there’s no chance I’m sliding, no chance I’m going out of bounds.’ I’m just trying to get a first down, and I had the first down, but forever in this league when I put the ball out past the first-down marker but my body goes the other way, they never give it to me."

Trailing by 18 at halftime, the Raiders forced a punt to open the third quarter and then Carr drove the offense 77 yards down to the Chiefs' 4-yard line. On first-and-goal, Carr audibled at the line and threw a jump ball intended for Tyrell Williams, but it was picked off by Bashaud Breeland. 

Carr chalked his first interception of the season up to a miscommunication, noting that Williams didn't get the hand signal when he audibled at the line. 

The Raiders' first turnover was on both Carr and Williams. Their second shouldn't have counted. 

After the defense forced another punt, Carr threw a pass over the middle intended for Ryan Grant, but the receiver was hit before the ball arrived and the pass was picked off. Confoundingly, the officials flagged Grant for offensive pass interference, claiming the veteran receiver was setting a pick for tight end Foster Moreau who was running an out route despite the fact Carr clearly was throwing to Grant. 

The interception effectively ended any real chance the Raiders had of making a comeback, and Carr still was stunned about the call after the game.

"The second interception will blow my mind forever," Carr said. "It was offensive pass interference, they said he was blocking. So I asked the man, ‘Sir, why would I throw him the ball if he was blocking?' And he didn’t have an answer for me and he walked away. So, I just, I don’t know what to do in that instance. We got the coverage we want, we got the exact look we want, I’m throwing it to where I’m supposed to throw it and they tackle our receiver, yet it’s a penalty on us.

"This is changing the outcomes of a football game. That shouldn’t happen. That blows my mind. When things like that happen, I get upset.” 

On the day, Carr finished 23-for-38 for 198 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The offense was clicking early, and when it stalled, the Raiders were without running back Josh Jacobs (cramps) and Williams (hip) for a spell, leaving Carr without two of his top weapons when the Raiders needed to maintain possession and stem the tide. 

Carr made no excuses, but let his frustration out when discussing playing shorthanded for a portion of the game. 

“Obviously, there is different things called, right?" Carr said. "It’s a different game plan when two starters aren’t in there. You have to do different things. Anytime anybody is out, it’s next man up, that’s football. No one cares why -- it’s next man up. But at the same time, let’s be real about it, it’s going to change some things.”

[RELATED: Should Raiders trade for Fitzpatrick after Abram's injury?]

Carr and the 1-1 Raiders leave Oakland to embark on a five-game "road trip," which includes a home game in London. Through the first five quarters of the season, Carr was locked in and had the offense humming on an impressive level. Then came the penalties, the injuries, the bad calls and the turnovers, leading to an 18-point loss to a division rival and question marks about the offense's overall potency. 

Things will have to get cleaned up before the Raiders' Week 3 game against the Minnesota Vikings. Jacobs needs to touch the ball more, and the Raiders must be more disciplined and not put Carr in a bad spot against a defense that is much better than the Chiefs' unit. 

Carr used the word annoying to describe the offensive stagnation and the interception in the end zone. That comes from believing the Raiders have the offensive talent to be a team no one wants to deal with. A team that can go toe-to-toe with Mahomes and the Chiefs and come out on top. 

They just couldn't get out of their own way Sunday.

Derek Carr, Raiders know 'nobody cares' about cause of fatal losing skid

Derek Carr, Raiders know 'nobody cares' about cause of fatal losing skid

OAKLAND -- The Raiders are running on empty. They’ve lost too many over the trials of traveling so many miles, and they now seem set to crawl across this season’s finish line.

The Silver and Black survived on adrenaline for so long, but there’s simply nothing left. The Raiders might win another game or two, but it’s hard to imagine them playing well enough over four quarters to beat quality opposition.

The Raiders have valid reasons for wobbly legs. They have been dealing with drama since Antonio Brown went nuclear near summer’s end, with a steady stream of setbacks after that. Let’s not forget about the five-game road trip, the Vontaze Burfict suspension and all those injuries.

The instinct to excuse is strong and could explain this recent Raiders slide. Jon Gruden has gone down that road a few times this season, while ultimately assuming responsibility for this team’s shortcomings.

Derek Carr didn’t want to do that.

“Oh, it’s been crazy. Let’s not sugarcoat it,” Carr said Sunday after Oakland's 42-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans. “Let’s just be real about it. I’m into facts, and it’s been a really weird year. We can get into all the other stuff. Someone should write a book at some point about that, you know? Some of the stuff that went on, but nobody cares. I’m used to that.”

A book may detail this oddball season. The line on the Raiders’ 2019 Pro Football Reference page won’t include any of that. It’ll just reveal a record, some stats and a schedule’s results.

Maybe that’s fitting for a franchise with a simple, direct mantra: Just win, baby.

It’s not much different than Carr’s response to those asking how injuries and other setbacks impact how the team is playing now: Nobody cares.

We could also pair them together.

Nobody cares. Just win, baby.

“Nobody cares about the situation,” Carr said. “Nobody cares who is playing. Nobody cares who has been here, who has not been here. I have learned that in my six years. Nobody cares. We didn’t win the football game, and it is what it is.”

The Raiders didn’t win enough football games down the stretch. The Silver and Black were loving life after a three-game winning streak pushed them up to 6-4 and in a great position to earn a playoff berth.

Fans were stoked, especially those in Oakland to dared to dream about the final East Bay campaign extended to the postseason. It was then that the expectations changed. The bar was raised before the Raiders cleared the original height.

Let’s not forget this is a rebuilding team that always eyed 2020 to fight for division crowns and wild-card spots. The team needs another excellent draft class and a productive free-agent signing period to further what Gruden started after being hired in Jan. 2018. First, there was a teardown. Then there was an ascent that began in earnest this season but didn’t solve all of this team’s problems.

The offense received perceived quick fixes. Some worked (Trent Brown). Some didn’t (Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams). The defense was always another year away while the unit was rebuilt with the draft, largely from the ground up.

The Raiders played better than the sum of their parts around midseason and were able to notch some good wins. But all the fatigue and attrition put the Raiders in a position where they can’t make up for mistakes of any kind. If Brown and rookie running back Josh Jacobs are done for the year -- that’s certainly possible now that playoff prospects have essentially been dashed -- struggles should continue.

[RELATED: Carr, Raiders' offense hear boo birds as slide continues]

The next goal is to find a way to put on a good show in the final game played in Oakland. The Raiders have one left, coming up next week against Jacksonville. It might be tough considering the circumstances but, as we now know, nobody cares.

Just win the last one, baby.

“They deserve a fun showing, a fun game, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Carr said. “It’s honestly, it’s weird, it’s sad. I know some of the Raider faithful will probably be a little sad that it’s the last time, but it’s out of our control. I mean, it is what it is.”

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in 42-21 loss to Titans

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USATSI

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in 42-21 loss to Titans

OAKLAND – The Raiders’ season has taken a major downturn. A team once riding high at 6-4 with a realistic shot to make the postseason had their playoff hopes dashed by Sunday’s 42-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Oakland Coliseum.

Their season will be over soon enough, a fact cemented by the Silver and Black’s third straight blowout loss. Oakland kept it close before falling apart after halftime, much like the Raiders’ entire season. The game had some good moments but ultimately fell flat on its face.

The gas tank’s on empty at this stage, with the Raiders laboring to reach the finish the line. They couldn’t do that in this game, unable to match up with a suddenly high-octane Titans attack.

The Raiders are struggling mightily on offense and defense, without the talent or magic required to make good things happen. Positivity’s hard to find from another blowout loss, a fact reflected in this week’s Raiders report card:

Rushing offense

The Raiders ground game operated without Josh Jacobs for the first time all season despite the rookie dealing with a fractured shoulder since Week 7. He wasn’t able to go on Sunday and the Raiders offense suffered as a result. DeAndre Washington had 53 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in a featured role, with Jalen Richard chipping in 28 yards on seven rushes.

Washington’s 14-yard touchdown run was his best, knocking a defender over on his way to the end zone. The Raiders were down to 4.0 yards per carry, with the run game removed from the offensive equation once the Titans went up big.

Grade: C

Passing offense

Derek Carr’s stat line looks nice, but completing 25-of-34 passes for 263 yards, two touchdowns and no picks doesn’t reflect issues with this passing game. Receivers aren’t threatening, with Tyrell Williams and Zay Jones lacking chemistry with Carr. It’s uncertain who Carr truly trusts outside tight ends Darren Waller, Foster Moreau and his running backs.

There isn’t enough separation. The ball’s too often thrown short of the sticks. The air attack isn’t going well and hasn’t been in some time. Take away Rico Gafford’s 49-yard touchdown catch and there wasn’t much there.

Carr said life got harder in the second half after Tennessee started playing deeper, refusing to get beat by big plays. The Raiders couldn’t move the chains consistently enough to sustain drives or productivity required to beat the steadily churning Titans attack.

Grade: C-minus

Rushing defense

The Raiders got a heavy dose of Derrick Henry on Sunday afternoon, just as they expected. The imposing back churned out 103 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, rushing totals that could’ve been sky high had his attempts soared. That wasn’t necessary considering how well the passing game was going, and that quarterback Ryan Tannehill was able to scramble for yards as well.

The Raiders normally sport a strong run defense, but this tired front struggled against a big back who never seems to wear down.

Grade: D

Passing defense

Tannehill carved up the Raiders pass defense, taking whatever he wanted whenever he wanted it. Daryl Worley couldn’t cover A.J. Brown, with the receiver torching the Raiders to the tune of five catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns. The pass rush impacting the team’s three-game winning streak has gone quiet, unable to generate much heat and help the secondary out.

Tannehill was near perfect, completing 21-of-27 passes for 391 yards – that’s 14.5 yards per attempt!! – three touchdowns and a 140.4 passer rating.

Grade: F

Special teams

Richard took over returning kickoffs and punts after Trevor Davis got cut earlier this week and the Raiders did just fine. A.J. Cole put four of his five punts inside the 20-yard line. The Raiders generally won the battle for field position, though their offense didn’t always do something with it.

Grade: B

[RELATED: Gruden wasn't mad about Carr's late throwaway]

Overall

The Raiders were shocked to turn in such a terrible second-half performance with so much on the line. They understood this game’s playoff implications. They understand this was a must-win and couldn’t do anything to stop a superior opponent. They kept up for a while but were eventually overwhelmed by Tennessee’s relentless attack. The Raiders are playing some bad football right now. It’s too bad the home crowd had to see it.

Grade: F