Category Archives: Derek Carr

After 0-10 Start, Raiders QB Derek Carr Nears .500 Mark

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – Derek Carr has almost completed the climb out of the hole created by the 0-10 start to his career.

Heading into his 50th career start on Sunday night in Washington, Carr has a chance to even his career winning percentage to .500 as part of a rapid rise from a rough beginning to his tenure with the Oakland Raiders.

“Whenever you start 0-10, it usually doesn’t end well, but I’m glad that we’re trending in the right direction,” Carr said Wednesday. “That first year, as we all know, was rough for everybody. To be able to win some more games since that day, it’s a good thing.”

After those 10 straight losses as a rookie, Carr won three of his final six starts in 2014 and then went 7-9 the following year in the first season with Jack Del Rio as coach.

Things really started to progress last year when the team went 12-4 – with one loss coming when Carr was sidelined by a broken leg – and the quality of play has only increased this season.

Oakland has won its first two games for the first time since the AFC championship season in 2002 and is the first team since Denver in 2010 to score at least 70 points and commit no turnovers the first two weeks of the season.

Carr is a major reason for that success. He is completing 75 percent of his passes through two games, has increased his yards per attempt from 7.0 last year to 8.2 so far this year and has five TD passes, no interceptions and a 126.5 passer rating.

“He’s awesome,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on a conference call. “He’s a great player. He has great command of the offense. He really has a great knack for giving receivers catchable balls. It looks like they’re covered and he can drop the ball in buckets that not many people would throw, let alone complete. His receivers do a great of tracking it for him. I’ve just been impressed with his poise in the pocket, his command of the game, and obviously the results that he’s had.”

For his career, Carr has thrown for 11,686 yards and 86 TDs with a passer rating of 89.2. He needs 310 yards this week to move into the top 10 for most by a quarterback in his first 50 games and with three TDs he can tie Andrew Luck for the fifth-most TD passes.

Carr never doubted this success would come, even as the losses piled up his rookie season and he watched his first coach, Dennis Allen, get fired four games into the campaign.

“I just knew at some point it has to change, because when you do things the right way, it’s got to change eventually,” he said. “So, every single game, I went out there, all 10 of those games, and thought, ‘Yeah, this is the one. We’re going to win.’ And it just didn’t work out that way. I knew that we were building something special. I knew that the culture us players had taken on and wanted to put into this building was special.”

Carr has gotten plenty of help in the turnaround, especially on offense. The Raiders have one of the top offensive lines in the league with three returning Pro Bowlers in center Rodney Hudson, left guard Kelechi Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn, an emerging young star at right guard in Gabe Jackson and newcomer Marshall Newhouse, who has upgraded the right tackle spot.

Marshawn Lynch has come out of retirement to give Oakland a power running game to complement speedsters Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington and receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree form one of the most productive duos in the league. With tight end Jared Cook adding another threat in the passing game and Cordarrelle Patterson providing another threat with his speed as a receiver or out of the backfield, the Raiders have one of the league’s most complete offenses.

“I feel like we have a lot of talent,” Carr said. “I think that our front office and our coaches have done a great job of bringing that in, but it doesn’t mean anything unless we go out and do it on the field. That is the coolest part to me, is that our guys sat in there in meetings, attentive, ready to learn what’s next, what’s the game plan. When we hit this field, it’ll be full speed. It’ll be all out, everything they’ve got. I think it’s cool to have the weapons and all that, but the cool thing to me is what we do not even on Sundays, it’s what we do in between the days leading up.”

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Raiders Week 2 Team Grades: Raiders Knock Off Jets To Remain Undefeated

By Shawn Lealos

After opening the 2017 NFL season with a tough game against a possible AFC playoff contender in the Tennessee Titans, the Oakland Raiders moved on to Week 2 against the New York Jets. While the Raiders have some of the best odds of making it to the Super Bowl among AFC teams, the Jets have some of the worst odds. The game was pretty much what most people expected, with the Raiders’ offense rolling along while their defense struggled at times.

The final score of the game saw the Oakland Raiders knocking off the New York Jets, 45-20. Here is a look at the Oakland Raiders team grades for their Week 2 victory over the Jets.

Offense: A

The biggest acquisition for Oakland this offseason was bringing Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to play for his hometown Raiders. In this second game of his Raiders career, Lynch ran for his first touchdown since coming out of retirement. However, he ranked only third in rushing yards for the game despite the fact that he led the Raiders with 12 carries. That is not to say that Lynch wasn’t good, as he ran for 45 yards with an average of 3.75 yards-per-carry.

The Raiders had two giant runs, one by fullback Jalen Richard and the other by wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Richard broke through the middle and bounced off tackles for a huge 52-yard touchdown run, while Patterson came in motion, took a hand-off and ran 43 yards for a score of his own. Both plays made the Jets’ defense look confused and out-of-place.

Derek Carr and the Oakland passing game did what they needed to do to win this game. Carr completed 23 of 28 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns. He wasn’t sacked a single time, played efficiently, and had an almost perfect 136.3 quarterback rating. While he didn’t need to throw the ball all over the field, he found Michael Crabtree six times for 80 yards and three touchdowns, one of the best games of Crabtree’s NFL career.

Defense: B+

Defensively, the Raiders did what they needed to do in order to hold down the Jets. Khalil Mack got his first sack of the season, and the Raiders sacked Josh McCown four times. They also hit McCown five times and forced a fumble.

However the Raiders allowed the Jets QB to throw two touchdowns to Jermaine Kearse and allowed New York to rush for 126 yards, with Matt Forte leading the way with 53 yards.

Special Teams: A

There were two fumbles recovered in the game for Oakland. Outside of the Josh McCown fumble, Kalif Raymond also lost a fumble on a punt return, which put the Raiders on the four-yard line. That was the turnover that resulted in Lynch’s first touchdown run of the season.

After winning the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week last week in his regular season NFL debut, Giorgio Tavecchio hit his only field goal attempt of the game, a 29-yarder. He was also a perfect six-of-six on point after attempts. When it comes to returns, Cordarrelle Patterson had a nice 31-yard kick return and averaged 23 yards per return.

Coaching: A

The Raiders had to feel good after beating the Tennessee Titans last week. With a team as bad as the Jets coming to town, there was a chance that the Raiders could have had a letdown game. They didn’t let up at all, scoring 45 points and decimating the Jets. The Raiders seem well-coached and ready to repeat their impressive performance from 2016. At 2-0, Oakland looks like an early favorite to roar through the season as one of the top teams in the AFC.

Up next for the Oakland Raiders

Oakland hits the road to battle the Washington Redskins (1-1), who lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 before knocking off the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2. This will be a Sunday Night Football game on Sept. 24 with a kickoff time of 8:30 p.m. EST.

Oakland Team Grades: Raiders Open Season With A Big Win Against Titans

By Shawn Lealos

The Oakland Raiders had one of the best teams in the AFC last season until they lost their starting quarterback Derek Carr right before the playoffs. After a first-round exit, the Raiders are looking to repeat their regular season success in 2017—and they got off to a greatstart in their first game of the season. The Raiders took on the Tennessee Titans, one of the favorites to win the AFC South, and won in dominating fashion, 26-13. Here is a look at the Raiders team grades after their opening win of the 2017 NFL season.

Offense: A

The Oakland Raiders have one significant difference between this season’s offensive unit and the one that took the field last year. While the Raiders had Latavius Murray running the ball well last season, the team signed former NFL superstar Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to be its lead running back in 2017. The hope for the Raiders is that Lynch can move the chains and take a lot of pressure off Carr when it comes to the passing game. While the Raiders said they would ease Lynch back into action, they wound up giving him a full load yesterday. Lynch carried the ball 18 times for 76 rushing yards, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average that was .2 yards more than Murray ran for last season.

Carr still carried the load for the Raiders. As he proved on the opening drive of the game, when he is moving the ball, no one can seem to stop the Raiders. Carr completed 68 percent of his passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. His top receivers in the game were Michael Crabtree (6-83-0), Amari Cooper (5-62-1) and tight end Jared Cook (5-56-0). Carr spread the ball around to seven different receivers and was only sacked twice in the game.

Defense: B

While the Oakland Raiders came into the season with a potent offense, they were shaky on defense. The linebacker corps was banged up and lacked depth. They had some weapons, but nothing that scared the Tennessee Titans. The team ended up sacking Marcus Mariota only once, and allowed him to throw for 256 yards while running for 26 yards and a touchdown.

However, what the Raiders did do well was limit what the Titans could do. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry combined for a total of 69 rushing yards in the game, with only a 3.8-yard average. It was tight end Delanie Walker who led the way for Tennessee, with seven receptions for 76 yards. Neither team lost a turnover and Oakland’s defensive MVP Khalil Mack led the way with two tackles for a loss. Credit has to be given to the Raiders defense for allowing only one quarterback scramble for a touchdown while holding the Titans to three field goals.

Special Teams: A

The Oakland Raiders have to be very happy with their special teams performance in this game. The Raiders agreed to a new contract with Sebastian Janikowski last week, listed him as questionable on their injury report, and then ended up moving him to the injured reserve list yesterday. As a result, rookie kicker Giorgio Tavecchio started the first game of his NFL career, and he was perfect. The Raiders won by 13 points, and 12 of those were field goals by Tavecchio, who was a perfect four-for-four on field goals and two-for-two on extra points.

Punting was above average for Oakland with Marquette King averaging just under 52 yards on three punts, pinning one inside the 20 and putting one into the end zone. The only punt return for Tennessee went five yards. Jalen Richard of the Raiders didn’t do much better, with two returns for a total of five yards.

Coaching: A

The Oakland Raiders had something to prove in their opening game of the 2017 NFL season. The Raiders showed right out of the gate that they wanted to set the tempo of the game. In four plays, Carr completed three passes and Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards, finishing with the Raiders putting up the first touchdown of the game. Oakland never trailed in the contest, and while they needed to rely on too many field goals in the game, they proved that they are one of the best teams in the NFL by working a clean game on offense and a bend-but-don’t-break game on defense. Oakland is 1-0 and looks sharp heading into their second game next week against the New York Jets.

Oakland Raiders Open Season with a Win in Tennessee

by Matt George, Sports 1140 KHTK

Embracing the weight of high expectations, the Oakland Raiders took the field in Tennessee and started their 2017-2018 NFL campaign with a statement 26-16 victory.

The Raiders offense didn’t miss a beat from last season, capitalizing on a short first drive with an Amari Cooper touchdown reception. The Titans answered with their own touchdown drive, 75 yards capped off by a 10 yard Marcus Mariotta scramble in the end zone.

It was a tale of two halves for the Raiders defense, who struggled to get off the field in the first two quarters. The Titans converted on five of seven third downs in the first half, keeping Oakland’s offense off the field. Despite the quick start for both offenses, the first half ended in a slight 13-10 Raiders advantage.

The 3rd quarter was a defensive showcase for both teams. Oakland clamped down on the versatile Titan offense, forcing two straight punts and holding Tennessee to a field goal in the red zone.

The Raider offense wasn’t able to capitalized on their defensive stops for more than a field goal in the 3rd quarter, however, rookie kicker Giorgio Tavecchio shined in his debut. After longtime Raider kicker Sebastian Janikowski was placed on the I.R. earlier this week, Tavecchio went four for four on his field goal attempts, including two from 52 yards out. He is the first kicker in the history of the NFL to make two 50 yard or more field goals in his debut.

Speaking of debuts, Marshawn Lynch played his first regular season game for the Silver and Black, finishing with 76 yards on 18 carries.

Derek Carr connected with Seth Roberts for a touchdown on Oakland’s first drive of the 4th quarter, creating the separation that the Raiders needed to win the game. Oakland’s defense allowed only six points on two field goals in the entire 2nd half, forcing four total punts and allowing the Titans to convert on seven third downs for the game.

Carr finished the game with two touchdowns, throwing for 262 yards while completing 68% of his passes. Oakland’s defense allowed 350 total yards, 25 less than last season’s average.

The Raiders head home for a week two match up with the New York Jets in the Coliseum next Sunday. The Jets fell to the Buffalo Bills today 21-12.

Carr, Mariota Excited To Play Each Other In Season Opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Marcus Mariota thinks Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is one of the NFL’s better throwers. Carr is a fan of the Tennessee quarterback, describing Mariota as accurate, dynamic and the type of decision-maker any general manager wants.

Each also suffered season-ending injuries only hours apart last Dec. 24: Mariota broke his right leg in a loss at Jacksonville , followed by Carr breaking the same leg in a win over Indianapolis .

So, of course, the NFL slotted Carr and the Raiders against Mariota and the Titans in the season opener Sunday, pitting young quarterbacks both expected to lead their teams to the playoffs.

“Yeah, it’s crazy,” Mariota said of the scheduling. “It’s good to see that he’s healthy. It’s good to see that he’s come back from that injury. Crazy how that happens. Again, looking forward to the game and can’t wait to be back.”

This is the final benchmark for Mariota’s comeback where he was limited until training camp with the Titans, who are eager to improve on a 9-7 record . Carr was ready for the Raiders’ offseason program after Oakland went 12-4and lost their first playoff game in 14 years.

Now they face off for the third time in as many years, and Carr with his new $125 million contract wants to build off a season where he was one of only five quarterbacks with more than 25 touchdown passes (28) and fewer than 10 interceptions (six). Mariota was one of the other four, throwing 26 TDs with nine interceptions in his second season.

Carr expects even more from Mariota in the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner’s third season .

“I hope he waits a week. That’d be nice,” Carr said. “In all honesty, the game gets slower. He’s been able to play a lot of football. Especially in a tough division with some tough defense. So again, another similarity. We both have seen a lot of things. A lot of blitzes. A lot of different coverages. As you continue to grow, I like to say that we get faster and the game stays the same.”

Here are some things to know about the Raiders and Titans:

BEAST MODE: Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement for the chance to play for his hometown team in Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020. Lynch carried just four times in the preseason, so the opener will be the first real test if he is back to the level when he was the NFL’s premier power back with 48 TDs rushing from 2011-14. Lynch looked a step slower in 2015 with Seattle when he averaged 3.8 yards per carry while also dealing with injuries.

TITANS’ D: Lynch will be going against a Tennessee defense that ranked second in the NFL last season against the run. The Titans held opponents to 88.3 yards per game, and they added Sylvester Williams at nose tackle in free agency.

SEARCHING FOR SACKS: The Raiders finished last in the NFL in sacks in 2016 with 25 even though they had AP Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack rushing from the edge. Mack had 11 sacks, and fellow outside rusher Bruce Irvin had seven. The rest of the team, especially the inside rushers, failed to generate nearly enough pressure. Third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes and a healthy Mario Edwards Jr. should help the cause. Oakland also could try to get more from the secondary with blitzes after failing to get a single sack from a defensive back last season.

CATCHING ON: Carr has Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, the only duo in the NFL last season with at least 80 catches and more than 1,000 yards receiving, as his top targets. The Titans added veteran wide receiver Eric Decker and also made Corey Davis the first receiver drafted at No. 5 overall to give Mariota more options in the passing game. Decker played in only the preseason opener, while Davis will make his debut in this game.

TITANS’ MISTAKES: The Raiders beat Tennessee 24-21 on Nov. 29, 2015, and pulled out a 17-10 win last September after the Titans thought they had a chance to tie up the game late. An unsportsmanlike penalty on left tackle Taylor Lewan wiped out a gain to the 3, while Andre Johnson’s TD catch was erased for offensive pass interference. Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo said the Titans learned from that and know how to hold their composure, including “our friend 77” — referring to Lewan.

“They’ve been close games, we’ve have opportunities to win the last two here,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “We’ve made some mistakes, especially late, that have cost us from doing that.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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