Tag Archives: carr

Game Grades: Raiders vs. Patriots

Pass Offense: A little bit of everything — some nice grabs, some drops, and a game-killing bounce off of Denarius Moore’s hands into the waiting arms of Vince Wilfork. No sacks allowed, but also no touchdowns. With just 3 games under his belt, Derek Carr already looks like a keeper. How much better would Carr be with a true #1 receiver to work with? Grade: C

Rush Offense: Darren McFadden is running hard, but between the o-line’s inability to create holes for him, and Greg Olson’s insistence on running him straight up the middle every time, it’s just not enough to create balanced production¬†in this offense. Latavius Murray had a few carries for no gain. The holding call on Gabe Jackson, which nullified McFadden’s touchdown run, was legit (barely), but we’ve all seen teams get away with far worse. Grade: D+

Pass Defense: Cornerback, like wide receiver, is a position for this team that continues to be inadequate, and as often as not a liability. Too much turnover, and not enough talent. It doesn’t help that linebackers are already depleted from injuries, but Edelman and Gronkowski found themselves open far too often, considering the whole world knew that those two were Brady’s best options. The defense¬†did manage two sacks, but third-down conversions continue to be a problem, as the Patriots converted 50%. Grade: C-

Rush Defense: Only 74 rushing yards total for New England is a huge improvement over the first two efforts, and both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen were held to less than 3 yards per carry, and nothing longer than 11 yards. It’s not a coincidence that the Raiders’ time of possession this time wasn’t nearly as lopsided as it was the first two games (28:25, versus 25:10 against the Jets and a miserable 21:24 against the Texans). Grade: B

Special Teams: Janikowski made all three field goal attempts, and King continues to punt well. Janikowski’s final, short kickoff was odd, and gave the Patriots better field position, but other than that, the special team performance was solid, if unspectacular. Grade: B-

Coaching: The coaching staff deserves some credit for getting players to show up playing ready and motivated. Unlike the previous two outings, at no point did this game feel like it was getting out of hand. While the conservative game-planning is understandable, as they don’t want to undermine or endanger Carr, and they really don’t have the talent to take too many risks, they have to find ways to take better advantage of McFadden’s skill set, and get him outside on some sweeps once in a while. Allowing Carr to take at least a few more downfield shots would also help. They might as well start coaching like they have nothing to lose, because that’s really the case at this point. Grade: C

Raiders To Start Carr Against Jets

The plan was to have Schaub throw today, to evaluate his elbow. Guess the decision to start Carr for the season opener on the road against the Jets tells us how that went. Carr’s preseason playing time was limited, but he did great against Seattle’s starting defense, including throwing a TD pass to Denarius Moore with Richard Sherman coming.

Carr seems fearless, decisive, and poised in the pocket, and has mentioned that he has seriously studied pro film since age 12, when he studied film with his older brother David. The team and fans are excited about this move, and while that still leaves questions about bringing in Schaub in the first place (for $8M and a draft pick), Schaub was probably the best available free agent quarterback in this past off-season.

This is going to be an exciting start to the new season. While they have a tough defensive front seven, the Jets are already experiencing chaos in their secondary, quickly signing former Raider CB Phillip Adams after he was cut loose by the Seahawks. Adams is fast and had some decent special teams plays last season, but was frequently a liability in coverage. If Carr can score on Sherman, he should have fun with Adams.

Preseason, Week 4: Raiders 41, Seahawks 31

Solid performance all the way around, even for preseason. Carr executed well against Seattle’s starting D, not only leading the team on a full TD drive, but capitalizing on the opportunities given by special teams (forced fumble/recovery and punt return), with two consecutive single-play TDs on short fields. As Schaub was completely unable in last week’s Packers game to make anything out of several great field position opportunities early on, this has to factor into what fans and even the coaches are thinking right now.

I’m still inclined to think that the starting job is Schaub’s to lose, because he has far more experience, but also because this management regime has proven itself remarkably inept at managing and developing the quarterback position for the team all along, and dumping Schaub for Carr to open the season would be admitting yet another high-dollar, high-profile whiff.

That said, Carr made a hell of a case for himself, while McGloin mostly face-planted against the Seahawks aggressive D. It’s hard to say no to four touchdown drives, including three TD passes to three different receivers, and a nearly perfect QB rating. But you also want to give him a fair chance to develop, and not just throw him in the deep end.

In the end the decision may be made for them, sooner rather than later. Schaub has shown little arm strength or zip on his throws, and if his elbow is already bothering him that much after only 47 pass attempts in three preseason games, how is he going to last an entire regular season?

Lot of good things from tonight’s game for the team to build on — the o-line is starting to jell, Murray had some nice carries, as did Atkinson, and both Atkinson and TJ Carrie had nice returns.

And, of course, Derek Carr. Already the Nation seems ready to throw him in against the Jets, and as long as they’re willing to commit to him for at least those first four games, what have they got to lose? Hang on, Nation, it’s going to be a wild ride this season!

Preseason Week 4, Halftime: Raiders 35, Seahawks 21

Wow, so did Derek Carr light it up or what? Really, after letting Russell Wilson march down for a TD in just 4 plays to start the game, the Raiders jumped in on all phases, making big plays, creating turnovers, getting great field position and capitalizing on it. McGloin managed to redeem a pick-six with yet another TD hookup with Brice Butler. Some rough spots offensively since Carr was pulled for McGloin, but overall a really nice effort so far against the reigning league champs.

Of course, between now and the Week 1 start in New York against the Jets on Sept. 7, the entire conversation will revolve around who should start. For now, let’s just enjoy the most complete effort of the preseason so far.