OAKLAND – The Raiders are a few games away from completing a season they’d rather forget. The Silver and Black have struggled mightily, with positive moments incredibly hard to find.
Derek Carr gave them one on Sunday.
He beat the 49ers, and made the East Bay proud.
And, after more than a decade searching for a franchise quarterback, it looks like have their man. Carr put on a clinic in a 24-13 victory over the rival 49ers on Sunday afternoon at O.co Coliseum.
The offensive line gave him plenty of time, and Carr carved up a strong 49ers defense in the second half. Mychal Rivera and Marcel Reece were his best friends on this day, as he used the middle of the field to work his way downfield.
All told, he completed 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. He gave Raider Nation bragging rights with a victory over a backyard rival in the Battle of the Bay.
In a huge game, Carr was awesome.
He gave the Raiders a lead, and the defense made it stand. 49ers kicker Phil Dawson missed from 47 yards out with five minutes remaining. That kept a two-score lead intact late in the fourth quarter, and the 49ers simply didn’t have enough time to mount a comeback.
The Raiders took a 17-10 lead with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Carr to fullback Marcel Reece in the third quarter. Carr was surgical on that series, completing all five pass attempts for 61 yards and he took the 49ers defense apart.
The Raiders defense forced a three-and-out on the next drive, and the Raiders responded with another score. Carr’s third touchdown of the day was a 5-yard pass to Rivera, who dominated in the middle of the field. He finished with 7 catches for 109 yards.
The Raiders pass rush flustered quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was sacked five times and threw two interceptions. The first opened the game. His last, thrown to free safety Charles Woodson, iced an improbable upset victory Raiders fans won’t soon forget.
Fat man touchdown:
Raiders left tackle Donald Penn has scored a touchdown before. On Sunday, he got his third on a smart play call. Penn reported as an eligible receiver on 3rd-and-goal, and was uncovered in the flat.
Penn caught the ball, weathered a huge blow from Eric Reid and fell into the end zone. That put the Raiders up 10-7 in the second quarter.
Penn was the first Raiders offensive lineman to score a touchdown since Khalif Barnes caught a scoring pass in 2010.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw an interception on his first pass, when Brandian Ross stepped in front of Michael Crabtree and picked it off.
The Raiders drove down the field and opened the scoring with a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
Generally speaking, the Raiders contained Kaepernick well. All told, he was 18-for-33 passing for 174 yards and 1 touchdowns. He also ran for 26 yards. He had two passes intercepted and was sacked five times by the Raiders defensive front.
Denarius Moore scratched again:
Receiver Denarius Moore was a healthy scratch for a second straight week, a sure sign that his time in Oakland is likely up.
He hasn’t taken an offensive snap since Week 10, and has clearly fallen out of favor.
In addition to Moore, quarterback Matt McGloin, guard Tony Bergstrom, cornerback Neiko Thorpe, right tackle Menelik Watson, tight end Brian Leonhardt and defensive tackle Stacy McGee were ruled inactive.
Raiders safety Larry Asante suffered a quadriceps strain and did/did not return to the game.
Cornerback Tarell Brown seemed to injure his knee after landing awkwardly trying to defend Anquan Boldin. He was somehow able to return a few plays later, a huge relief for a Raiders team already thin at cornerback.
The Raiders head back on the road for an early game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders first (and only) win of the season came against Kansas City on Thursday Night Football. The Chiefs are tough on their home turf, with one of the loudest stadiums in sports.