OAKLAND – The Raiders offense was humming on Saturday night behind quarterback Derek Carr. The third-year pro was accurate and efficient in four-plus series of a 27-14 exhibition loss to the Tennessee Titans, consistently moving the ball downfield.
Carr has played that way in practice, but (worthless) preseason stats didn’t reflect that over two games. His stat line looked as good as his passes; completed 12-of-18 for 169 yards, two touchdowns, no picks and a 133.8 passer rating.
He threw two picturesque deep passes, a 41-yard strike to Michael Crabtree and a 29-yard touchdown to Amari Cooper.
He is one of the most accurate guys I have ever played with,” Cooper said. “It’s crazy.”
Carr led a pair of touchdown drives and a two-minute drill that would’ve produced a field goal – the Raiders couldn’t convert on a fourth-down, a risk attempted only because it was preseason – to end the first half.
It’s hard to imagine Carr playing much, if at all, in Thursday’s exhibition finale against Seattle. If that’s the case, the young quarterback went out with a bang.
“We know that he’s had a tremendous offseason,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I think, tonight, you saw a couple examples of what we’ve been seeing. (Beat reporters) are at practice, you’ve seen how he has carried himself and how he’s connecting with receivers. He’s poised to have a nice year for us.”
Making McGloin uncomfortable: The Raiders pulled Carr midway through the second half’s opening drive, a planned exercise designed to unexpectedly thrust backup Matt McGloin into the fray.
McGloin had to come in at a moment’s notice, an act intended to mimic a regular-season situation where he might have to fill in. That drive didn’t end well – DeAndre Washington fumbled following a big hit after a reception where McGloin put him in a bad spot – but got the No. 2 passer some valuable experience. McGloin was called to action thrice last season, and those moments are never planned.
“”You want to see how your guys are going to respond,” Del Rio said. “It’s a good opportunity to teach, learn and have those guys understand how quickly things can happen.”
Seam Smith misses easy pick: The Raiders gave up a 60-yard reception to Tajae Sharpe on the opening drive, a player where cornerback Sean Smith jumped the route and seemed to have an interception secured.
That didn’t happen. It sailed by him to Sharpe, who turned and ran. Safety Nate Allen was caught off-guard and celebrated a pick that didn’t stick, creating an opportunity for a big Titans play.
Del Rio took the situation lightly, joking that Smith has to capitalize on those opportunities.
“I think we thought it was an interception,” Del Rio said. “Sean Smith has 100 JUGS balls (on a passing machine) per day starting tomorrow. We’re going to make sure that doesn’t…I’m mean, it was like a pick and we’re on our way, but the other guy comes out of it with the ball.”
This ‘n that:The Raiders were vanilla with their play calling – that means few, if any blitzes or pass-rush moves – but Del Rio still wanted to see more from his four-man pass rush. …Del Rio was pleased with the Raiders’ special teams effort, where they created a turnover and had some nice returns in the kicking game. ... Rookie receiver Johnny Holton limped off the field following a nice catch in the fourth quarter, but only had a cramp and will be okay.