OAKLAND – The Raiders’ first-unit offense ran a whopping nine series in Sunday evening’s 30-23 exhibition loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Starting quarterback Derek Carr moved the football on several drives, but never reached the end zone. They put up five first-half field goals despite reaching the red zone three times. The Raiders couldn’t run at all.
Carr wasn’t sharp, with several inaccurate throws and a major mistake that resulted in a pick six.
The effort wasn’t good enough, and proved to be a frustrating exercise for all involved.
“There are still some things we have to clean up,” Carr said. “There are still some things that are just that close (to being correct) with the whole offense. As an offense, we’re pretty upset right now. We wanted to score a lot of points, and we felt like we left a lot out there. Honestly, we did.”
Latavius Murray was swallowed up by the Cardinals front. He didn’t have any room to run, and was hit in the backfield time and again. He had just one yard on seven carries. The rushing offense as a whole averaged 1.8 yards per carry.
“I didn’t see anything from our running game,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We expect our team to run better. I told the team tonight after the game that we’re going to run the ball better than they did. We have to and we will. We didn’t get it done tonight. … We’ll make corrections and move on.”
The running game was bad, but the worst play came on a pass. Carr’s final pass of the night was his worst, an ill-advised fling trying to keep a broken play alive.
A pass targeted (sort of) for Rod Streater was intercepted by Cariel Brooks and returned 81 yards for a touchdown.
“I made a mistake. I did,” Carr said. “I’ll learn from that. I have to know that, when we’re getting late in the down and the timing isn’t there, just throw it away and play another down. Kicks are better than turnovers.”
Carr made some solid throws, including a few to Amari Cooper while covered by Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson. He found Brice Butler on a slant that went for 30 yards and Marcel Reece for 41.
The effort wasn’t good enough, marred by struggles to run and an inability to find the end zone.
“I wouldn’t say the offense took a step back, because (at times) we were very explosive,” Carr said. “There were some good things, but there were some very bad things that we have to correct. We have some time before the Cincinnati week gets here to get those things fixed. I know that we’re going to work to do it.”