Derek Carr returned after missing last week’s game due to a back injury. His first pass was intercepted.
Carr spent the rest of the day looking to hit five yard passes.
His final line presents an accurate, but boring day. He completed 70 percent of his passes for just 171 yards. He finished with an average of just 5.7 yards per attempt.
The Raiders had so little faith in Carr’s ability to throw the ball down field that on a third and 12 they dialed up a hook and lateral.
When teams need a miracle they turn to the hook and lateral. The Raiders view 12 yards on one play as a miracle.
That play did not result in a first down, as the Raiders had a chance to try and ice the game leading 16-14 in the fourth quarter. But despite having Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders came out throwing.
A first down completion was wiped out by an illegal formation penalty. On second and 12 Carr fired incomplete on a five yard route by Jared Cook. Then the hook and lateral.
There was no four minute offense to ice the game. There was no beast mode to finish off an opponent. But there was a trick play.
The Chargers got the ball, drove the length of the field, ran the clock out and kicked a game winning field goal for a 17-16 win.
The Raiders now sit in last place in the AFC West.
While the defense couldn’t defend a tight end or get a run stop on Melvin Gordon, the bigger concern for the Raiders is the quarterback.
Carr did take some shots down field at the end of the second quarter. With time running out and no timeouts, the Raiders couldn’t afford to dink and dunk.
Amari Cooper ran a post route that beat the safety, but Carr threw the ball behind Cooper, forcing him to stop his route. That gave the safety time to catch up and break the pass up.
What should have been seven points resulted in three. The Raiders lost by one.
Carr did push the ball about 10 yards down the field a couple of times on crossing routes to Seth Roberts. But both completions forced Roberts to stop his route and jump to catch the ball.
Carr’s high throws already got Michael Crabtree hurt when he took a shot to the chest while leaping to catch an errant pass earlier this year against Washington.
This season is turning into a lost cause, as the playoffs slip out of view. But the Raiders gave Derek Carr a $125 million contract this offseason. He has to be one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in the years to come.
But right now he is relying on teammates to elevate him.
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.