List­less Raiders look like NFL’s worst team in hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - By Matt Sch­nei­d­man mschnei­d­man@ba­yare­anews­group.com

SANTACLARA a mis­er­able Raiders » If you sea­son didn’t could think get any worse, think again.

Some­how, the Raiders stooped to even lower lows against one of two teams that en­tered Week 9 with a worse record than their mis­er­able 1- 6 mark. The Raiders made a quar­ter­back start­ing his first reg­u­lar sea­son game look like a po­ten­tial Hall of Famer, and in the process ce­mented them­selves as the worst team in the NFL.

Yes, the New York Gi­ants are also 1-7. But they can’t be worse than Jon Gru­den’s Oak­land Raiders

34-3 loss on Thurs­day night prime time dropped the Raiders to 1-7. Yes, the eyes of Amer­ica— or those duped into watch­ing — wit­nessed a team with no hope, no rea­son for op­ti­mism and no re­sem­blance of an ac­tual NFL fran­chise.

Gru­den has been caught bark­ing at de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Paul

Guen­ther on the side­line two weeks in a row now, and with rea­son. Their de­fense is an atroc­ity, al­low­ing more yards per play than any team in NFL his­tory, ac­cord­ing to NFL Net­work. Their of­fense wasn’t much bet­ter.

Gru­den has praised his team’s ef­fort in the past, but how will that be pos­si­ble af­ter an ut­ter hu­mil­i­a­tion at the hands of the 49ers? The 49ers!

“I know it’s not look­ing pretty now,” Gru­den said af­ter the game. “I’ve heard a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity the last six or seven months, and right­fully so. But we’re go­ing to build a cham­pi­onship foot­ball team here.”

To top it all off, a vi­cious fight be­tween Raiders and 49ers fans broke out in the stands mid­way through the fourth quar­ter. Af­ter tak­ing a punch, a man in a Mar­shawn Lynch jersey fell back­ward over a row of seats. That seemed like a fit­ting way for the Raiders to go out.

Here are a cou­ple take­aways from the lat­est Raiders’ let­down, if your eyes can han­dle them. CARR HELP­LESS IN THE

POCKET » The Raiders tried Kolton Miller, Kelechi Osemele and Ian Sil­ber­man at left tackle. They tried Sil­ber­man and Bran­don Parker at right tackle. They tried Osemele and Jon Feli­ciano at left guard. Noth­ing worked. Derek Carr, a week af­ter go­ing un­touched in the pocket against a Colts pass rush that en­tered Week 8 tied for fourth in the league in sacks, had no chance against the 49ers. He was sacked four times in the first half, the most sacks a Raiders quar­ter­back en­dured in the first half since Bruce Grad­kowski in 2010 against the Tex­ans.

The 49ers en­tered Thurs­day tied for 25th in the NFL in sacks and fin­ished with six sacks of Carr be­fore he ex­ited. They fin­ished with seven for the game, the same num­ber the Raiders have all sea­son. Carr had only taken six sacks twice in 69 ca­reer games prior, against the Chiefs in 2015 and against the Sea­hawks three weeks ago.

The dom­i­nant Raiders of­fen­sive lines of 2016 and 2017 are so far gone Carr can’t re­call what they look like, and he has ab­so­lutely no chance in the pocket be­cause of it. RAIDERS MAKE DE­BUT STARTER LOOK LIKE PROVEN VET­ERAN » Nick Mul­lens was so good against the Raiders that Twit­ter gave him a blue check mark ... dur­ing the game.

He hadn’t taken a mean­ing­ful NFL snap be­fore Thurs­day night, but the third- stringer com­pleted 16- of-22 passes for 262 yards and three touch­downs against a por­ous Raiders de­fense.

Mul­lens marched right down the field on the first two drives of his ca­reer for touch­down passes, show­ing there’s noth­ing bet­ter to ease you into your first reg­u­lar sea­son ac­tion than an Oak­land Raiders de­fense. THE RAIDERS STILL CAN’T DE­FEND TIGHT ENDS » Last week the Raiders al­lowed a com­bined 10 catches, 133 yards and three touch­downs to three Colts tight ends. Each caught a touch­down.

En­ter­ing Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to Pro Foot­ball Fo­cus’ Austin Gayle, Raiders lineback­ers al­lowed 11.4 yards per tar­get and a 154 passer rat­ing when tar­geted, both high­est in the league.

Ge­orge Kit­tle, the 49ers tight end and ar­guably the most un­der­rated at the po­si­tion in the NFL, went off. Pre­dictably.

The Raiders couldn’t fig­ure out how to de­fend tight ends dur­ing their short week to no­body’s sur­prise, and Kit­tle tal­lied four catches for 108 yards and a touch­down, in­clud­ing a one-handed catch over the mid­dle that turned into a 71-yard gain set­ting up his own re­ceiv­ing touch­down. THE RAIDERS NEED A NEW

PUNTER » Johnny Townsend av­er­aged only 36.5 yards per punt on six punts, con­tin­u­ing the rookie fifthrounder’s strug­gles.

Townsend en­tered the week 26th in the league in av­er­age yardage with 42.9 yards per punt. He’s now tied for 29th in the league with a mere six punts downed in­side the 20-yard line.

The Raiders need some­thing bet­ter than this. CARR BENCHED FOR A. J. MC

CARRON » For the first time since a 52- 0 loss to the St. Louis Rams in 2014, Carr was re­moved from a game. McCar­ron took his first snaps at a Raider, and he couldn’t con­vert a 4thand-1 quar­ter­back sneak in his own ter­ri­tory on his de­but drive.

JOSE CAR­LOS FAJARDO — STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Raiders quar­ter­back Derek Carr is sacked by the 49ers’ De­For­est Buck­ner. The be­sieged Carr was sacked six times.

JOSE CAR­LOS FAJARDO — STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Oak­land’s Jalen Richard runs with the ball while be­ing tack­led by the 49ers’ Shel­don Day at Levi’s Sta­dium.

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