Derek Carr’s strug­gles in KC con­tinue in big loss

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Jon Becker

First, the good news for Derek Carr and the Raiders. He threw a nice 4-yard fourth-quar­ter touch­down pass to tight end Derek Car­rier in Kansas City on Sun­day.

That, though, was the ex­tent of the pos­i­tiv­ity for the Raiders and Carr, who en­dured yet another Ar­row­head Sta­dium nightmare per­for­mance in Oak­land’s 40-9 loss.

The touch­down was the Raiders’ first in 9 1/2 quar­ters as a sput­ter­ing of­fense and strug­gling de­fense shared the blame for a sec­ond straight blowout loss while be­ing outscored 72-6 be­fore Carr’s TD pass.

Carr’s 4-yard scor­ing pass, though, was a mere foot­note in his sixth ca­reer loss at Ar­row­head, where he’s never won. Should Carr ever lead the Raiders to a vic­tory at Ar­row­head, it will have to be as a mem­ber of the Las Ve­gas Raiders.

Carr made things much tougher on him­self and the Raiders Sun­day by throw­ing a pair of crip­pling in­ter­cep­tions to Chiefs

safeties Tyrann Math­ieu and Juan Thorn­hill. Both in­ter­cep­tions led to Kansas City touch­downs. In the case of the rookie Thorn­hill, his pick led di­rectly to a score as he stepped in front of Dar­ren Waller to grab a Carr pass and take it 46 yards for a pick-six and a 21-0 lead late in the first half.

Carr ad­mit­ted both Math­ieu and Thorn­hill fooled him with their cov­er­ages to get the best of him. Math­ieu first stunned Carr by drop­ping off his man to slash in front of Tyrell Wil­liams for an in­ter­cep­tion on Oak­land’s first drive. Then Thorn­hill darted in front of Waller on his touch­down.

“Great plays. And I can’t have it hap­pen,” Carr said of the two in­ter­cep­tions that gives him six picks in his last three games in Kansas City. “They made some plays on the ball that were great plays by their safeties, es­pe­cially with the cov­er­ages they were play­ing. Great job by them.”

A com­bi­na­tion of tem­per­a­tures in the mid30s in Kansas City and the Raiders’ lack­lus­ter of­fense also pro­longed another los­ing streak for Carr. He has de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion as a sub­par quar­ter­back in cold weather, a the­ory val­i­dated by ex-Raiders coach Jack Del Rio this week. Carr down­played the weather con­di­tions Sun­day play­ing any role in the out­come, but he nonethe­less is now 0-5 in games when it was 40 de­grees or be­low at kick­off.

“I threw the ball fine. Felt great,” Carr said of the cold con­di­tions. “If we don’t have those two turnovers, we’re very ef­fi­cient, right? They made two great plays. If it was 80 de­grees or 30 de­grees it doesn’t mat­ter, those safeties made two great plays and I tip my hat to them.”

As dis­ap­pointed as Raiders coach Jon Gru­den was fol­low­ing Oak­land’s sec­ond straight loss by at least 31 points, he isn’t ready to jump off the Carr band­wagon.

“I got to do a bet­ter job help­ing him. I think it starts with me and ends there,” Gru­den said when asked about Carr’s strug­gles. “He’s a good quar­ter­back. I think he’s got a chance to be great. Just wasn’t his day, wasn’t our day.”

Be­fore two other­wise mean­ing­less drives, the last one cul­mi­nat­ing in the touch­down pass, Carr’s num­bers mid­way through the fourth quar­ter were hideous: 5-of-12 for 83 yards and two costly in­ter­cep­tions.

Kansas City’s pre­vent de­fense helped pre­vent Carr from fin­ish­ing with un­sightly pass­ing num­bers. He wound up go­ing 20-for-30 for 222 yards for a 71.8 quar­ter­back rat­ing.

TAMMY LJUNGBLAD/TRI­BUNE NEWS SER­VICE

Chiefs run­ning back Dar­win Thomp­son (34) is tack­led by Raiders de­fen­sive tackle Ter­rell McClain (93) in Sun­day's game in Kansas City. The Chiefs won, 40-9.

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