Raiders Preseason Week 3: Is Derek Carr Ready For The Season? [with Highlights]
OAKLAND—If fans of the Oakland Raiders figured quarterback Derek Carr would come out firing against the Green Bay Packers after sitting out last week against the Los Angeles Rams, they were right—to a point.
Carr play-faked on the first offensive play of the game, dropped back and threw deep downfield to wide receiver Amari Cooper for a 49-yard gain, and a few plays later zipped a 13-yard completion to tight end Jared Cook.
However, the drive fizzled, the Raiders settled for a 32-yard field goal by Mike Nugent and Carr spent the rest of Oakland’s 13-6 preseason victory over the Packers on the sidelines in the Oakland Coliseum on Friday night.
That means Carr, who did not play in Los Angeles along with most the starters because head coach Jon Gruden didn’t want to show anything against the Rams before the teams meet in the regular season opener in two weeks, has played two series in three preseason games.
Carr, who missed playing time last season and then played hurt because of a broken bone in his back, has completed 4 of 7 passes for 79 yards during the preseason and he doesn’t figure to play much if at all in the preseason finale against the Seahawks on Thursday night in Seattle.
Traditionally, star players are held out of the last preseason game to avoid injuries right before the games begin to count.
So will those two series be enough for Carr to hit the ground running against the Rams? And what about the rest of the Raiders’ offense.
The vaunted offensive line, called the best in the NFL at one point last season, played into the second quarter against Green Bay and the Raiders gained 37 yards rushing during that time, but 29 of them came on two plays—a 13-yard scramble by backup quarterback Connor Cook and a 16-yard sweep by Doug Martin.
Donald Penn, a Pro Bowl left tackle two of the last three years, struggled in his first game at right tackle, even though the Raiders claim his transition has gone smoothly in practice.
On Carr’s final play against the Packers, he fumbled when Penn was knocked back into him, but the Raiders recovered and salvaged a field goal.
Kolton Miller, the No. 1 draft choice from UCLA who has taken over Penn’s old position, seemed to hold up well, even getting in some licks when going against stud linebacker Clay Matthews of the Packers.
Once again, the Raiders’ best offensive performer was running back Chris Warren, who is listed as third string on the depth chart. Warren rushed for 54 yards in 15 carries, including the game-winning one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and has piled up 250 yards on 46 carries and two touchdowns in the three preseason games.
Running back Marshawn Lynch, like Carr, played only one series before retiring to the bench and did not carry the ball, but he showed what he is capable of when he broke off a 60-yard touchdown run that was nullified by a penalty in the opener against the Lions.
Beast Mode figures to be ready for the opener and hopefully can help the Raiders can put on a Carr show.
ODDS ’N ENDS—The Raiders’ young defensive linemen continued to shine, with defensive end Arden Key, defensive tackle Shalique Calhoun, defensive end Fadol Brown and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester all collecting sacks against the Packers, who didn’t play star quarterback Aaron Rogers. Linebacker Nicholas Morrow threw in one more sack to give the Raiders five for the game and they were close to several others. … Cornerback Daryl Worley started for the Raiders and twice came up quickly to make tackles near the line of scrimmage on running plays, in addition to playing solid pass defense. … Cornerback Rashaan Melvin was called for holding and got beat deep early in the game, but got better as the game went along, later breaking up a long pass down the sideline. … Backup quarterback Conner Cook completed only 6 of 15 passes for 72 yards and an interception, under-throwing Dwayne Harris on what could have been a Raider touchdown on that play. Cook also had an interception by Josh Jackson returned 38 yards for a touchdown, but it was nullified by a penalty.