Any playoff hopes for the Oakland Raiders were essentially killed on Sunday versus the Tennessee Titans. For some reason, the team that was 6-4 through 10 games has completely disappeared. The team’s recent skid could’ve been excused by poor weather and playing on the road, but Oakland is running out of excuses. It was a warm day at the Collesium in front of a rambunctious crowd, but the Raiders failed to perform.
A solid offensive first half didn’t continue into the second half and the defense couldn’t get things together for the entire game. As the game wore on, boos from the home crowd began to rain down. Considering it was the second to last game to ever be played in Oakland, it was a disappointing development for the team. Derek Carr spoke about the booing after the game.
“It’s happened before. You play here long enough and that will occur,” Carr said after the game. “We have a rowdy group and that’s why we love them. They’re passionate, and they just want to win. It’s just like family. Even when they’re mad at you, they still want to hug you. They still want you to do well. I understand that frustration. I think I showed some emotion, too. I don’t think anything of it. It has happened for six years.”
Carr had some impressive moments in the game, but his performance is going to be remembered for one baffling bad decision.
Derek Carr Threw a Ball Away on 4th Down
In the fourth quarter, with the game out of reach, the Raiders were at the Titans’ one-yard line. They failed on the first three plays to score and went for it on fourth down. Jon Gruden decided to run a pass play and when Carr saw nothing open, he threw the ball away.
Carr has lost the faith of many over the last few games and plays like that aren’t going to help his case going into the offseason.
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Jon Gruden Defends Carr
While it’s easy to pile on Carr for the fourth-down play, Gruden came to his quarterback’s defense after the game.
“He exhausted that play for what it was,” Gruden said after the game. “I’m not going to be one to stand here and say that a turning point in the game, but I think he played really well today, Carr did, given what’s going on around him. I think there’s a big story there. At least, we recognize it, and we’re really proud of the way he’s competing and performing with all the moving pieces.”
It’s true that the Raiders offense missed some key pieces on Sunday. Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown and Hunter Renfrow all missed the game due to injury. Tight end Foster Moreau left the game early with an injury. Regardless, Carr needs to show more over the last three games. If the team can finish the season 8-8 or 9-7, it’s going to look a lot better than 6-10. It’s fair to give Carr excuses because of the injuries, but at some point, he’s going to have to prove that he can win a couple of games when things get rough. There are quarterbacks who can and Carr hasn’t proven he’s one of those guys.