Carr’s performance vs. KC was bad regardless of weather – NBCSports.com

Posted: December 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm


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Derek Carr's performance in Raiders' loss to Chiefs bad in any weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Derek Carr heard all week about how bad he plays in cold weather, how Arrowhead Stadium is his personal house of horrors.

The Raiders quarterback had another terrible day in a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that spoon-fed that narrative and proved detractors right, but he vehemently stated that the elements played no part in his lackluster performance.

I think we handled it just fine, Carr said. It was not a factor, because I do not want to take anything away from the plays that they made. If it was 80 degrees or 30 degrees, it does not matter.

Carr cant escape the fact that hes 0-6 at Arrowhead Stadium and 0-5 in games played at 40 degrees or less.

Sundays weather in Kansas City was frightful. It was 36 degrees at kickoff with awind chill of 25 degrees, and snow flurries descended as the game wore on.

I think everyone struggles to a degree in cold weather. Thats is why a lot of people move south, Gruden said. I have to do a better job of helping him. I think it starts with me and ends there. He is a good quarterback. I think he has a chance to be great. It just wasnt his day and it wasnt our day.

Carr finished 20-of-30 passing for 222 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and a 71.8 passer rating. Those numbers were inflated by a garbage time touchdown drive that accounted for 70 yards and a score.

The Raiders passing game was awful most of the night, and severely hurt the Raiders ability to finish drives despite Josh Jacobs going strong in the first half.

Carr threw two interceptions in the first half that led to Chiefs touchdowns. Tyrann Mathieu broke off his responsibility to make the first pick, baiting Carr to make a throw. Safety Juan Thornhill jumped Tyrell Williams route on the second interception and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown.

Mathieu said those calculated risks came about after properly identifying when Carr would try to work the ball down the field.

When he did take shots down the field, we were able to understand it pre-snap by the formation and it would put us in position to make a play, Mathieu said. Derek is going to try and take care of the football. Tight ends, running backs, check downs, thats kind of his game. I was glad we were able to capitalize on him when he did try to throw the ball down the field.

Easily read quarterback decisions mightbe a bigger issue than anything to do with the weather, and ultimately cost the Raiders dearly. The Mathieu interception was a tough break, but the Thornhill pick six was the games true turning point.

[The interceptions are] very frustrating, Carr said. You cant turn the ball over, and youve got to credit their defense. I pride myself on taking care of the football, but they made two great plays. We cant have that happen. Thats my fault.

This loss wasnt all Carrs fault, but the well-paid franchise quarterback will shoulder most of the blame after another nasty-looking loss. The Raiders were running well but the air attack was inept. Raiders receivers were a non-factor in this one, rarely creating separation against the Chiefs secondary. The Silver and Black played most of this game with just eight yards passing produced by a receiver, before more of them got involved on that meaningless touchdown drive. Williams was a non-factor, and Zay Jones didnt play a significant role. The Raiders certainly missed the injured Hunter Renfrow, a point made clear by the Raiders converting just 3-of-13 third downs.

[RELATED: Self-inflicted wounds cost Raiders]

While Carrs performance was bad in any condition, it continued a run of poor play in Kansas City. His 222 passing yards tied a career high in Kansas City. He has never had a passer rating above 77 in this place, where he has lost all six times he has played here.

Its easy to look as his interceptions, but it is a tough place to play, Gruden said. Its a tough environment. Its cold and windy. They played good defense, and we were behind most of the game. All those things, with bad field position and a long way to go are tough on a quarterback.

ALAMEDA --Trayvon Mullen logged his second professional interception. The Raiders rookie cornerback caught a ball straight from Patrick Mahomes, in the end zone.

Pick. Touchback. Possession claimed. Officials on the field confirmed it.

All turnovers and scoring plays, as we know well by now, are reviewed by eyes in the sky.

Those watching saw Mullen commit pass interference. It doesnt matter that wasnt called on the field, or that PI judgments are rarely overturned upon review, even after a specific coachs challenge.

Mullen got flagged by 345 Park Ave. Believe it or not, true freaking story.

We had an interception we thought we did intercept that was turned over by the Wizard of Oz or somebody, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said after a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs I dont know what happened on that. That was a big play in the game no doubt.

The Chiefs took possession at three yards from paydirt and scored on the next play. That play didnt cost Mullens Raiders a game. The result had been decided long before. While a call went against him, the second-round draft pick didnt let the outcome erase the athletic play originally made.

My goal is to make those types of plays. I didnt let the call get to me, Mullen said after the game. I believe Im a great player continuing to get better. Im going to keep being aggressive and working to make big plays.

Thats the right attitude for a young player developing on the job, someone tasked to both help his team win now while individually developing for a better future. That two-pronged attack has been asked from all contributing Raiders rookies.

Mullen ranks among them, given a starting job after Gareon Conley was traded to Houston near midseason. The Silver and Black need him to play well and progress, understanding full well that athletic plays and mistakes will be made.

In Mullens case, late in the fourth quarter, both happened on the same play.

I can live with that call, because I know that Im going to continue making plays and continue to get better, Mullen said. When plays present themselves, Im going to work hard trying to make them.

What was Mullen thinking after that review went against him?

That Im going to have to go back on the field, Mullen said, And make another big play.

The Raiders are seeing good things from their confident young cornerback, who is immensely talented but can be prone to aggressive mistakes that should tone become less prevalent with experience.

[RELATED: Should the Raiders move on from Derek Carr?]

The Clemson product was targeted nine times by the Chiefs --rookie initiations in full swing but gave up just three catches for 33 yards. He had two nice pass breakups, though the pass interference call will be held against his final line.

Hes getting better, Gruden said. He had some really good plays [Sunday]. He was obviously flagged a few times for penalties. One of them, I cant quite say where it came from, but it was a big reversal in the game. He made a couple great plays against a great receiver and I think hes getting confidence. I think hes getting better. I think he performed better and hes performing better and better each week.

USATSI

The Raiders offense has hit the skids. A unit that scored 24 points or more in six consecutive games has crossed the goal line just once since Nov. 17, a garbage-time touchdown that only mattered to those who bet the over.

The run game keeps marching along save a hiccup against the Jets, but the air attack has fallen on hard times.

Fingers will point straight at Derek Carr for recent offensive failings, but its never all on the quarterback. There were several times in that disastrous 40-9 loss to Kansas City where Carr was well protected, waiting for prospective targets to create separation.

Wide receivers had just eight yards through three quarters and just 34 on four catches and eight targets.

Tyrell Williams knows that isnt good enough, even if the conditions, early turnovers and the quickly lopsided score made life harder on the passing game.

They were trying to take me away. They were trying to take away [tight end Darren] Waller, making sure they had two guys on him, Williams said Monday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. I saw a couple of double teams every once in a while. Hindsight is 20/20, but in the game, we felt like we had a good game plan. Were trying to continue to execute that game plan, but sometimes you get behind in the sticks and that takes us away from what were trying to do."

"We need to stay on schedule so we arent facing third-and-long situations, and we obviously have to avoid turnovers. Playing from behind, on the road, and in that environment is hard.

Head coach Jon Gruden took some blame for the overall lack of receiver production against the Chiefs. The position group has struggled this season after dealing with significant personnel turnover, Williams difficult bout of plantar fasciitis around midseason and Hunter Renfrows current rib injury. The overall talent level isnt soaring at this stage, but Gruden believes he can scheme targets open.

Well, Ive got to do a better job, Gruden said. Weve got to do a better job getting them better looks and getting them involved in the game no question, so I put that on myself. I think weve got good, young receivers. We might shake it up a little bit, give some other guys some more opportunities this week, but well study the Titans and see what goes.

Keelan Doss, Marcell Ateman and recent practice squad promotion Rico Gafford are 53-man roster options who havent been involved much. Zay Jones has and hasnt ever gotten in sync with Carr.

Williams scored touchdowns in his first five games as a Raider and has had a few nice moments in his return from injury, but has hit a production slump. He has three catches for 27 yards on eight targets over the last two weeks and was the intended target on two interceptions in that span, though neither pick should be blamed on him.

Williams is the teams best deep threat and has been targeted twice on passes 20-plus yards downfield in the last two games, and five times between 10-20 yards from the line of scrimmage in that span.

Williams obviously wants to be more productive than in recent weeks, especially with the offense struggling, but he isnt the type to yell or scream or demand the ball.

I never want to be that type of person, Williams said. Of course I want to get more targets. I want to be able to stretch the field a bit more and get that deep threat out there. I think that comes with talking and communicating with coaches and being on the same page with Derek throughout the week. That should allow us to focus and hit on those opportunities.

Theres also a danger of pressing to get out of slumps, whether its trying to do too much, stepping outside of ones responsibility or Carr forcing a throw. This offense has been steadily productive before and Williams believes it can be again. One key is not overthinking it.

You have to focus on each play as it comes and let the game come to you, Williams said. Im going to go out there and play hard and leave everything I have out there, but I dont like focusing on when targets are coming and when theyre not because that takes me out of my game. I have to just play and after the game evaluate and see what we did do and what we couldve done better.

[RELATED: Jacobs vows to get Raiders 'right' after loss]

Theres time to get rolling again. While losses to the Chiefs and Jets essentially snuffed their AFC West title hopes and largely erased margin for error, the Raiders can still land a playoff spot with a strong showing against the Titans and Jaguars at home and then on the road against the L.A. Chargers and Denver Broncos to close out the year.

The seasons long and theres still time to get back on track, Williams said. These two home games are obviously huge. Theyre against teams that are, like us, fighting for a playoff spot. The rest of the way for us, theyre all playoff games in a sense.

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Carr's performance vs. KC was bad regardless of weather - NBCSports.com

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm