Reactions to PFF’s grades of the Oakland Raiders after their Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
The comeback kids fell short.
The Oakland Raiders (1-1) were unable to overcome a large deficit in the fourth quarter to earn victory over the visiting Atlanta Falcons (1-1) in Week 2, losing the contest 35-28.
Here we break down how ProFootballFocus.com graded the individual efforts within the Raiders’ first loss of the season.
Derek Carr Stays on Track
Raiders third-year quarterback Derek Carr entered the 2016 season as the believed leader of a young, talented team on the cusp of a playoff birth. Despite coming up short against Atlanta, the former Fresno State gunslinger has thrived in his leadership role now in back-to-back games.
Carr, a second-round pick out of Fresno State in the 2014 NFL draft, completed 34 of 45 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in an effort to dig out of the deep hole his defense put him in (we’ll get to them later), earning the highest offensive grade on Oakland’s offense (81.4).
Though he appeared contained at times because of what many see as Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s desire to keep the passing game short, Carr highlighted in his postgame press conference that Atlanta placed an added emphasis on limiting Oakland’s deep passing attack.
Carr especially had success when blitzed, as he completed 12 of 14 pass attempts for 92 yards and two touchdowns when Atlanta brought extra rushers, per PFF.com.
Leading with both his play and his words, Carr still emphasized the level of confidence he has in his defense to turn things around despite their abysmal performance.
"“You know the guy I talk to the most is obviously Khalil [Mack],” Carr said, via Raiders.com. “Obviously just because our friendship. But every time I come off, he’s always there for some reason. That guy is always on one. Bruce [Irvin], Reggie [Nelson], all of those guys are jumping around and getting excited…. These guys, they’re in it. That’s why it’s so easy for me to say, I don’t worry about them. I know how talented they are. I throw against them every day. I say that with such confidence because they pick my balls up. Training camp was so competitive. That’s why I’m not worried at all. Sometimes, there are stretches like that. It’s football. Sometimes it’s like that, but we’ll go back to the drawing board. I’m not worried about it.”"
Regardless of what Carr’s confidence in his defense, Oakland will struggle to pick up wins as the season progresses if their defense doesn’t start picking up at least some of slack.