Second Quarter (Weeks 5-8)
The second quarter of the Raiders’ 2017 NFL season did not start well and it did end horribly. Manuel had to start in Week 5 versus the Baltimore Ravens. Though Carr would return in Week 6 versus the Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland would only go 1-3 during the second quarter of the season, entering the halfway point at 3-5.
Not to say that Manuel played horribly in place of Carr in Week 5, but his accuracy issues and horrendous play by the Oakland secondary made Joe Flacco look elite again, as his team beat the Raiders, 30-17. The game was over almost as soon as tight end Jared Cook fumbled on Oakland’s first possession to make it 14-10 Baltimore.
Carr did come back in Week 6 versus the Chargers, but the offense wasn’t strong enough to beat Los Angeles in Oakland. This was a low-scoring affair, but it would be the Chargers who would come out on top 17-16 on a game-winning field goal by Nick Novak as time expired. Oakland had lost its fourth game in a row to fall to 2-4 on the year.
That was a bleak few days between Weeks 6 and 7. Oakland had to face the 5-1 arch rival Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football at home. This was when rumors of Del Rio’s job security first started to surface. Oakland had to win this game to keep the staff intact and save its sinking season. Carr played his best game ever against Kansas City, as the Raiders won a great game on a Michael Crabtree touchdown grab as time expired, 31-30. Though the Jets’ effort was more complete, this was the Raiders’ most thrilling win for sure.
So did having 10 days to get ready for the Buffalo Bills help? Absolutely not. Keep in mind that Marshawn Lynch was suspended for the Week 8 game in Orchard Park for shoving an official on Thursday Night Football. Buffalo buzz sawed the Raiders, as Carr and running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington lived to turn the ball over on that October morning. The Bills slaughtered Oakland 34-14, knocking the Raiders back to 3-5 on the year.