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3 Takeaways from the Raiders, Chargers

On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders played their best game of the season. The problem was, it wasn’t enough as the team lost to the San Diego Chargers 31-28. It was a brutal way for the Raiders to lose late in the fourth quarter to a AFC West rival. Let’s take a look at a some of the key points from the yesterday’s close defeat

 

  1. Derek Carr showed he is the future at quarterback

Whatever doubts people might have had about Carr being the Raiders’ quarterback of the future was dismissed after yesterday. The former Fresno State Bulldog finished 18/32 for 282 yards and threw for four touchdowns. The last time an NFL rookie threw for that many scores was Seattle’s Russell Wilson in 2012.

If you watched the entire game, you had to be impressed with Carr’s intangibles and mechanics. The rookie placed the ball perfectly to the Raiders receivers on several occasions.

Carr benefited from intern head coach Tony Sparano’s decision to open up the offense. Prior to Sunday, Oakland hadn’t scored more than 14 points in any game this season.

While the Raiders still may have the top pick in next May’s next NFL Draft, Carr showed why the team won’t be selecting a quarterback in round one.

  1. The Raiders Can Run The Ball

For the first time this season, the Raiders were able to run the ball effectively. Running backs Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew combined for 110 yards on the day. In the team’s first four games, the Raiders only averaged 61.5 yards per game.

If McFadden and Jones-Drew can give the Raiders some type of a respectable running game, that will continue to open up the passing attack.

  1. While the loss stings, Oakland should be proud of the way they played

In the Raiders first four games, they didn’t really seem to have an identity. The offense wasn’t playing well and the Raiders defense only played well against the New England Patriots. For the first time this season, the Raiders had a legit chance to win a football game.

The defense, in particular the secondary gave up a number of big plays. While the defense wasn’t very good, how many people believed the Raiders could win prior to the start of the game? They damn near beat arguably the best team in the AFC.

Oakland has 11 games left in the season. No they aren’t making the playoffs, but if the Raiders perform similarly to the way they did on Sunday, they will win a few football games before the end of 2014. You have to give kudos to Sparano and his coaching staff for their game-plan against a very good Chargers team.

 

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