NFL Wire News

Raiders’ Carr moves into fast lane against Chargers


The Sports Xchange

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Quarterback Derek Carr enjoyed his best game of the year Sunday.

In the Oakland Raiders’ 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers, Carr passed for 289 and three touchdowns — 96 of those passing yards coming on two remarkable connections with rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper.

On the first, Carr completed a 44-yard pass deep into San Diego territory into double coverage, with Cooper high-pointing the ball and coming down with it over Jimmy Wilson.

“That was a total ‘please catch it’ kind of deal,” Carr said.

Said Oakland coach Jack Del Rio: “It was third-and-long, Derek gave him the shot — we call those 50-50 balls. When you have a player that has the ability Amari has, maybe it’s a little better odds than that.”

A 52-yard bubble screen for a touchdown was a Cooper romp through the San Diego defense, with his final cut leaving Wilson falling to the ground.

“It was just a perfect play,” Cooper said. “When I caught the ball I saw I had a lot of room. I began to stumble, and when I got my footing back, I saw the guys coming and I just made some moves on them.”

–The Raiders are last in the NFL in pass defense in terms of yards allowed at 303.8 per game, but the figure is deceiving at least where the Chargers game is concerned.

“We played well. I think our corners played real well on the edges,” safety Charles Woodson said. “Linebackers were making tackles on intermediate routes. This is one of those games where you fly around and things are clicking on all sides of the ball.”

Cornerback DJ Hayden, who had his first interception of the season, was essentially given a vote of confidence during the week by defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who noted Hayden’s improved play.

“That means a lot. It means he believes in me,” Hayden said. “I believe in myself. Now we’ve just got to go out there and work.”

–Running back Latavius Murray responded well to a week off with 85 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. He led a rushing attack that averaged 5.0 yards per carry.

“The guys were just moving people up front and getting us to the second level,” Murray said. “It starts there, and they really did a good job.”‘

Murray leads the Raiders with 421 rushing yards on 95 carries.

NOTES: Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., who started for Justin Tuck (out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle), played 57 snaps and contributed two tackles, a quarterback hit and a deflected pass. … Wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught six passes for 65 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown. He is tied with Amari Cooper for the team lead with 33 receptions. … Linebacker Neiron Ball played 18 snaps in his first start before leaving with a knee injury of undetermined severity that will necessitate an MRI. … Running back Taiwan Jones gained 35 yards on three carries, caught two passes for 17 yards and returned a kickoff 32 yards. … Linebacker Malcolm Smith played 85 of 90 snaps and finished with 11 tackles, a sack and an interception.

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