The start of the Las Vegas Raiders’ season did not go as many had hoped as they came up short in their season opener to the Los Angeles Chargers, 24-19. One of the biggest reasons for the loss was the Raiders losing the turnover battle 3-0 thanks to three interceptions from quarterback Derek Carr.
Aside from that, the teams were relatively even offensively, with the Chargers holding a slight advantage in total yards and time of possession. The Raiders were also hurt by the six sacks the Chargers collected, while the Raiders failed to get Justin Herbert down once.
Nonetheless, it was the turnovers that were the focus after the game, with head coach Josh McDaniels stating that the team will need to get to work on fixing that issue.
“It doesn’t matter what type of turnovers they are, you’re just giving the other team extra opportunities to do something with the ball,” McDaniels said. “We’re going to have to look at each one of them and we’ll evaluate them. I thought they made a few good plays on the ball, obviously, but before you can win, you have to figure out how to not lose the game. That starts with turnovers and not giving up big plays. We’re going to need to go back to work and fix some of that.”
Only one of Carr’s three interceptions led directly to Chargers points, but it was a big one. Late in the second quarter, Carr was picked off by linebacker Drue Tranquill who returned it 20 yards. Just two plays later, Herbert found DeAndre Carter in the end zone, allowing the Chargers to go into the locker room with a 14-point halftime lead.
Carr took the blame for his mistakes, believing he was too aggressive at times when he didn’t need to be. “We did too many good things, and I was way too aggressive,” Carr added. “We came in with an aggressive mindset, especially with all the weapons that we have. That’s on me, the decisions to be too aggressive in certain moments.”
“To [Davante Adams] in the endzone, he beat his guy and the guy when I threw it, just fell off, and that kind of crap is going to happen sometimes,” Carr said. “I could have made a better throw maybe, just be better there, but I think we showed signs of doing some stuff really well. It’s on me when I’m trying to be too aggressive and force it to [Darren] Waller down the middle. Trying to bomb it to [Adams], or just trying to jam it into him to get a couple of extra yards. I mean, just throw it away. That is the type of stuff I will learn from and just need to be better for our team.”
There were undoubtedly some positives as Carr did throw for two touchdowns as well while throwing for 295 yards overall. Nearly half of those came to his newest weapon as DaVante Adams was everything he was cracked up to be, bringing in 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.
But if the Raiders plan on making a run this season, they will have to clean up those mistakes, and both McDaniels and Carr know it.