Derek Carr had gone two games without throwing an interception this season.
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Washington capitalized on Carr’s two interceptions, scoring on each en route to a 27-10 victory over the Raiders.
“We got our butts kicked,” Carr said. “Hats off to Washington. They came out with a great plan, played well and they got after us. There’s no going around it. They played better than us and they won. I have to take care of the ball better and I will. This isn’t alarming, but we did get punched in the mouth.”
Carr hadn’t thrown two interceptions since Week 15 in 2015 against the Green Bay Packers. Last season, Carr threw just six interceptions.
Carr completed 19 of 26 for 118 yards with a passer rating 52.9 and was sacked four times.
On the second play of the game, he threw a deep ball intended for Amari Cooper that was intercepted by Montae Nicholson at the Washington 33-yard line. The Redskins then scored eight plays later on Kirk Cousins’ 22-yard pass to Chris Thompson.
“We had so many errors besides one play,” Carr said. “That’s just me being too aggressive and it’s something we’ve talked about. Sometimes I just want to give guys a chance, even if it doesn’t look pretty. I take the full blame for what the offense looked like. All of that was on me. Every one bit of it.”
Coach Jack Del Rio didn’t sugar coat his evaluation, either.
“I mean, we’ve obviously seen him play at a real high level,” Del Rio said. “Tonight wasn’t one of those nights. It started on the second play of the game, and it just kind of unraveled from there. We didn’t get a lot done with our offense and he’s the trigger man, makes it all go.”
Carr had exercised patience in the first two games, with his longest completion being a 39-yard dumpoff to Jalen Richard as he worked mid-range passes without forcing the ball downfield.
That ended early against Washington.
“I have to take better care of the ball – that’s an old thing,” Carr said. “If I feel like, ‘Oh, we need a play or a spark, I can do it.’ I have to calm myself down a little bit.”
Later, Carr did it again, forcing a pass downfield to Seth Roberts in double coverage. Again the turnover preceded a Washington touchdown.
Carr was 5 of 10 for 32 yards and the two interceptions in the first half. No gain was longer than 9 yards. If Carr hadn’t completed a flurry of short throws toward the end of the game, he wouldn’t have reached 100 yards. The Raiders were 0-for-11 on third down.
“Getting off the field on third down, it gives (their defense) life,” Carr said. “That just sucked. You see something like that and it’s alarming – like my goodness – because our third down practice (went) really well. It just goes back to some days are like that and people have got to realize that.”
Although Carr wanted to take all the blame, it’s also true pass protection was spotty (he was sacked four times) and the Raiders couldn’t mount a decent running game.
Carr, who stood for the national anthem and apparently recited prayer while many teammates sat or took a knee, was asked if he thought the protest served as a distraction.
“I hope not, to be honest,” Carr said. “I really hope not. It didn’t distract my mind. … I really hope not but you never know. You don’t know what’s going on in everybody’s head and all those things, but for me it did not.”
The loss served as a reminder of how quickly things can go south in the NFL even for an offense which was considered one of the best in the league.
“You never want anything like this to happen, obviously,” Carr said. “But you get punched in the mouth and you really get to find out what you’re about. I’ve been through too much in my life to let this game bring me down or change what I do. And so it’s definitely not going to change our team but its a reminder that any time, any day, anyone can get after your tail if you don’t come in and show up.”
The (San Jose) Mercury News contributed