3 takeaways after Raiders’ preseason loss to Cowboys

Photo via USA Today Sports Images

The Oakland Raiders lost Saturday night’s preseason game to the Dallas Cowboys 24-20.

Like many of Raider Nation would assume, there were many positives on offense, however, major concerns still remain on the defensive side of the football.

Here are The JR Report’s 3 takeaways from Week 3 of the Raiders’ preseason.

[irp posts=”11335″ name=”3 reasons why Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr is worth every penny”]

Photo via Getty Images

Derek Carr…MVP

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr threw for 144 yards and two touchdowns in just under a half of play against a Super Bowl contender. His first half included two magnificent pinpoint strikes to Raiders wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Amari Cooper. His incredible play was honestly sub-par for Carr as he started the game out of sync often over throwing his targets.

The former Bulldog had a nearly flawless game against the Rams adding two more touchdowns and 100 yards passing to his preseason statistics.

It seems that Carr hasn’t lost a step since his fibula injury and looks better than he was in 2016. Oakland offensive coordinator Todd Downing has decided to give Carr even greater control of the offense at the line of scrimmage and it looks like it will pay massive dividends.

The new additions of running back Marshawn Lynch and Jared Cook provide a running back with elite vision and a big tight end target for Carr. Two things he has not had his entire NFL career.

As a result, the recent additions could help Oakland’s offense ascend to the top in the league. Honestly, it isn’t too far-fetched especially with New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman out for the year and the Atlanta Falcons subject to a Super Bowl hangover.

All in all, Carr is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and has shown everyone throughout the preseason why the Raiders missed him so much during Week 17 and the Wild Card playoffs last season.

[irp posts=”12781″ name=”What to do with Raiders CB Sean Smith”]

Photo via AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

Run defense a pleasant surprise

Going into the third preseason game, it was paramount to see how the Oakland defense could handle Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot and their high-powered offensive line.

It would be Oakland’s first big test for the young linebackers on the ground until the regular season kicks off. To Raider Nation’s surprise, the Raiders linebackers held Elliot to just 18 yards on six carries.

It is possible the story would have been different if the teams played a full game. Maybe Elliot would have worn down the Oakland defense and broken a few runs late, but the Raiders held him in check during the short opportunity.

It is still the preseason, so everything will be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, the Oakland defense showed that they could and have the potential to stop the run. They just need to figure out how to communicate and fill gaps on a consistent basis.

Remember, the Raiders defense was trending in the right direction before Carr got hurt. If they keep that trend the same, then the Oakland defense will be a completely different story in 2017.

[irp posts=”12806″ name=”Crimson Tide vs. Seminoles: CFB opener of the century”]

Aug 26, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) on the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback, tight ends continue to wreak havoc

While it was good to see the Raiders stop the run with their first team, they still struggled mightily to cover the tight end and stop Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott looked almost unstoppable at times going 11/14 for 113 yards and one touchdown. Moreover, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten had six catches for 74 yards and one score, all in less than a half of play.

Every season Oakland is letting tight ends slip down the seam for big gains. It was no different last night and will not be any different this season unless Raiders safety Obi Melifonwu has a splendid rookie season. He looked good in his limited time on Saturday, but a preseason game is much different from any live regular season action.

Also, it is hard to forget the Oakland defense made Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff look like an All-Pro, which is hard to do, for the former Cal Bear threw for 160 yards and one touchdown against the Raiders in limited time.

Hopefully, the return of Melifonwu and cornerback Gareon Conley will help suffocate tight ends and move cornerback Sean Smith into a smaller role with Conley taking more reps.

If both rookies can’t stay healthy, Oakland’s pass defense could be worrisome, especially against tight ends.


Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

5 Oakland Raiders who will be undervalued in Fantasy Football

Photo via Joe Robbins, Getty Images

With NFL training camp just around the corner, everyone’s fantasy drafts are just weeks away.

Here is an in-depth look at five Oakland Raiders who will be undervalued in Fantasy Football for the upcoming season, so Raider Nation can win their fantasy league while still being able to root for their favorite players on Sundays.

Photo via Getty Images

No. 5, QB Derek Carr

ESPN PPR ranking: No. 10 Quarterback, No. 109 overall

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, shown by his team’s pathetic display without him and his new five-year $125 million extension.

Continue reading “5 Oakland Raiders who will be undervalued in Fantasy Football”

Raiders’ Derek Carr AFC’s No. 2 best deep ball thrower

Photo via Sporting News

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was the No. 2 best deep-ball thrower in the AFC during 2016, per Pro Football Focus.

Carr had an impressive passer rating of 117.6 that helped him leapfrog Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, but placed him just behind New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

With the addition of Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, teams will have to load the box to stop the run. Therefore, it should open up the field for Carr to take more shots deep and improve his already great passer rating of 117.6.

[irp posts=”11224″ name=”Raiders’ Amari Cooper’s best plays from his career”]

In addition, Oakland has added speedy Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson who can take the top off the defense. There is also Raiders tight end Jared Cook who will look stretch the field down the middle.

Not to mention, Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper will be entering his third season and is expected to take a giant step.

Without a doubt, Carr and the weapons around him are only going to be better in 2017.

With that being said, Carr will have a great shot to overtake Brady for the No. 1 spot next season. Maybe him jumping Brady as the best deep ball thrower will also help Oakland jump the Patriots as the No. 1 team in the AFC.

WATCH: Raiders’ exciting day off at go-cart track

Photo via Terry Schmitt/UPI

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


The Oakland Raiders have wrapped up their offseason workouts and won’t be on the field again until training camp later this summer.

Instead of practicing one day last week, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio decided to have the players focus on team bonding. The team went to an indoor go-cart track and had a competitive race in which Raiders quarterback Derek Carr finished first.

The entire experience can be seen below, thanks to Oakland’s official Twitter account.

[irp posts=”11171″ name=”Raiders’ Karl Joseph: ‘Night and day. . . from now to last year'”]

The video starts out with Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson narrating the race and adding his excited input.

Carr just beat out Raiders running back Taiwan Jones for first place and decided to rub it in to his fellow teammates, including Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack.

Carr even decided to run a victory lap after holding up the checkered race flag.

[irp posts=”11181″ name=”Mack, Hudson, Osemele 3 best Raiders from 2016 per PFF”]

In the end, it was a smart move by Del Rio to take the day off. People often overlook how important team bonding is to success and it is not a mistake that Oakland won so many closes games last season.