The Raiders needed a win so, so bad. They played terrible football during a two-game losing streak and then traded Amari Cooper after returning from a bye. So, suffice to say, the Silver and Black took some heat.
But a victory could’ve diverted talk of tanking and fire sales for one day at least, giving this hard-luck fan base a point of pride.
The Silver and Black weren’t able to do that Sunday, losing to the Indianapolis Colts 42-28 at the Coliseum.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Raiders' latest loss, which dropped them to 1-6:
Carr on target
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was put through the ringer this week, dealing with unsubstantiated trade rumors and a report stating that he had lost the locker room after two dismal performances.
The embattled signal-caller was bothered by all the talk, but he shut it out Sunday and played an excellent game. He was 21-of-28 passing for 244 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored his first career rushing TD.
Kudos should also go to the Raiders offensive line, which protected Carr well after two disastrous showings against the Seahawks and Chargers.
The Fresno State product kept the offense rolling in a game tight down the stretch, one were consistent scoring was mandatory.
Carr hung tough in the pocket and took some shots while delivering one strike after another in what might have been his best performance of the season.
It came in a losing effort, which negates much good that was done by the Raiders quarterback.
Tight ends kill Raiders defense
The Raiders hadn’t faced a dominant tight end all season. They should’ve considered themselves lucky. The Colts have several quality tight ends, and used them to great effect against a defense that has long struggled covering that position group.
Andrew Luck threw touchdowns to three different tight ends in this game, which kept the Colts’ scoring steady throughout the game.
The Colts scored on four straight possessions in the second half, thanks in large part to Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron and Mo Alie-Cox. Doyle led the way with six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, though the Raiders struggled to cover any tight end consistently well.
Coverage can be easily blamed, but the Raiders had no pass rush to speak of and hit Andrew Luck one time all day. Once. A quarterback of Luck’s caliber will carve a defense while playing without pressure, especially when exploiting matchups involving a trio of solid tight ends.
Doug Martin revs up, then coughs it up
Doug Martin has been a feature running back every year except this one, from high school to college to the pros. He signs as Marshawn Lynch’s backup in Oakland, a role that brought some frustration and a depressed carry count.
He’s the main man now, with Lynch on injured reserve with a groin injury. He was ready for the increased workload and steamrolled to 72 yards on 13 carries. Martin had 17 receiving yards, bringing more stability to the backfield than expected after Lynch went down.
Lynch, however, is known for ball security. The Raiders needed that late in this one. Martin lost a fumble with roughly five minutes left, a brutal turn that put the Raiders down for good in a game they absolutely could’ve won.
That one play negates a lot of good done by Martin in this game, which will be a frustrating turn for someone trying to spark a career renaissance in Oakland.