The Oakland Raiders’ disappointing season might have reached its nadir during Thursday’s 34-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s hard to imagine the season getting any worse based on the multitude of struggles the Raiders encountered against what was a one-win team starting an undrafted second-year quarterback taking his first NFL snaps.
With Oakland’s season in disarray and everyone on the roster seemingly expendable in coach Jon Gruden’s ongoing draft pick harvest, quarterback Derek Carr wants to make it clear he’s not giving up.
"Who really wants to turn this thing around? Who really wants to do the hard things that no one wants to do? It’s easy to say, ‘I’d rather do it somewhere else.’ That’s easy," Carr said. "I think we figure that out, and going forward we find out who’s a Raider, honestly. I love this place, and I’m not going anywhere. So I’m in for the long haul, and I want to see the men step up and say, ‘I want to do that too.’"
The Raiders’ motley crew of castoffs and past-their-prime veterans looked lost against the 49ers. The banged-up offensive line gave up eight sacks — the most Oakland has allowed since Week 6 of the 2013 season. In addition, the Raiders gave 405 total yards en route to suffering their fourth consecutive loss and their biggest point-margin loss since 2014.
Oakland has allowed a league-worst 31.5 points per game this season and the 252 points its allowed is the second most in franchise history through eight games, per NFL Research. Conversely, its only scored three points in two of its last three games.
Carr understands the Raiders are writhing in the Black Hole of mediocrity, but he wants to keep fighting.
"I think just that dog inside of you. When things suck, just to still fight," Carr said. "I know that I’ve got some guys I want to put in the foxhole with me, and there’s a lot of ’em. So going forward, when I look at each man in the eye — I tell them before each game, ‘you’re going to get everything I have.’ I tell them that every time — so I want to make sure when I look in everybody’s eyes going forward that’s the same thing."
While Gruden took responsibility for the team’s dreadful performance and engaged in the typical postgame coachspeak about wanting to turn things around, it’s clear he has one eye transfixed on the future. He expanded on his comments to FOX Sports’ Howie Long from earlier in the week regarding players he knows who are "dying" to join the Raiders.
"I see players after every game that want to be Raiders," Gruden said. "That’s been the case my entire life. I think the brand of the Raiders is an exciting one, and I think a lot of players do want to play for us in the future."
"The Oakland Raiders is a great organization. I know it’s not looking pretty right now. I’ve heard a lot of negativity over the last six or seven months, and rightfully so. But we’re going to build a championship football team here. I know a lot of people as players, as fans, just in general, want to be a part of this."
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