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Three takeaways from Raiders loss in Denver

Raiders offense stymied, Carr injured in 16-10 defeat

John Dickinson
October 01, 2017 - 5:34 pm

The Raiders are up against it already in the division race

The AFC West was widely believed to be one of the toughest divisions in football heading into the season. After four games for the Raiders and with Kansas City scheduled to host Washington on Monday night, the AFC West is living up to the billing and the Raiders path to a title may be getting more difficult by the week.

The Raiders head home for the next three games and trail the Chiefs by 1.5 games (2 if KC wins tonight) and have slipped a game back of the Broncos in the standings with a head-to-head loss. Denver has played three out of four at home while the Raiders have played three out of four away from the Coliseum and the two will meet again in Oakland on November 26.

The Chiefs look as good as advertised through three games and already have a win at New England in hand. The Broncos, who will host the Patriots later in the season, appear to be better than I thought thanks to their improved run defense. The Raiders have a neutral site game against the Patriots in Mexico City. The Pats defense has struggled but you’d think they’d improve as the season moves on.

Injuries at key positions a concern

Derek Carr’s injury appears to not be too serious although it was odd that Jack Del Rio told reporters it was “back spasms” only to have Mike Silver of NFL Network report later it was a “knee to the kidney which caused numbness in his legs” but that Carr should be fine for next Sunday against the Ravens.

As I noted last week, the Raiders go as Carr does and even though EJ Manuel looked like the best backup the Raiders have had in over a decade, if Carr had to miss significant time there are few teams in the league Oakland would be favored against.

The Raiders also need to get Michael Crabtree (chest) back as soon as possible. With the run game getting stuffed and Crabtree not available the Raiders multitude of weapons thinned fast and the Raiders explosive offense looked completely different.

David Amerson is back in the concussion protocol and Garson Conley sat out with a shin injury. The Raiders defensive line has played well. Their linebackers haven’t been terrible but the secondary is still a concern even at full strength. Missing possibly two of their top three corners would be significant with Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith the next three QB’s the Raiders will face.

The Raiders also need to get Michael Crabtree (chest) back as soon as possible. A

Cooper still M.I.A.

All eyes were on Amari Cooper going up against the Broncos “no fly zone” secondary with Michael Crabtree out of Sunday’s game with a chest injury.

Cooper couldn’t come through, looking for most of the game like he wasn’t even on the field while going up against Aquib Talib and Bradley Roby. Cooper was targeted eight times and caught two passes for nine yards and had his NFL leading seventh drop of the season in four games.

The Raiders still need more from 89.

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