Del Rio reflects on first Raiders win

After the Raiders coaching staff reviewed the film from Oakland’s 37-33 win over the Ravens, they had several takeaways.

One of the big ones was worth a smile, at least, from Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, who praised Derek Carr and the offense for the 448 yard day that included 10 different players combining for 30 receptions:

“I love to see the productivity of the offense. Moving the ball, scoring points, answering challenges. I just thought they did a really nice job yesterday of moving the football, of executing the game plan. A lot of factors went into it. The line play was talked about. I think the unselfish play by our wideouts was part of it.”

Oakland has allowed one sack in two games this season according to the box score, though the sack was Carr being chased out-of-bounds for no gain. Del Rio doesn’t consider that a sack.

Neither do most football people.

Del Rio also praised the blocking from his starting tight end:

Lee Smith was rugged in there, helping open up some passing lanes and helping keep people off our quarterback as well. I just think you saw opportunities that were taken advantage of yesterday, and we just want to build on that.”

Running back Latavius Murray ran for 65 yards on 15 carries, and had a nice hard charging run into the paint for six points.

Murray’s 4.3 yards per carry was welcome against a stout front that Baltimore owns, a unit well-respected for their defense since the turn of the century.

The film session wasn’t without its moments of discontentment, though, and really never is. Oakland allowed nearly 500 yards of total offense against a group reeling from injuries and without a few key contributors.

Del Rio thinks the pass rush took a step forward, but wasn’t entirely pleased with the back-end of his defense:

“They really wanted to make sure that the game didn’t get disrupted by our two outside guys, so they spent a lot of time with doubles and chips and things. We’ve got to be able to take advantage of that other places.”

Cornerback T.J. Carrie seemed to take another step forward and the seventh round pick from 2014 is impressing with his tremendous transition from his backpedal, along with his anticipation.

Throws in Carrie’s direction resulted in a 61.0 passer rating on the day, according to Pro Football Focus, which would be even more impressive if not for a 22 yard reception from perennial overachiever Steve Smith.

There were some major negatives on the day, though, as defensive end Denico Autry and linebacker Curtis Lofton both made Pro Football Focus’ worst players at each position list.

On the bright side, left guard Gabe Jackson and receiver Michael Crabtree made the best players at each position list.

Del Rio said:

“I thought Michael Crabtree had a phenomenal game. It’s not just catching the ball. He made some unbelievable catches in clutch situations, but the unselfishness, the way he blocked on the perimeter. Just really, really terrific on his part.”

Crabtree caught nine of 16 targets, all of the catchable balls went for receptions, adding 111 yards and a score. Rookie Amari Cooper caught seven passes for 109 yards, including a 68 yard touchdown.

Del Rio said the group is turning their attention forward to Cleveland, and looking to win a road game for the first time since 2013. Oakland will likely be facing sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel, who started his first game this weekend.

Said Del Rio:

“I think you go on with that mentality of us against the world, and go in there with a chip on your shoulder and play good, hard, tough football. We’re working hard to build that here. This will be our first opportunity to travel and see if we can take care of business.”


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.