Under pressure: Sacks rise for Carr behind hurt Raiders line
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — After taking a career-high seven sacks behind a decimated Oakland Raiders offensive line, Derek Carr got a phone call from someone who knows just what that’s like to being repeatedly hit by bruising NFL defensive linemen.
Big brother David, who was sacked an NFL-record 76 times in 2002, offered some words of consolation.
“It’s not that bad,” Derek Carr said Wednesday. “It’s not that bad, my guys are awesome. The thing about him is there were times where they would have the right guys blocked, they just physically couldn’t do it. At least our guys fight, we have that going for us. He did mess with me a little bit, but no, it’s not like, ‘Oh man, how do you deal with this or that?’ It’s not like that at all.”
The situation in Oakland definitely isn’t on the level it was for the expansion Houston Texans, but it’s been a major drop-off from the solid protection Carr earned for most of his first four seasons.
Carr has already been sacked 24 times halfway through the season for the Raiders (1-7), a mark he has topped only once in an entire season in his first four seasons. His sack rate has doubled from 3.9 percent of pass plays his first four years — lowest in the NFL among players with more than 25 starts during that span — to 7.8 percent this year and he’s facing pressure at a much higher rate than he has in the past.
“It’s hard, there’s sometimes it’s gotten that way and it’s not a knock on those guys,” Carr said. “They’re trying their tail off. We have some young guys trying to play, we have our veteran guys who dominate and they’re great players, but we have some young guys that are just getting their feet wet against the best players in the world.
“It’s not easy for them. For me, I’ve always been one, I try to make it seven-on-seven as much as you can. There’s never a time where you’re ever looking down, you just try and feel things, move and make throws. You try and do it and as it’s happening you don’t notice it until you turn the film on like, ‘Oh, we can maybe adjust this or adjust that’ kind of a thing.”
Injuries on the line have played a big role with right tackle Donald Penn being placed on injured reserve following a Week 4 win against Cleveland. Rookie Brendan Parker has struggled since replacing Penn and had to be pulled for part of the game last week against the 49ers.
Rookie left tackle Kolton Miller also hurt his knee in that game against the Browns and has been in and out of the lineup. He has been hampered even when he has played and came out against the 49ers because the injury got too bad. The Raiders averaged more than 11 yards a play in the first six plays against San Francisco before the offense sputtered after Miller first got hurt.
The decimated line has hampered the play-calling and Carr did not complete a single pass more than 10 yards downfield in losses to Seattle and San Francisco the past three games. He was sacked 13 times combined in those games.
“No doubt it affects him,” coach Jon Gruden said. “It affects any quarterback. … I’m not going to make any excuses. I think Derek is doing some good things. It does make things difficult when you have the amount of injuries that we have had.”