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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr puts weight of loss on own shoulders

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The Sports Xchange
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr warms up to play the New York Jets at the Coliseum in Oakland, California on September 17, 2017. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr warms up to play the New York Jets at the Coliseum in Oakland, California on September 17, 2017. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- With the Denver Broncos on the horizon, Derek Carr didn't see the point in over-analyzing the previous week's debacle against the Washington Redskins.

It was difficult to make any sense of it, given the Oakland Raiders' status as one of the NFL's top offensive teams and failing to convert even a single third-down opportunity.

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The final takeaway?

Stuff happens.

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"You're like, 'What the heck?'" Carr said. "You see the coverages they're playing. They're not disguising anything. The game slowed down. You see where you're going.

"You're putting it where you want to and it's like, 'Why isn't it going our way?'"

Carr said the Raiders had a great week of practice, including their third-down session.

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"There was nothing really I could put a finger on except I just have to come back and work harder," Carr said. "I just have to come back and work harder. Whatever that means, whatever that looks like. ... just try to do it better."

Exactly what that means is hard to fathom, given Carr's level of dedication and the thought of doing more than what would seem humanly possible.

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"My brother always told me when I came in to the league, 'You're going to find something each and every week,'" Carr said of his older brother David. "As much stuff as you can cram into your day, you'll find something to get better. As soon as you don't, stop playing because it's time for you to be done."

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For instance?

"I'm so weird (I wonder) if my notes were too messy. Maybe I need to be more detailed," Carr said. "Maybe I need to write them better. Maybe I need to be cleaner in my preparation. Like anybody, you get punched in the mouth, you have to fight back. If you get hit, you didn't do something right, you have to fight back and figure out what it was."

Carr has played at Mile High Stadium twice before, a 47-14 season-ending loss as a rookie, and a 15-12 win in 2015 on the day when Khalil Mack had five sacks of Brock Osweiler (all in the second half).

In last year's regular-season finale, Carr wasn't there, staying home after surgery to repair a broken right fibula sustained in Week 16 that ended his season. The Raiders lost 24-6 and then were bounced from the playoffs 27-14 in Houston.

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SERIES HISTORY: 114th meeting, Raiders lead series, 61-50-2. Broncos won last meeting 24-6 in Denver in Week 17 last season with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr out with a broken fibula. Matt McGloin started and was injured, replaced by Connor Cook. The loss cost the Raiders the AFC West title, and they lost the following week 27-14 to Houston in the wild-card round with Cook at quarterback. The Raiders won the earlier Week 9 meeting 30-20 in Oakland, rushing for 218 yards, piling up 30 first downs and controlling the clock for 41:28.

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Head coach Jack Del Rio took to Twitter Tuesday morning with a photo of a sunrise as proof positive that the sun indeed came up after what was probably the Raiders' worst performance under his watch.

By Wednesday, he was done rehashing it.

"I'm not really going to reflect much backwards," Del Rio said. "I'm kind of looking to the Broncos and the challenges we have. Be happy to answer anything you have regarding the Broncos and going forward."

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Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper leads the NFL with six dropped passes according to Profootballfocus.com, the most recent a third-and-9 drop with the Raiders trailing 7-0 against Washington that would have converted a first down.

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The Raiders finished 0-for-11 on third down in the game.

Cooper said his issues have to do with something receivers are taught at an early age but some still struggle with.

"Most of the balls that I've dropped have been from the result of trying to run before I actually catch the ball," Cooper said.

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Left tackle Donald Penn, part of an offensive line that had an uncharacteristic bad game a week ago, realizes things could be even more difficult against Von Miller.

"It's hard, very hard. He's a tremendous athlete, tremendous player," Penn said. "We go at it all the time, and I feel like he's getting better. He's looking good on film and we've got our work cut out for us."

Penn plans on getting some in-week help from Khalil Mack, the Raiders' defensive end who edged Miller for the defensive player of the year award.

NOTES: CB Gareon Conley did not practice Wednesday with a shin injury. ... WR Amari Cooper was limited with a knee injury. ... WR Michael Crabtree was limited with a chest injury. ... S Keith McGill was limited with a foot injury. ... RB Jalen Richard was limited with a calf injury.

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