OAKLAND — Five takeaways from the Raiders 24-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night …
1) Derek Carr is a classy dude
Throughout the national anthem, Derek Carr had his right hand rested on the left shoulder of Khalil Mack, as the pair of Oakland Raiders stars stood side-by-side.
For the second time in as many preseason weeks, Marshawn Lynch sat during the anthem, this time he was barricaded by Gatorade coolers along the Raiders bench.
Rookie safety Shalom Luani, a seventh-round pick, knelt for half the anthem before rising to his feet.
2) Carr makes his Coliseum return
For the first time since Christmas Eve, Derek Carr was back on the field for the silver and black. Save for a first-quarter pick hauled in by Trumaine Johnson, Carr was in vintage form.
“Oh my goodness. It was so nice to be out there,” Carr said after the loss. “What a privilege it is to be able to walk back up that ramp [to the locker room] because last time I was here I didn’t get to do that.”
“I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t emotional,” Carr added. “It really was because I was just so thankful.”
On the first series of the night, Carr split a pair of Rams defenders, finding Lee Smith for a 19-yard touchdown connection.
On the first series of the second quarter, the $125-million man flashed again. First, Carr hit Amari Cooper on a 31-yard jump ball, as No. 89 grabbed the pass amid a trio of Rams defenders. That pass-and-catch between AC/DC set up a 13-yard score for Michael Crabtree.
Carr ended his outing going 7-for-9 for 100 yards, throwing two touchdowns and an interception before giving way to EJ Manuel with 2:49 to go in the half.
3) Marshawn’s brief debut
Carr handed off to Marshawn Lynch on the first play from scrimmage. Beast Mode went for six yards — briefly appearing to be on his way to breaking into the secondary.
The Oakland native ran one more time for four yards before disappearing into the locker room to discard his pads. He returned to the sideline to add his beanie and watch the rest of the game.
4) Khalil Mack is still a beast, but that defense …
Midway through the first quarter, reigning DPOY Khalil Mack burst by a pair of Rams and slammed Jared Goff to the grass for a sack and a 10-yard loss.
One series later, Mack narrowly missed another sack of the Rams QB. While Mack was terrorizing the opposing quarterback, per usual, the first-team offense looked dicey.
The showing by the group, which included Sean Smith, arrested on Thursday for felony assault, did not reflect kindly on defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
Goff and the Rams began the night with an 8-play, 85 yard scoring drive, capped off with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp.
The guests then delivered an eight-play, 41-yard scoring drive — facilitated by Carr’s INT — in the closing minutes of the opening quarter.
Against the Raiders ones, Goff went 16-for-20 for 160 passing yards.
5) EJ Manuel throws a dud
EJ Manuel’s first home game in Oakland did not go to plan.
A week after going 10-for-12 for 107 yards in a start against the Arizona Cardinals, the Raiders No. 2 wobbled through a forgettable quarter-plus of action.
Manuel was 3-for-9 against the Rams defenders, totaling 16 yards, good for an average of 1.8 yards per completion.