DETROIT — Derek Carr and the Raiders are falling behind in a forgiving race for an AFC playoff spot.
Carr was held to 169 yards passing and Amari Cooper managed only one reception as the Raiders lost 18-13 to Detroit on Sunday. Oakland remains within striking distance of a wild card, but the Raiders have dropped three in a row and looked inept offensively during a scoreless first half against the Lions.
“That just can’t happen,” Carr said. “We can’t do that to our defense.”
The Raiders (4-6) finished with 214 yards and 13 first downs, both season lows. Their only touchdown came after an interception by Carr was negated by a defensive holding penalty. Oakland led 13-9 before Detroit’s Matthew Stafford ran for a 5-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders gave up a safety with 7:31 remaining when Donald Penn was called for holding in the end zone. The Lions took the ensuing free kick and ran out the remaining time.
Oakland hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2002 season, when the Raiders went to the Super Bowl. They now trail Buffalo (5-4) by 1 1/2 games for the last wild card in the AFC, with the Bills playing Monday night. Oakland can certainly remain in the mix for a postseason spot with a strong finish, but the Raiders dropped a winnable road game Sunday.
“Just not in sync, not operating the way we expect to operate. We had two delay of games, just not showing awareness of the clock,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “Just a little off in some of those situations.”
Oakland had only 91 yards of offense in the first half and trailed 9-0 after two quarters. The Raiders scored early in the third on a 1-yard run by Latavius Murray. That 80-yard drive nearly ended when Carr was intercepted, but a holding call on defensive back Nevin Lawson allowed the Raiders to keep possession.
Sebastian Janikowski made field goals of 48 and 56 yards in the third, but Stafford’s touchdown put the Lions (3-7) back ahead.
After a penalty on a punt forced the Raiders to start at their, Penn was flagged for holding Ziggy Ansah in the end zone, and the safety made the score 18-13.
“We did a lot of soul searching, because we were one of the best defenses in the NFL last year and we weren’t close to that this season,” Detroit defensive lineman Jason Jones said. “We knew we needed to get ourselves back to that level, and I think we’ve done that in the last couple weeks.”
After a free kick, the Lions drive into Oakland territory, and Joique Bell ran for a key conversion on third-and-3 from the 19. After the 2-minute warning, Bell broke free for an 11-yard run that allowed Detroit to kneel out the rest of the clock.
Cooper was targeted four times and caught only one pass.
“I think they tried to roll up on him a little bit. He ended up having just one ball. He dropped a couple,” Del Rio said. “Obviously, he’s a good player for us. We need to find ways to get him more involved. For him to come out of a game with one catch, we’ve got to do a better job there.”
Matt Prater made field goals of 29, 41 and 51 yards for the Lions. The last kick came in the final seconds of the second quarter. Stafford completed a 36-yard pass to Calvin Johnson on third-and-15 to put the Lions in range.