Gruden keeps faith in Carr after dismal showing

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr started off hot Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams.

Carr completed 20 of 24 passes for 199 yards with an interception as the Raiders went into halftime with a 13-10 lead, but the wheels came off in the second half.

The Raiders' signal-caller didn't complete a pass on three attempts in the third quarter, and then completed 9 of 13 passes for 104 yards and two interceptions as the Rams put up 23 straight points to win 33-13.

Nevertheless, Raiders coach Jon Gruden maintained faith in Carr despite the night-and-day showing.

"We put a lot into it, we put a lot of time into this," Gruden told reporters Tuesday. "I thought he was on his way in the first half. He was 20 of 24, there were some good things."

The Raiders head coach also offered a humorous take on what might have happened to the offense in the second half.

"I heard a skunk got loose in our tunnel," Gruden said. "I think that's what screwed us up a little bit. But I don't have any doubts that Derek Carr is going to be great and I can't wait to get started and get ready for the Broncos ... Knowing how good Derek is, it gives us hope that we can get it all solved."

To be clear, Carr's starting job isn't in danger any time soon. His second-half output, however, added misery to the loss and there was more to Raiders' woes outside of the offense.

After the game, Gruden pointed to the inability to stop the run and the lack of a pass rush as Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns.

The Raiders managed just one sack and two quarterback hits on Goff despite his 33 pass attempts, and one can't help but wonder how different those statistics would have been if Oakland didn't trade Khalil Mack.

If the thought crossed Gruden's mind, he certainly didn't let on. But better production from Carr in Week 2 could go a long way in helping the Raiders move on from losing Mack.

A repeat performance from the season-opening loss on both fronts against the Broncos, however, would cast a wider spotlight.