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Jon Gruden: Pin Raiders' recent miscues on me

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ALAMEDA — When safety Tyrann Mathieu drifted to his right and intercepted Derek Carr’s pass intended for Darren Waller in the first quarter Sunday, it was almost as if he knew what was coming.

Following the Chiefs’ 40-9 win over the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium, Mathieu said he read the play based on what he saw before the ball was snapped.

“We knew that when (he) did take shots down the field, we were able to understand it pre-snap by the formation,” Mathieu said.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden, the man who designs the offense and calls the plays, didn’t seem upset Monday by Mathieu’s assertion.

“Hopefully I can get a copy of his tip sheet,” Gruden said at his weekly press conference. “You’re going to hear stuff like that here and there. If they had something on us, that’s another reflection of me. But I’ve got a lot of pride in our preparation and we’ll just have to leave it at that.”

With the Raiders losing their second straight game by 31 points, coming one week after a 34-3 road loss to the New York Jets, Gruden spent much of his post-mortem accepting blame for everything that’s gone wrong with his team falling to 6-6 with the Tennessee Titans (7-5) up next Sunday at the Coliseum.

Penalties

“Twelve penalties to none. I’ve never heard of that stat before,” Gruden said. “It’s a reflection of me and we’re going to get better at that.”

Particularly bothersome to Gruden are the pre-snap and post-play penalties, which accounted for half of the Raiders’ total of 12 penalties for 99 yards. Four were either false starts or neutral-zone infractions and there were a pair of unnecessary roughness calls.

“We just did address it again today. Pre-snap, post-snap ... I’m not going to stand for that, we’re not going to stand for that and our players don’t stand for that,” Gruden said.

Receivers not getting open?

“I’ve got to do a better job, we’ve got to do a better job of getting them better looks and getting them involved in the game, no question,” Gruden said. “I put that on myself.”

Turnovers and miscues

“The miscues have hurt us,” Gruden said. “It’s been a big factor, I think, in the last couple weeks. That’s something I’ve got to do a much better job of. I’m the man calling the plays.”

The failed fourth-and-1 jet sweep to Trevor Davis while trailing 7-0 in the second quarter?

“I think (Juan) Thornhill, the safety, made a great play, one-on-one in space,” Gruden said. “You try and create some opportunities where you can fool ‘em completely and you can keep running ... that’s a play that obviously was a big turning point in the game and it’s another one that I called.”

Davis cut, Lee promoted

Besides the fourth-and-1 play, Davis also lost a kickoff on a fumble after brushing against Dallin Leavitt. It turned out to be Davis’ last game. The former Alhambra High and Cal receiver was waived to make room for linebacker Marquel Lee. Lee has been practicing during a 21-day window while on injured reserve.

The Raiders acquired Davis from the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 19 in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.

Davis was used extensively on arrival at receiver but has been almost exclusively a return specialist for the past five games.

Jalen Richard took over as the kickoff return specialist for Davis during the Chiefs game and will continue in that role. Candidates to return punts include Richard, Rico Gafford and Keisean Nixon.

Shouldering the load

Running back Josh Jacobs has been listed with a shoulder injury since being injured early on Oct. 20 against Green Bay, although there’s never been any doubt about him playing.

“He’s fighting through a shoulder himself,” Gruden said. “He hurt his shoulder in the Green Bay game, so we’ve tried to be smart with him. What a great competitor he is and he’s going to be one of the best complete backs in all of football, I believe.”

Jacobs revealed the shoulder is in fact fractured on Snapchat: “It’s been fractured since Week 7. I just play on it.”

After his first carry against Green Bay, Jacobs left the field briefly, and Gruden said at the time he took a pain-killing injection and returned.

Through 12 games, Jacobs is fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,061 yards on 201 carries.

He hasn’t been spotted in a sling or any sort of protective device in the locker room since the injury.

Defending Derek

After Carr had two game-altering interceptions in the second quarter, Gruden credited Mathieu with the first one and conceded his quarterback could have come off Tyrell Williams on the second, which was returned 46 yards for a touchdown by Thornhill for a 21-0 Chiefs lead.

But Gruden wasn’t interested in getting any deeper into Carr’s struggles in the last two weeks as the Raiders have produced one touchdown, four field goal attempts, nine punts, three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), one lost fumble and twice lost the ball on downs in 20 possessions.

“I’m not going to sit here and criticize my quarterback,” Gruden said. “He’s done a lot of good things. He’s competing and he’s performed very well with a lot of moving parts. And if you think that’s easy, then you’re mistaken. I compliment him for his competitiveness, his preparation and his ability to compete each week.”

Sticking to the plan

Lost amid the 31-point deficit was the Raiders’ ability to shut down the Chiefs’ big plays, which were myriad in the 28-10 win by Kansas City in Week 2 in Oakland. Other than a 47-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs had no plays over 20 yards. It was the first of the 27 starts by Patrick Mahomes where he didn’t have a completion of 20 yards or more in the first half.

Part of it was the weather, and part of it was the Raiders not allowing receivers to get loose behind them.

“We really did a good job, I think, of trying to keep the ball in front of us,” Gruden said. “They missed a couple of opportunities down the field, but give our guys credit — they tried to keep the ball in front against a lot of really good receivers and a great quarterback.”

Notes

Karl Joseph, with his right foot in a boot, said he underwent Lisfranc surgery and expects to be ready to go by training camp. Joseph is scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

The Raiders have been outscored by 87 points this season en route to a 6-6 record, and 71 of those points of have come in the third quarter, where opponents have a 91-20 advantage.

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