ALAMEDA -- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr launched a pass toward the end zone’s back left corner, trying to connect with Martavis Bryant on a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Xavien Howard stole possession instead. The Miami cornerback intercepted his second Carr pass of the day, and was an integral as any in the Dolphins’ 28-20 victory over the visiting Raiders.
Carr said Sunday night that it was a decision he would make again based on the matchup and Bryant’s ability to secure passes in the air.
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Raiders coach Jon Gruden might not agree, especially with the pass coming on first down and other opportunities had that pass fallen incomplete or been thrown away.
“I thought we were too aggressive,” Gruden said in his Monday press conference. “I think at times he is trying too hard. We will talk about that extensively here in the next couple of hours, but I thought he played really good under some very tough circumstances. I think sometimes he needs to learn a little bit more patience, and I think he will.
“I’m really excited about the way he has played and improved and mastered this offense. We are getting closer. That was a painful turnover. We will address that, and we will make the corrections.”
Gruden believes without doubt that Carr will thrive in his system and find balance between playing it safe and pushing the ball down field.
Carr has completed 76.6 percent of his passes through three games for 936 yards. That’s good. Having five interceptions and just two touchdown passes isn’t ideal at this stage.
“I think we need to clean up the turnover ratio, No. 1,” Gruden said. “I think when you throw for 80 percent basically in three games for almost 1,000 yards, that’s as good as I’ve ever been associated with.”
Turnovers, however, are a problem in general. They sport a minus-4 turnover ratio, with one takeaway to Carr’s five picks.
“We’ve got to get more hats to the football,” Gruden said. “We’ve got to rip it out. That’s winning football, winning the turnover battle. We’re turning it over too many times. We’re not getting it back enough. That’s a big reason, if not the No. 1 reason we’re sitting where we are.”
Raiders working out kickers
Mike Nugent made every Raiders kickoff and hit two field goals, including one from 52 yards, against the Dolphins. He gutted out that game despite suffering a hip injury that could impact his ability to play next week against the Cleveland Browns.
The Raiders have to set up Plan B, and will bring several kickers in for workouts this week.
Penn doing well
Right tackle Donald Penn played just 18 offensive snaps before bowing out over concerns about a concussion. The Raiders feared the veteran had one, though Gruden said Penn was evaluated for concussion-like symptoms.
Gruden believes Penn will be fine and could play against the Browns.
Penn and replacement T.J. Clemmings struggled against Miami, combining to allow two sacks, two quarterback hits and a hurry.
In other injury news, Karl Joseph will miss a game at least with a hamstring strain.