OAKLAND (AP) — The offense didn’t take a snap across midfield until the fourth quarter. The defense struggled from the opening drive.
Throw in an injury to starting quarterback Derek Carr and it’s hard to imagine how coach Jack Del Rio’s debut in Oakland could have gotten much worse.
Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and Jeremy Hill ran for two scores to put a big damper on Del Rio’s homecoming with the Cincinnati Bengals’ 33-13 victory over the Raiders on Sunday.
“That’s a very disappointing, embarrassing effort,” Del Rio said. “I take full responsibility. We’ll get it turned around and corrected.”
The major question now is whether Carr will be there to help the Raiders (0-1) do it. Carr left the game late in the second quarter when he hurt his right hand trying to stiff arm Adam Jones on a scramble late. X-rays were negative, but Del Rio did not say whether Carr would miss time.
Carr, who was unavailable after the game, went 7 for 12 for 61 yards.
“It’s a huge blow,” rookie receiver Amari Cooper said. “He’s our starting quarterback and the leader of our offense. We need him. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Matt McGloin fared no better as the Raiders didn’t even take a snap in Bengals territory until the first play of the fourth quarter against a Bengals defense that looked improved from last season. They avoided the shutout when McGloin threw a pair of TD passes to Marcel Reece in the fourth quarter.
“It’s the first game. We can’t cry right now,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We got 15 more games. It’s the first game. We lost bad. We’re going to go back to the lab.”
The tone was set right from the start as the Raiders went three-and-out on their first possession — the eighth straight season they began with a three-and-out or turnover.
Dalton then moved the ball easily on an 11-play drive capped by Hill’s 3-yard score on fourth-and-1 when he got outside of Ray-Ray Armstrong and raced past Ben Heeney into the end zone.
Dalton frequently found the middle of the field open against a Raiders defense that lost starting safety Nate Allen to a knee injury in the first half. The biggest beneficiary was Tyler Eifert, who caught nine passes for 104 yards.
Dalton hit Eifert on scoring strikes in the closing seconds of the first half and then late in the third quarter to make it 30-0, driving Oakland fans to boo or head to the exits.
“We can’t truly beat ourselves up yet,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “It’s one game and it’s something we have to learn from. I’ve been in this league long enough to know you don’t reach your goals in the first week.”
Even the addition of Aldon Smith failed to give the Raiders defense a boost. The Raiders signed the talented but troubled pass rusher on Friday but he had just one solo tackle, one assist and one quarterback pressure in his debut.
“My job was pretty easy today,” Smith said. “I was just going to try to get the quarterback.”
The game was chippy with several personal fouls, including one on Adam Jones for ripping off the helmet of Oakland receiver Amari Cooper and slamming his head against it. Austin Howard, who was already called for holding on the play, then shoved Jones as a mild skirmish broke out. The penalties wiped out a 60-yard run by Jamize Olawale.
“I’m here to play football,” Jones said. “I don’t back down from nobody and I’m not out there trying to start anything. I’m just having fun playing football.”
NOTES: The Bengals got their first win in Oakland after 10 previous losses. ... Raiders S Charles Woodson left with an injured shoulder on the final drive.