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Thumbs-up for Raiders QB Derek Carr

Before Sunday's rough outing, Derek Carr has been solid this preseason. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

A quick observation of quarterback Derek Carr and how he has played in preparation for the season opener on Sept. 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

This, frankly, is a tough time to do this post on Carr.

If this post was based solely on Carr’s performance in the Raiders’ 30-23 home loss to Arizona on Sunday night -- in the third and most important preseason game of the season -- Carr would get a decisive thumbs-down.

He did not play well Sunday night. Carr had happy feet in the two-plus quarters he played and he never looked comfortable. He was inaccurate throughout the game. On his last pass of the night, Carr was picked off by Cariel Brooks, who returned the interception 81 yards for a touchdown.

Carr did have some moments. He connected with terrific rookie Amari Cooper four times for 62 yards. But this game will be remembered for the bad things Carr did.

However, Carr has been pretty darn good the rest of the summer. He was solid in the first two preseason games. Carr, the only rookie quarterback to start all 16 games last season, is clearly improving this year.

He is still a work in progress. He still needs to get better in the deep game and show more consistency. But it’s coming. He had a really good training camp.

One of the reasons I give him a thumbs-up at this point: Cooper and veteran receiver Michael Crabtree are making Carr better. He has developed good chemistry with both receivers, and it is helping his progression, although he does need to learn from Sunday night’s follies.