"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.
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.