BALTIMORE — Derek Carr and Khalil Mack have been the future of the Raiders ever since they arrived together in the 2014 draft, and they’ve made their happy present possible — especially Sunday against the Ravens, when they helped carry Oakland to its third road win in three tries already this season.

But they’re not so far removed from the team’s awful past, either. They’ve paid more than enough dues after the rookie year they, and several teammates, endured.

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“We’ve played a lot of football, we've seen a lot of things, we’ve seen a lot of hard times, obviously," Carr said after the Raiders stormed back to beat Baltimore, 28-27, raising them to 3-1 and handing the Ravens their first loss. "And we never changed who we were. That’s thing that I love about the quote-unquote young guys on this team — that we went through that, and we’re still the same guys standing before you 3-1 as we were at 0-10."

As overall picks Nos. 5 and 36 in 2014, Mack and Carr started every game of that 3-13 season. That included those first 10 losses, and the one in London to the Dolphins that led to the firing of coach Dennis Allen two years almost to the day bef

ore Sunday’s win.

On Sunday, Carr threw four touchdown passes, three to Michael Crabtree, including the game-winner with 2:12 left. He had no turnovers, and he did not get sacked.

Mack had one of the most dominant one-sack games a defensive end has ever had. He spent the day harassing Joe Flacco endlessly, forcing holding calls against him and his teammates, and chasing Flacco into a strip-sack by Bruce Irvin that set the Raiders up for an early fourth-quarter touchdown.

At the time, the score — another throw to Crabtree, a fade to the right of the end zone that had to sicken 49ers fans who witnessed their team’s loss to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII — seemed to have clinched the win. These Raiders, though, still tend to break when they should only bend, so Carr did have to take them on one more drive to re-take the lead.

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The Raiders defense then had to knuckle down to stop the Ravens one more time. They did. Their performance negated a lot of the unit’s underwhelming play even in their earlier road wins.

"The chosen one," Mack said of Carr, smiling. "He did it again. He pulled it out for us. On defense, we wanted to make sure we pulled it out for them."

It was the most complete win of the season, one that demanded mental toughness beyond the usual, with three of their first four games in either the Central or Eastern time zone, with kickoffs at 10 a.m. West Coast time.

The Raiders are in the top half of the NFL’s youngest rosters (according to one account before opening weekend), averaging a hair over 26. As Carr pointed out, their leaders are young, too. Carr and Mack, of course, are among them, at 25 each. On their respective sides of the ball, things revolve around them. As much as they rely on veterans — Crabtree and Bruce Irvin, for example — they have set a tone early for how far this team can go.

That’s why, Mack said, winning the games against, in order, the Saints, Titans and Ravens, means something: “It says that this team’s a contender, any time, no matter whether it’s home or away. That’s gonna be big for us down the road."

Just as important, Carr said with a laugh, "We need to win at home."

Yet no one seems concerned that their lone loss was a stunner to the Falcons two weeks ago in Oakland. Again, Carr said, they’ve suffered through much worse, survived and thrived.

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"Our mindset will not change, we will not stop working, we are not gonna stop doing what we do," Carr said. "We’re not going to think highly of ourselves. We’re not going be arrogant — for what? We haven't done anything yet.

"We’re gonna remain humble, and we’re gonna remain consistent with our work ethic."

It’s gotten him, Mack and the rest of the Raiders a long way from 0-10, from London and coach firings and nationwide ridicule. And it’s gotten them nearly halfway through their road schedule without a loss, and it's only the first weekend of October.