Derek Carr is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career for the Oakland Raiders and people are starting to notice. Opinions on the quarterback started to sour after a couple of disappointing years in a row, but that’s starting to change. It looks like he’s returned to 2016 form and led his team to a fourth-quarter comeback victory for the 18th time in his career, which is an NFL record for a player through their first six seasons. This latest win led Carr’s teammate, Johnathan Abram, to drop an epic line about his quarterback.
Abram has been one of Carr’s most staunch supporters since he joined the team. He even went on ESPN’s First Take and battled with Stephen A. Smith over the quarterback. Carr may not weasel his way into the MVP conversation this season, but once he gets more talent at wide receiver next season, he could be an early favorite for the award.
Raiders Defense Steps up While Offense Struggles
It’s been Derek Carr and the offense that has carried the Raiders to most of their wins, but the defense came up big against the Los Angeles Chargers. Carr struggled most of the game and rookie phenom Josh Jacobs had a hard time getting things going. Meanwhile, the defense created three turnovers and scored a touchdown. They weren’t perfect, but they were on the field for the vast majority of the game.
The unit still needs to limit its penalties. If it wasn’t for a few of them, this game may not have been so close. Considering the defense lost Johnathan Abram after the first game and Vontaze Burfict was suspended after the fourth game, they could’ve just given up for the year. However, they were able to turn things around and play a massive role in the Week 10 win.
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Defensive Backfield Could Be Changing Up
With the recent move to sign D.J. Swearinger, it could mean that Karl Joseph is going to miss significant time. The team never truly replaced Johnathan Abram after he was injured, so they’re very thin at safety. Erik Harris had the best game of his career on Thursday against the Chargers. Curtis Riley has pretty much been regulated to the special teams and doesn’t bring a lot of upside to the defense. The Raiders should consider adding another player at the position if Joseph is going to miss several games.
Eric Berry is still out there and should be somewhat fresh after getting significant time off. He’s far removed from his days as an All-Pro, but he should have some juice left as he’s only 30 years old. George Iloka is also still available and he’s very familiar with Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. He would make a lot of sense as it wouldn’t take him long to refamiliarize himself with the defensive schemes. Based on what we’ve seen from Oakland, they’ll probably stay put with Swearinger and Harris for now. However, if they struggle, the team should really consider adding one of the previously mentioned guys.