After a four-game losing streak, it looked like the walls were closing in for Derek Carr. The Oakland Raiders quarterback has been the subject of many rumors about his head coach wanting to move on from him. This isn’t the first time Carr has dealt with these rumors and he’s bound to keep hearing them throughout the offseason.
Wins will certainly help Carr quiet those rumors and he looked good in Sunday’s win versus the Los Angeles Chargers. After so many demoralizing losses, it would’ve been really easy for the team to just give up for the rest of the season. The Raiders proved that they still have fight left in them and Carr praised his team for that fact.
“Let’s not sugar coat it, we’ve been through a lot of crap… and it is what it is,” said Carr after the game. “Nobody cares at the end of the day, but we have… And to say that we’re still playing Week 17 for something. That’s unbelievable, that’s really a good thing [because] I’ve been on teams in the past where we were in those moments, we lost a couple in a row and like ‘oh no.’ This team never did that.”
It’s true, in Carr’s six seasons with the team, they’ve finished with a winning record just one time. The Raiders can’t finish with a winning record this year, but a playoff appearance would feel just as good. Carr had one final message for the people who didn’t expect the team to even sniff the playoff race this season.
“No one thought we’d play Week 17 for the playoffs,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Let’s keep it real.”
Run, Derek, Run
One thing Jon Gruden has been stressing that he wants to see more of is Carr using his legs to make plays. He had a big run in Week 15 against the Jacksonville Jaguars that should’ve had more of an impact of the outcome of the game if it wasn’t for a botched call from the referees. He one-upped himself against the Chargers and scored a rushing touchdown. Gruden was over the moon after the game about the play.
“That was something that we were really looking for and excited about,” Gruden said. “He is a much better athlete than people know about and we have been trying to encourage him to do more of that. It was a bootleg designed for (Darren) Waller and the fullback. LA did a nice job to cover it. That’s what you need to be. You need to be a threat to run and that’s what he did today.”
Carr has always been hesitant to run with the ball despite the fact he runs a 4.69 40-yard dash. That’s faster than Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback, who runs a 4.76 40-yard dash and frequently tucks and runs. Perhaps another year in the system will make Carr feel more comfortable running.
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Home Away From Home
Much was made about the Raiders essentially playing a home game in Los Angeles. That was the case on Sunday as there were hardly any fans of the Chargers in attendance.
“We knew a lot of those people were going to be at this game, so we wanted to make sure that this week, we really took care of business for them,” Carr said. “The Black Hole yelling at me… but it’s all love. I love Raider Nation and there’s nothing like it.”
The Raiders’ “home” finale at the Chargers’ stadium was much more memorable than the one in Oakland.