It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy but the Las Vegas Raiders finished the season the same way they started – with an unpredictable overtime thriller. The team really makes it hard on itself but pulled off the win against the Los Angeles Chargers and are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. However, the Raiders didn’t have to win to ensure a playoff berth. All they needed was a tie thanks to the Indianapolis Colts losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Had the Raiders and Chargers tied, both teams would’ve made the playoffs. With the game going to overtime, that possibility greatly increased. On the last drive of the game, Las Vegas was driving towards field goal range until they hit a third down. At that point, it looked like the team was ready to try a long field goal but was happy taking the tie. Instead, running back Josh Jacobs ran for a first down and put the team in field goal range.
While the Raiders would’ve taken a tie to get into the playoffs, that’s not what they wanted. Quarterback Derek Carr said after the game that his team didn’t want the tie and revealed that he received a message for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the game.
“We knew no matter what we didn’t want to tie. We wanted to win the football game,” Carr said. “My mindset all day, I was even texting with Aaron Rodgers this morning, my mindset was to make sure we were the only team moving on after this.
“Aaron’s always been good to me since I came into the league. We became friends, so we talk. Aaron, I appreciate your encouragement today.”
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Carr Has Talked About His Relationship With Rodgers Before
Rodgers and Carr have a bit of an age gap and don’t seem to have a lot in common but the two are apparently very close. The Raiders quarterback said previously that he talks to Rodgers more than any other quarterback.
“From the beginning of my career to still to this day, me and Aaron talk,” Carr said on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast last year. “I probably talk to him the most out of all the quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s always been someone that I could always lean on, kind of like a mentor in the game.”
Rodgers may just be the best quarterback in the NFL so that’s a good mentor for Carr to have. It’s interesting that there were previous trade rumors linking the Packers quarterback to the Raiders.
Carr Going to Play in 1st Playoff Game
Carr is set to play in the playoffs for the first time ever after the win over the Chargers. He led the Raiders to the playoffs in 2016 but couldn’t play due to an injury. With Carr healthy, he’s set to make his playoff debut and it’s been a long time coming.
The biggest knock on Carr is that he hasn’t affected winning enough. This season, the Raiders lost their head coach due to an email scandal and then they lost their best wide receiver in Henry Ruggs after a fatal car crash killed a 23-year-old woman. Despite all of that, Carr kept the team afloat and made one of the most improbable playoff runs in recent memory.