It’s long overdue but Derek Carr is finally going to play in his first-ever playoff game on Sunday. It didn’t look like the Las Vegas Raiders would buck the trend this season as they were 6-7 before going on a four-game winning streak to end the season. After the team beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday to lock up their spot in the playoffs, Carr had mentioned that he received a message before the game from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
He didn’t reveal exactly what the reigning MVP had to say but Rodgers had a chance to speak on their relationship.
“I’m happy for Derek,” Rodgers said on The Pat McAfee Show. “I’ve known him for a long time and I enjoy keeping in touch with him. I’ve enjoyed our conversations. I think he’s a really respectful guy. He’s been through a crazy amount of adversity this season with what happened to Jon [Gruden] and all the moving parts. I just sent him some encouragement before the game just because I do enjoy him as a person and how he handles his business.”
Carr has said in the past that he speaks to Rodgers more than any other quarterback in the NFL. They’ve never played together and went to different colleges but they were brought together by Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, who went to Fresno State with Carr.
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Jalen Richard Happy for Carr
Carr is one of only two Raiders left on the roster from the 2016 playoff run. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to play after an injury derailed that season for him. Running back Jalen Richard is the only other player who was on that roster and he made it known how happy he is that Carr is finally getting a chance at the playoffs.
“Derek is way better than he was in 2016, when he was in the MVP talks,” Richard said Tuesday. “Every year he has gotten better, smarter, stronger — he loves to flex his arms and stuff — and he’s gotten better connected with the team, everything.
“I was really hurting for him back in 2016 when he wasn’t able to finish that stellar season the way he wanted to finish it. Now, he is glowing. Man, I am so happy for him. I can’t wait to see him go get it on Saturday.”
Carr Thankful for the Opportunity
Carr holds all the major passing records for the Raiders but what’s defined the best quarterbacks for the franchise has been wins. Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Daryle Lamonica and Rich Gannon all played in Super Bowls. The biggest knock on Carr is that he hasn’t won enough. The lack of winning isn’t all his fault but now he can finally say that he’s been to the playoffs.
“Obviously, it’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was drafted,” Carr said Tuesday. “That’s all I want to do is get to the playoffs and try and win a championship. And the fact that we’re in the tournament, it’s really cool.
“Again, like I said, I’m super thankful. I’ve worked my tail off. I’ve prayed that I could experience that one day and I get to. It’s cool. But at the same time, my goal wasn’t just to make the playoffs … you always have bigger goals and bigger dreams and you’re always trying to achieve more.”