It feels like this has been said a few times over the last three seasons but the Las Vegas Raiders look like the real deal. They’ve started off the season with wins over two playoff teams last year in the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Week 1 was a wild game that happened to work out in the Raiders’ favor but Week 2 was much different.
Las Vegas mostly controlled the game against the Steelers on both sides of the ball and won 26-17. However, in the middle of the team’s win, it looked like the season could be over. In the third quarter, quarterback Derek Carr tossed a nine-yard touchdown to tight end Foster Moreau to give the Raiders a 16-7 lead. Instead of it being a moment of celebration, the entire team held their breath as Carr fell to the ground in pain after a Steelers pass rusher ran into his ankle.
Things initially didn’t look good and even Carr thought the worst.
“It was the same ankle that I broke. I said ‘I can’t go out like this.’ It could have been a lot worse,” Carr said after the game.
Fortunately, Carr got up and was able to walk off the field under his own power. He got his ankle taped up and went back onto the field for the next drive.
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Carr Details What Happened Right After He Was Hurt
Carr is as tough as they come but nobody is indestructible. Raider fans are all too familiar with a season getting derailed by an injury to the quarterback. Carr had a chance to get into detail over how the whole situation played out.
“The first thing I asked is, ‘Did he catch it?’” Carr said in the postgame press conference. “And no one answered me. I was like, ‘Did he freaking catch it?!’ They were like, ‘Yeah, he caught it.’ And I was like, ‘All right, then get me up.’”
When he went to the ground, many of his teammates came together and prayed to make sure he was OK.
“[Derek] Carrier came over and a lot of my teammates and it was an amazing moment,” Carr said. “It was just this beautiful moment of my teammates looking out for me. That right there is family to me. I loved the touchdown, don’t get me wrong, but that moment right there I was like, ‘Man, I just want to win this game for this team.’”
The Raiders have developed a tight-knit group and that showed on Sunday.
Carr in MVP Race?
Carr has been a polarizing figure over the years but he’s cementing the fact that he’s one of the quarterbacks in the NFL. Through two games, he leads the NFL with 817 passing yards and has thrown four touchdowns to one interception. He’s also put up those numbers against two elite defenses.
It’s early in the season but Carr should be considered an MVP candidate right now.
Many are surprised to see Carr play so well but it’s nothing new. He was an MVP candidate in 2016 and has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the three seasons. However, he’s not going to win any award if the Raiders don’t make the playoffs. If he plays at this level while continuing to lead the team to wins, he’ll be squarely in the MVP race at the end of the year.