The Las Vegas Raiders shouldn’t need too much motivation against the Los Angeles Chargers this week. They have a chance to go to the playoffs for just the second time since 2002 with a win and they’re playing at home. While that’s motivation enough to have a good game, the Raiders are also playing a hated rival.
The last time the two teams played, the Chargers won 28-14 after taking a 21-0 lead in the first down. Star defensive end Joey Bosa took a shot at Raiders quarterback Derek Carr after the game by saying that he “shuts down” under pressure. The comments caused quite a bit of a stir as many saw them as disrespectful. Bosa hasn’t had a chance to follow up on the comments until now.
He has a lot of respect for Carr but isn’t backing down from what he said before.
“I’m a fan of him,” Bosa said of Carr, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think we get along. I was just pointing out something that I noticed. When he gets pressured, he seems to shut down a little bit. Seems like a lot of quarterbacks do that. He’s one of the top passers in the league.”
Bosa isn’t wrong that you could say that most quarterbacks are worse under pressure than they are in a clean pocket. However, it’s the fact that he singled out Carr that has rubbed people the wrong way.
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Raiders Coach Believes Carr Has Forgotten About Bosa’s Comments
Carr seemed irked about the Bosa comments when they were first presented to them but that was all the way back in Week 4. He’s taking the high road ahead of the rematch but there’s no doubt he’s still aware of the comments. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson claims that the quarterback has completely forgotten about what Bosa had to say.
“It’s completely out of his mind,” Olson said of Carr. “We talk about our winning routine during the week and part of that is not worrying about outside noise. You focus on your preparation throughout the week and that’s it. Your prep can’t be based on what happened in the previous game or what was said or how you played. It’s a new week, new team, one that we played before, but they’ll have a new game plan and so will we.”
There’s nothing one with using a bit of trash talk for extra motivation. It’ll be interesting to see if the Raiders have plans for Bosa on Sunday.
Statement Game for Carr?
Heading into Sunday’s game, the narrative about it being the biggest game of Carr’s career has been a bit overblown. It may actually be the biggest game he’s played in since being in the NFL but it shouldn’t reflect on him poorly if the Raiders don’t win. The Chargers have a much better roster and a full-time head coach.
As NFL analyst Adam Rank pointed out, it’s not fair to call this a “career-defining” game for Carr.
Carr can do a lot to help his brand with a big game but he won’t be out of the NFL in a year if the Raiders lose.