When Derek takes the field on Sunday, he will face past struggles, in a stadium that remains his house of horrors. During his career, Carr and the Raiders left Arrowhead stadium with a loss every time. The last Raiders victory? October 28, 2012. That day, Carson Palmer completed half of his passes and Darren McFadden ran for 114 yards. Where was Derek Carr? The day before he threw for 400 yards versus New Mexico as the Fresno State quarterback.Now, with the playoffs within arm’s reach, the fortunes of the last Oakland Raiders playoff hunt rest firmly on Derek Carr’s shoulders.
“We better show up or they’re going to beat us by 50”
In a world of doublespeak and cliches, Carr offered up this bit of brutal honesty. The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense will force the Raiders to score on offense. The team needs to score and never stop. More importantly, Carr needs to embrace his newly found aggressive approach to the game. For Carr, the Chiefs defense will give him ample opportunity to make them pay. Currently ranked nineteenth in points and twenty-fifth in yards, this version of the Chiefs defense gives the Raiders and Carr hope.
“They’re a really good team — one of the very best in the NFL. Hopefully our guys — myself included — when we show up in Arrowhead a week from now, we’ll be ready to go. And I believe that we will be.”
Again, the confidence, buttressed by facts, support Carr’s quote. Yet, the part about other players stands out. During Sunday’s loss, the receivers dropped numerous passes, killing drives and forcing punts. Against the Chiefs, the less you see AJ Cole, the better the team will fare. Subsequently, what wideout emerges? Tyrell Williams flashed early in the season, then disappeared. Neither Zay Jones, Keelan Doss or Trevor Davis stepped up. As a result, Carr will need to rely on tight ends and backs, if the wideouts continue to struggle.
With the Raiders bound for Las Vegas, and the division crown within reach, this game is the biggest of Derek Carr’s career. Forget the quotes, the losses or previous failures. Derek Carr can silence a fair share of doubters with a win. On top of that, the Raiders would stay at 7-5.
This season, the offensive line gives Carr 2.5 seconds in the pocket with only 43 total pressures in 11 games. 81 percent of Carr’s throws are on target, which is astounding. There should be no issue will moving the ball. On paper, the Oakland Raiders should score at least 27 points in this game.
This is It
If the Raiders do not win this game, they will fall to .500. As a result, their playoff hopes could all but vanish. Derek Carr needs this game. It sends a statement to the division and the conference that the Raiders look ahead of schedule. Through the losing, injuries and checkdowns, Derek Carr can rewrite part of his Raiders legacy with a victory.