In what was a photo finish until the end, the Oakland Raiders stunned Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night, edging out a 31-30 victory with no time remaining on the clock after several flags and official reviews. The catalyst of the comeback was none other than gunslinging quarterback Derek Carr.
Through the first six games of the season, the Raiders have looked absolutely awful. After introducing hometown kid Marshawn Lynch and winning their first two games of the season, it’s been all downhill from there. Until last night.
Last night was something out of the realm of Masterpiece Theatre, sprinkled with Game of Thrones type drama. From the jump of the game, Derek Carr not only found his prime receiver in Amari Cooper, but also got the black stallion going to the tune of 210-yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-19 targets. As you can imagine, these weren’t just dink-and-dunk passes, but rather G.I. Joe style mortar bombs down the field thrown by the Raiders quarterback. Carr unleashed 417-yards through the air against a stout Kansas City defense and cashed in for three touchdowns by connecting on 29-of-52 passes. The three touchdowns that Carr did throw could have easily been counted as six since there were miscalls and penalties at the end of regulation to nullify two of them, one to Michael Crabtree (before the game winner) and one to Cordarrelle Patterson.
It was a coming out party of sorts for both Derek Carr and Amari Cooper in a game that was literally do-or-die for the Raiders season. At 2-4, had the Raiders lost, they would have been on the wrong side of the playoffs at 2-5 and down two games to division rivals Denver and Kansas City. Fortunately for them, that ended up not being the case. Instead, the Raiders are sitting pretty again at 3-4 and have not only found their mojo, but also found their Carr.