Derek Carr arrived in a big way on Sunday throwing an for an astonishing 513 yards, and 4 touchdowns without an interception in the Raiders dramatic 30-24 overtime win in Tampa Bay. Carr had the best game of his young career in Tampa Bay carrying the team on his back time and time again as the Raiders came from behind once more to secure a 5th straight road victory to stay atop the AFC West.
The Raiders gave away a ridiculous 22 penalties on Sunday which set a new NFL record. Usually reliable kicker Sebastian Janokowski missed what would have been 2 match winning field goals. The Raiders defence struggled to get off the field as Tampa came from 17-10 down to take a 24-17 lead with under 4 minutes remaining. However Carr continued to make big plays throughout. Carr led the Raiders 80 yards down the field to tie the game late in regulation at 24-24. After Janikowski spurned 2 chances to win the game, the Raiders went for it on 4th and 4th late in Overtime. Carr hit Seth Roberts with a bullet down the middle with Roberts breaking 2 tackles and racing away for a 44 yard touchdown to send the large continent of travelling Raiders fans into raptures.
Carr has often been described as one of the best "young" quarterbacks in the league. Forget about that, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league already, and he is only going to get better. Carr for mine should be the front runner in the for the NFL MVP this season. Playing in a Raiders team with an at times atrocious defence, an average running game and poor disciple, Carr is taking all before him. I would say without him the Raiders would be lucky to be 2-6 let alone a Wild Card team in the AFC. As it is Carr already has 2,300 yards, averaging 290 yards per game and with 17 touchdown to only 3 interceptions he is carrying this team on its back and leading them back to the playoffs.
The Raiders are 6-2 for the first time since they last went to the playoffs in 2002. They have won their first 5 road games for the first time since 1977, and most it is all down to Derek Carr. In 2002 they made it to the Super Bowl and while they would be at long odds to do that this year, with Carr anything seems possible.
Carr can make all types of throw, the short routes, the quick fade, the lob, the deep bomb, the side arm under pressure, he can use his feet to get outside the pocket. He has all the tools, however most of all for mine, he is an outstanding leader for such a young guy. He has a presence about him that only the greats have, where every single guy in that locker room wants to play for him.
The NFL is a league that is driven by quarterbacks. Franchises do everything possible to find the guy that might lead them forward for over a decade. Find me a game with 2 bad quarterbacks and Ill find you a bad game, probably with average TV ratings. Find a team with a bad quarterback and I'll find you a bad team. In this age the NFL has been spoilt with the great Tom Brady and Peyton Manning rivalry which lasted well order a decade. Whilst the likes of Brady, Brees, Rivers and Roethlisberger in the twilight the NFL needs the next great quarterbacks to emerge. Derek Carr might just be that guy, and I think the Raiders might be laughing all the way to the Super Bowl on his back in the next few years.