Daniel Carlson's name is becoming synonymous with the word clutch.
Thursday's 29-yard field goal that sealed a 36-33 win over the Dallas Cowboys was the fourth-year kicker's second OT game-winner this season, and there was never a doubt he would nail it.
"I knew they were going to try to ice him, but when I saw him talk to AJ [Cole] – he looked at AJ, and they both sit there like this [nodding], I said, 'Oh yeah, it's going in,'" Josh Jacobs said postgame.
Before that game-winner though, Carlson was stalled by two neutral zone infraction penalties, but didn't let it phase him.
"For me, it's just blocking it out and taking one rep at a time. ... It felt like an eternity out there, having to kick it – I think I kicked three of them," he said. "Really, I kicked two of them, one I was like, 'I might as well try to hit it and maybe even with a flag, it'll count,' so I kind of half kicked it. You know, trying to take them one at a time and seal the deal."
Carlson also set a new career high in the game when he drilled a 56-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, putting the Raiders up 33-30. On the day, he totaled another career-high with 18 points on five field goals and three PATs.
This overtime clincher will hold a special place for all the Raiders, not only because it was a much-needed win after three straight losses but they got to celebrate a Thanksgiving W at the iconic AT&T Stadium.
"It does feel good. It kind of gave me goosebumps, not going to lie, when that kick went through," Derek Carr told CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson postgame. "I had a lot of memories of as a kid – seeing little kids wearing my jersey, I was doing the same thing with Deion Sanders and all that kind of stuff. To see that, I'm blessed."
Carlson attributed the win to the grit the team has dug into as they have faced adversity through 12 weeks of the season.
"Every win's important. We've been working really hard," the kicker said. "It's tough when things don't go your way for a few weeks. On a short week to be able to get a win like that, that helps us going forward. Like I said, I think that just speaks to the character of this team and our will to win."
And Carlson celebrated his MVP day in true holiday fashion – taking a big bite of a turkey leg at the end of the game.