When you read about the Oakland Raiders Week 2 matchup with the Denver Broncos this week, the focus will most likely be about how the Silver and Black were unable to ward off their division rival late in the fourth quarter. The late surge by the Broncos was certainly a tough blow for the Raiders, considering they held the lead the entirety of the game, and while they fell to 0-2, the performance from Derek Carr was nothing short of impressive.
Carr’s performance in one word? Efficient.
No. 4 finished Sunday’s game 29-for-32, totaling 288 passing yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 114.6. Against a defense that’s stingy with giving away yards, the offense — Carr specifically — didn’t struggle to find ways to move the chains.
Last week, against another stout defense, Jared Cook shredded the Los Angeles Rams defense for 180 yards — the most by a tight end in Raiders history. In Week 2 it was Amari Cooper’s turn. The former University of Alabama Heisman trophy-nominee hauled in 10 receptions for 116 yards. Carr was able to find Cooper on a handful of plays where he was wide open in the middle of the field.
“We just believe in Amari to go and win,” Carr said Sunday. “And he did that consistently today. When he can win consistently for our offense, it doesn’t only help the passing game, but the running game as well.”
Regardless of the loss, Carr made some great points during his postgame press conference.
The offense was able to put up 373 total yards against a defense that allowed just 290 total yards in 2017. Between the pass rush of Von Miller, and the secondary coverage from Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby, the Broncos have a variety of weapons at their disposal on the defensive side of the ball. Moving the chains weren’t an issue for Head Coach Jon Gruden’s offense, the game came down to a blocked extra point, and some self-inflicted penalties.
Not only did Carr help the offense put up some quality numbers against one of the best defenses in the league, but he crossed a career milestone in the process. The former Fresno State Bulldog became one of just four Raiders quarterbacks to eclipse the 15,000 passing yard threshold in their career. Carr is currently fourth on the Raiders all-time passing leaders list, sitting behind Daryle Lamonica, Rich Gannon, and Ken Stabler. He’s not the type of individual to boast, or get overly excited about personal achievements, but it’s worth noting Carr is among some of the best in Raiders lore.
The 27-year-old understands that with the team’s current record there’s a bigger sense of urgency, but he’s focused on staying the course and if the group continues to do so things will come to fruition.
“I think that we’re doing just fine, we have to stay the course and keep pushing,” Carr explained. “Again, we have to work our tails off. That’s the only thing that’s going to get us over that hump of, ‘hey we’re doing some good things,’ to hopefully no one can stop us.”
The Raiders will travel to Miami in Week 3 to face an undefeated Dolphins team.