Derek Carr's main objective during his seven seasons with the Raiders has been to win, especially at Arrowhead Stadium.
On several occasions, Carr has come close to obtaining his first win on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, but it's eluded him time and time again. Even before Carr took over as the signal-caller for the Silver and Black in 2014, the team hadn't defeated their AFC West rival at Arrowhead since 2012.
Heading into Sunday's Week 5 matchup, Carr's objective remained the same, but no one expected the Raiders to walk away with a win, let alone give the reigning Super Bowl champs a run for their money.
Boy were the experts wrong.
Donning his Kobe-tribute arm sleeve, Carr channeled the Mamba Mentality on Sunday, slinging the ball when and where he wanted, against a Chiefs defense that's been stout for much of the season. Carr completed 70 percent of his passes, resulting in 347 passing yards, three touchdowns, but had one interception, serving as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect stat sheet. Most importantly though, Carr achieved his highly coveted first win at Arrowhead Stadium, defeating the Chiefs 40-32.
"I've taken a lot of sad walks up that ramp, but not today," Carr said with a smile following the game. "I'm going to enjoy this one."
It's not often you see a quarterback outdo former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, but Carr was the better of the two on Sunday. Through Carr's leadership, the Raiders' offense looked poised and unstoppable all afternoon. The team finished with 491 yards of total offense and owned the time of possession 35:17 to 24:43. Carr, Jacobs, and the whole crew picked up 22 first downs, allowing them to set the tempo and keep the Chiefs' electric offense off the field. From an execution standpoint, Head Coach Jon Gruden couldn't have been more proud of his quarterback.
"I give Derek a lot of credit," Gruden said postgame. "He's been through a lot here as a Raider, this was certainly a big win for him, but hopefully we've got a lot more big wins ahead of him."
Earlier in the week, Carr explained why the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry hasn't been much of a rivalry over the past decade. Before today, the Chiefs had a record of 28-2 against AFC West opponents over their last 30 games. Even though Carr is overjoyed with today's outcome, he knows a lot still needs to be done to make this a rivalry once again.
"We have to win football games against these guys to make it a rivalry," Carr said. "I know everybody talks about the history and all that kind of stuff — George Atkinson talked about it to the team yesterday in the team meeting — but we have to make it a rivalry and we have to win games like this to make it a rivalry."
Carr's surrounding cast played lights out all day, with Henry Ruggs III leading all receivers with 118 yards and his first career touchdown. The former Fresno State Bulldog connected on a pair of deep touchdowns, unafraid to take a shot for it all. Knowing he has weapons who can win their matchups, Carr's confidence in the offense is sky high.
"To have the knowledge as a quarterback to know that you have a guy who runs 4.1 or 4.2 and the knowledge that, not only that, but he knows which route to run, and he knows if we get the look we want to get, he can win, having that confidence it doesn't matter what's going on with anything else," Carr explained. "As long as I sit there and make my read we have a chance to make that play. As it unfolds and you throw the ball it's like, 'I like this.'"
"Statement win" is a phrase that gets thrown around probably more than it should; however, the Raiders' 40-point victory truly sent a message to the NFL and gave Carr a feeling he's waited a long time for.