From as early as he can remember, Derek Carr can recall hearing stories about the great Ken Stabler from his father.
Rodger Carr would praise the “Snake” as the greatest quarterback to wear the Silver and Black, and educate the young quarterback in the making about why he was so special. Stabler was the first Raider Derek can remember hearing about, and until Sunday afternoon he was the franchise’s all-time leading passer.
Back then, Carr was just a boy with dreams of one day surpassing his father’s favorite player, but on Sunday against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs Derek made it his reality.
With a little over five minutes to go in the second quarter, Carr rolled out to his right and threw a short dart to tight end Darren Waller, who took the ball upfield for a 16-yard gain, and helped No. 4 achieve the historic feat.
It took the 28-year-old quarterback 80 games to eclipse the Hall of Famer’s record, which has held for 40 years, and he’s got a lot more football ahead of him. Over the years, Carr has watched his name slowly inch its way up the all-time list, waiting for the day — if he was fortunate enough — he claimed the throne.
Before Sunday’s game, Carr took the time to open up about the moment he’s waited all his life for, and how he hopes to honor the Stabler family in the process.
“I’m humbled, when and if, that time comes, obviously football is a crazy game, but when and if that time comes I’ll do it with honor, with respect to the ‘Snake,’” Carr said. “He’s the GOAT, man. He’s the gold standard for Raider quarterbacks and he’s someone that I grew up — that’s all I heard stories about from my dad — he was the first football player I ever knew about.
“Literally every game I’ve ever played — they have that media book on our seat in the locker room — I’ll open it up and see who’s the passing leader. Surely over the years, as I keep getting older, my name has been climbing up that thing to where we’re so close now and honestly, it’s humbling, and it’ll probably be an emotional time because there’s only 32 men in the history of this game that can say they were a team’s all-time leading passer. I think that in its own right is pretty special, and again, let’s not get it twisted, Kenny is the GOAT. To say I’m not excited for when that moment comes, that would be an understatement, right? Hopefully we can do it with a win, so we can actually celebrate it.”
On his way to the top, Carr surpassed several other notable NFL and Raiders legends, such as Rich Gannon, Daryle Lamonica, Tom Flores, and Jim Plunkett. Knowing that No. 4 would potentially eclipse Stabler in Week 2, the aforementioned legends took a moment to congratulate the Fresno native on his accomplishment.
Carr’s goals have never been about individual accomplishments; he wants to win, but if he happens to become the most decorated Raider to play quarterback then so be it. Only in his late- 20s, sky is the limit for what the signal-caller can do in the future, but he’s grateful to have accomplished such an impressive feat at such a young age. “It’s crazy to do it in five years and hopefully two games,” he said. “That’s something you dream of, right? That’s crazy and to think I’m only 28 years old, and I have so much football ahead of me in going to Las Vegas, and all the years playing there and doing all that. The number will obviously grow and it’ll end up whatever it ends up, but I think the coolest part will be when that moment actually happens. That pass, that play, I’ll always remember what play it was and when it happened because that’s the stuff you dream of as a kid.” Carr is currently No. 3 on the all-time passing touchdowns list with 123, trailing Lamonica and Stabler, but if he’s able to throw 28 more touchdowns this season — which is certainly achievable — he will own the two major passing records in Raiders history.