With temperatures approaching 90 degrees Sunday afternoon in Oakland, Derek Carr, excluding a wardrobe change to rid himself of some sleeves, wasn't affected by the heat. In fact, he remained cool under pressure, arguably cooler than a second-year quarterback making just his 18thcareer start should be.
Just minutes after throwing an interception that later resulted in the Ravens taking their first lead of the afternoon; Carr masterfully orchestrated an 80-yard drive with 2:10 left, punctuated by a Seth Roberts touchdown catch that turned out to be the game winner for the Silver and Black.
"We knew it was going to be a fight," said Carr during his postgame press conference. "We knew it was going to be challenge today but it just makes me so happy to see my teammates fight the way we did."
The drive, and subsequent touchdown, marked Carr's second game-winning drive of his short career and served as the seminal moment for a young team trying to notch their first win under a new head coach.
"He [Carr] has a winner and a warriors mentality," said Gabe Jackson. "He always, no matter what, stays positive. He stays on the path, he tries to move forward and that's what I love about him. He keeps his composure and stays calm."
And keeping his composure was not easy task for the Fresno State-product as he stared down the vaunted Baltimore defense, but it's precisely what he did, methodically picking up chunks up yardage as he led the team down the field.
"The quarterback has to be calm," Carr said. "When you step in the huddle, I have to talk to them just like this and sometimes I get a little fired up."
However, the fiery gunslinger was able to calmly execute his message to the Raiders offense at the most critical junctures of the game.
"He just told us we were going to go down and score," Jackson said. "He told us to come on and that he needed us. We had each other's backs."
The Raiders final drive showed offensive execution from top to bottom – the line gave Carr time to make his reads, Carr made the throws, and the receivers made the grabs and while sitting on the sideline watching it all unfold, DJ Hayden couldn't help but marvel at the Raiders young signal caller.
"That's just what he does," Hayden said. "I'm a fan on the sideline when Derek's on the field. I'm just out there screaming and yelling, dancing, I'm doing it all."
Sunday's win will be credited as a team effort, as well it should be, as each phase of the Raiders attack shone in their own way at some point, but make no mistake the 2015 Raiders will go as Derek Carr goes, and the Week 2 win over the Ravens put his development and maturation on display.
"I see more confidence from him, not cockiness, but just confidence," Jackson said. "It's a good start to our future. This is just the start to build on."
Admittedly, there are areas of improvement that need to be addressed after Sunday's win, but at the end of the day, the Raiders notched their first win under Head Coach Jack Del Rio and now have their sights on a matchup with the Cleveland Browns and a chance to creep over .500
"It's not always going to perfect," Hayden said. "It's never going to be perfect, you just have to get the job done."
Sunday's win at home over a quality Baltimore Ravens team was just that – it wasn't perfect, but the Raiders got the job done, and they have their second-year quarterback to thank for it.