Quarterback Derek Carr
Derek Carr had a quality day at the office Sunday, as the Oakland Raiders quarterback completed 18 of 24 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. It was an efficient performance for No. 4, and his late, fourth quarter pass to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson for 54 yards was the icing on the cake. More importantly, Carr led the Raiders to a 21-14 victory over the Denver Broncos, and has the team one game away from sitting atop the AFC West. After the game, the former Fresno State Bulldog spoke with the media about the Week 12 bout.
Here are the quick hits from his presser:
Carr broke down his 54-yard pass to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
"So they're trying to pressure and get the ball out of hand fast. It happens a lot, people like to come after the quarterback which happens a lot. Bring one more than you can block kind of thing, and make you throw the ball fast – that kind of thing. Coach [Todd] Downing does an amazing job preparing me for that, saying hey they're going to think quick in this kind of situation, which is how the game was going, so this is the play we're going to go in and we're going to have a great shot on it. Great call."
No. 4 talked about being in the thick of the playoff hunt.
"We knew that coming into today, we had to win. This is was must win for us. Like they all are. But situationally, a must win. After the game, we find out other things. What happens around the league, and you kind of know where you sit. It doesn't mean anything if you don't take care of business. It's an exciting thing because we're right there. We know where we stand, but at the same time we have to go take care of business ourselves."
He discussed what it felt like to execute Sunday's plan accordingly, and come out with a win.
"Anytime your coaches believe in what your offense can do, you get excited as a player. When they believe in you and say here you go. Stop the clock, and we're going to let you guys go in. It's always an exciting thing, and your coaches say hey, we're going to go with this play, this is what they might do. We go out there with so much confidence. We have such amazing coaches. For us to play fast and execute in a situation like that, that's not everybody's first call for cover zero. Most people say, let's throw it short, let them tackle it, that kind of deal. Coach [Jack Del Rio] trusted us to do it and it gives you a lot of confidence."
**Carr shared what it's like having running back Marshawn Lynch play a role in the offense's impact.
"Marshawn – you all know him; he's going to run hard regardless. We go back to Week 1 against Tennessee, we all remember that run. He's going to run it hard. We've just been able to hit some passes to soften the defense up. He's been able to hit some holes and get the tough yards – plays that are three yards, turned into seven; plays that should be losses, he's turning into two-yard gains. That's huge, especially with that the coaches call in certain situations. It definitely helps me to be able to turn around and hand it to somebody for 20, 25 times and just say alright I get a mental break for a second. Even though I'm looking at things for the pass game."
He praised the coaching staff for getting the players prepared for games, especially on a day where the team lost some of its starters.
"The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for those guys being able to mentally come in the game and not miss a beat, and for us to play ball. The deep one to Johnny [Holton], wasn't even for Johnny this week. We were putting someone else there. It just happened to be that he had to run, he went and made the play. I give a lot of credit to our coaching staff. From the big picture, I thought our game plan was fantastic. I thought the plan was really good going into the game. Obviously, that showed today because we executed. That's on us players. I've told you a couple times that the plan was good, but that we screwed it up as players. Today, the plan was good again and we executed."