Derek Carr makes Raiders interesting again


Find a quarterback and watch your fortunes turn.

That's the case in Oakland this season, where second-year passer Derek Carr has bloomed into a more-than-serviceable young arm in charge of a frisky Raiders offense that offed the Jets on Sunday, 34-20.

Every game, all season

Dueling a normally stout New York secondary, Carr lashed Gang Green for 333 yards, four touchdown passes and zero picks on a day that saw marvelous rookie wideout Amari Cooper account for just 46 yards.

"Carr is really hot right now," Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis said after the game, per CSN California. "That was clear."

Without an interception since Week 5, Carr has played clean football and tossed the ball more aggressively. After throwing for a woeful 5.5 yards per attempt as a rookie, Carr has leaned on Cooper and a resurgent Michael Crabtree to throw for 7.8 yards per pass this season.

"Derek played very, very well," said coach Jack Del Rio. "Made great decisions all day. It's a good thing."

A good thing and a completely new experience for Raiders fans, who, outside of a brief stint with Carson Palmer, haven't experienced a functional quarterback since Rich Gannon guided Oakland to the Super Bowl in 2002.

Carr's growth is a huge development for general manager Reggie McKenzie, whose suspect maneuvers in free agency were fodder for a bushel of hot takes. If picking Khalil Mack and Cooper in the draft were no-brainers, McKenzie deserves credit for showing faith in Carr when 31 other teams passed him by.

Hailing from Green Bay's front office, McKenzie knows how hitting on a quarterback can save jobs, revive a frustrated fan base and alter the energy of a city that hasn't seen a winner in years. The Raiders are interesting again, with Carr sitting at the center of that transformation.

It will be fascinating to see where he leads the long-lost Silver and Black.