Around the NFL  

 

Khalil Mack: Raiders QB Derek Carr 'is the chosen one'

Print

Through a quarter of the season, the Oakland Raiders have lived up to the offseason hype.

Sunday's 28-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens pushed Jack Del Rio's squad to 3-1, with all three victories coming on the road. It marks the team's first three-game road win streak since 2011.

Derek Carr's mastery of late-game heroics continues to carry the Raiders. Sunday Carr found Michael Crabtree for the receiver's third TD snag of the day with 2:12 left on the clock to push Oakland ahead. Carr has won five of his last six road starts, tossing 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions in those contests.

Much of Carr's 2014 QB class has struggled with either performance or injury. Blake Bortles' fundamentals have regressed. Teddy Bridgewater is out for the year. Jimmy Garoppolo missed his second game with an injury and will go back to being Tom Brady's caddie. The rest have either been cut or stashed on benches. (Here is where we note the Cleveland Browns selected Johnny Manziel 14 spots ahead of Carr.)

Carr, on the other hand, is leading an Oakland renaissance.

"DC is the chosen one," Khalil Mack said, via CSN Bay Area. "He did it again. He pulled it out for us. Defensively, we wanted to be sure we held it out for them at the end."

The Raiders defense has been one of the most disappointing units in the NFL, but Carr, Amari Cooper, Crabtree, et al., have made up the difference.

Carr was clutch all game long, tossing four TDs on 25-of-35 passing for just 199 yards passing and a 123.4 passer rating while getting little help from the run game (62 total yards). The numbers aren't gaudy, but the third-year quarterback made plays when needed.

"We have confidence that No. 4 can get it done and leads," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. "He's very poised making decisions. There was some tough sledding there against a really good defense, and he just continues to play at a high level. He's really good getting his feet right to make accurate throws.

"Smart, tough and accurate. That's what we have in Derek Carr."

In his last 176 pass attempts, the Raiders quarterback has thrown a single interception -- on a tipped ball.

Oakland's offseason moves have been hit or miss thus far. With Carr playing well under center, the misses have been easier to overcome.

Print