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Del Rio: Derek Carr 'surgeon-like' in fourth quarter

Doctor Carr will see you now.

After the Raiders secured a victory over Baltimore with another fourth-quarter comeback, Derek Carr started to earn his fair share of praise. The third-year starter earned confidence from coach Jack Del Rio ("Smart, tough and accurate") and was deemed the second coming by the franchise's premier defensive player.

"DC is the chosen one," Khalil Mack told 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."

We're not sure who has chosen Carr to be the Raiders' saving grace, but fans in the Black Hole are happy just knowing that their franchise chose the quarterback back in 2014. This season, Carr has outperformed all of his fellow draft-day quarterbacks (Blake Bortles, Jimmy Garoppolo, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel) and has developed into one of the great late-game field generals.

Carr's six game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2015 lead the league. His four touchdown passes in the final three minutes of a win is also a league best. Two of those drives and touchdowns have come this season against the Saints and Ravens, and has Carr's coach searching for new ways to describe his poise.

"I think it's really everything with Derek," Del Rio said, per ESPN. "I think he is super competitive. He is a guy that is very well-prepared. He's really, I think, taken a step forward in terms of emotional control, the poise to be, kind of, surgeon-like and just be accurate with the ball and let his playmakers do their thing."

Carr's steady hands and leadership in tense moments have allowed the young quarterback to make the leap from inaccurate rookie to evasive veteran. Despite Oakland's close wins, Carr has thrown just one interception in his 153 attempts this year and has only been sacked twice. His mobility in the pocket and eye for his receivers, especially Michael Crabtree, keeps the play, and the game, alive for the Raiders.

For the "surgeon-like" Carr, the difference hasn't been his appreciation of the Hippocratic oath -- to heal this ailing Raiders franchise -- but rather Del Rio's hands-off approach.

"I still feel that I can go out there and make all of the throws, make every play, and I'm just learning that I don't have to do that," Carr added. "We have a great weapon with our punter (Marquette King). We have a great weapon with our defense. When we've needed them, they've come up big.

"So, I needed to learn last year that I don't have to make every play, and I think that alone right there took so much stress off me when coach Del Rio said, 'Hey man, you don't have to do it all by yourself. We're going to help you.'"

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